THE nation’s only boxing time-keeper, bellman and knock-down counter, Edward Addotei Addo, has called on the boxing fraternity to take his job seriously and train more personnel for the future.
He said it was unfortunate for a great boxing nation like Ghana to boast of only one person for that role, which is quite demanding and time-consuming.
“After practising for more than 20 years, it is sad that I only have one assistant. Although we are recruiting and training others, their interest is minimal,” he told the Graphic Sports in an exclusive interview in Accra last Wednesday.
He noted that in the United States (US) and elsewhere, the job of a bellman, knock-down counter and time-keeper was done by three separate individuals.
“But in Ghana, I do all the three so you can see and appreciate the volume of work I do when I’m seated just outside the ring,” he explained.
Mr Addo, who turned 64 last Friday, stated that he had been able to groom an able lieutenant, Gabriel Allotey, who held the fort whenever he was not available.
“Gabriel is 48 and is not getting any younger so we must train more interested persons for this job; it is very important,” he stressed.
He further explained that the time-keeper’s job demanded more than 100 per cent concentration as he had to work in tandem with the referee in the ring at all times and in every second.
“It is a three-minute thing before a break so you must never allow time to overlap and you must always pay attention to the referee, stop the clock when the referee calls for a stoppage and notify the referee when it is time for a break or the three minutes in a round is due,” he added.
He admitted that the job was not financially rewarding but was captivating and thrilling, adding that more could be done to increase the wages of time-keepers and bellmen.
“The job is not for the faint-hearted, the work doesn’t pay but I hope successive leaders of the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) and Ghana Boxing Federation (GBF) will do something about the wages of those in our profession,” he appealed.