FEATURE: Meet Ghana’s world title hopefuls

BY: Bernard Neequaye

When Samuel Takyi won bronze at the Olympics, every Ghanaian felt a new boxing sensation had been born.

The 21-year-old was the sole African medalist at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and broke Ghana’s 29-year medal drought at the biggest multi-sport tournament in the world.

After the games, several past and present boxers expressed their views on the way forward for the young boxing star but Takyi had his own plans.

He decided to turn pro under the tutelage of legendary Ike ‘Bazooka’ Quartey, a retired former WBA welterweight champion.

It was not an easy decision for Takyi who was pursued by several managers and promoters after his stellar performance on the world stage.

The decision is gradually paying off for Takyi having won all three opening pro bouts in Ghana and abroad. His focus is now to finish the year as the national lightweight champion.

Despite Takyi’s prominence, there are several other upcoming Ghanaian fighters with a lot of prospects that must be protected by the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) to reach higher heights.

Undefeated boxers such as Alfred Lamptey, John Laryea, Mohammed Aryeetey, and Richard Fenyi are other prospects with a lot of potential to succeed the current two biggest boxing imports from Ghana --- Richard Commey and Isaac Dogboe.

In this piece, Graphic Sports wants to take readers through some of the achievements of these fighters and why they can reach far with the right mentoring and support.

Alfred Lamptey (Super featherweight)

At age 20, the man known in boxing circles as ‘Showtime’ has held the national super featherweight title, WBC Youth Silver, and WBO Youth titles, respectively.

Lamptey has proved to be one of the nation’s surest bets to become a world champion, if he gets the right nurturing and progress.

With a lot ahead of him, the Black Panthers Gym fighter is currently nursing a bid to win the IBF Continental title in Tanzania by December.

If he is able to win that, Lamptey will be rated in the IBF world rankings which could in turn open him up for a world title showdown going forward.

John Laryea (Super featherweight champion)

On November 11, Laryea will make a ring return to defend his WBO Africa belt for the first time since earning a stoppage win over Sebastianus Nathanael of Namibia.

Laryea, who trains out of the Bronx Boxing Club at Bukom in Accra, is on course to ensure a successful maiden title defence against veteran Gabriel Odoi Laryea.

The bout promises to be a thriller especially when Laryea needs the win to stay relevant in the WBO ratings.

With the right guidance, Laryea has a lot of potentials to become a world champion in the future.

Mohammed Aryeetey (Flyweight)

Aryeetey continues to make name for himself since turning pro in December 2020 from the Sea View Boxing Club.

He has managed to win the national flyweight title and recently traveled to the United States to fight Jeronil Borres to a split draw.

The future looks bright for the 19-year-old who is looking forward to emulating his mentor Oscar De La Hoya on the world stage.

Only his fist can determine that but with good mentoring, Aryeetey is destined for greatness in the fistic sport.

Richard Fenyi (Lightweight)

The national lightweight titlist faces one of the toughest tasks of his young career as Samuel Takyi plans to challenge him for his belt.

The two prospects are bracing themselves for one of the biggest slugfests in December as both camps are expecting to gain bragging rights.

Training out of the Fit Square Boxing Gym at Kokomlemle in Accra, Fenyi is capable of troubling Takyi with the bout set to bring out the best in both fighters.