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Quartey threatens to sue GBA for frustrating Takyi’s fight in South Africa

BY: Bernard Neequaye
 Samuel Takyi (left) with his trainer/ manager, Ike Quartey
Samuel Takyi (left) with his trainer/ manager, Ike Quartey

Boxing legend, Ike ‘Bazooka’ Quartey, has threatened to sue the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) over its refusal to issue a release letter to Bazooka Promotions’ Samuel Takyi to fight in South Africa.

Takyi, an Olympic bronze medallist, is billed to face Mandlenkosi Sibuso in a super featherweight contest at the Emperors Palace in Johannesburg on a Golden Gloves Limited bill on June 11.

Controversy

The fight now appears to be in jeopardy after Takyi refused to sign a GBA undertaking which binds him to pay a negotiable two per cent to five per cent to the boxinig regulating body negotiable percentage as development fee upon his return from the bout.

However, the undertaking being demanded is not stipulated in the GBA regulations and by-laws but is expected to bind the boxer in his entire career if he agrees to sign to pay a percentage of any out-of-Ghana bout.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Quartey explained that, “he (Abraham Kotei Neequaye) is asking Takyi to either sign the undertaking or forget about the fight because he would not issue him a release letter.

“This is an unlawful act from the GBA because there is nothing like this all over the world. How can you ask a boxer to sign a life-long undertaking which is not even part of the statutes of the association?”

“I will have no option than to sue the GBA if they deny Takyi his right to work and receive an income to take care of himself,” he threatened.

Laws on foreign bouts

Meanwhile, Clause 17 of the GBA Rules and Regulations Manual on foreign travels states that, “No boxer ordinarily resident in Ghana or licensed by the Ghana Boxing Authority shall be allowed to travel outside the country to engage in any professional boxing unless he has obtained a release letter from the authority.”

Rule number 18 further indicates that: Boxers Licensed by the GBA and fighting under the flag of Ghana or not are expected to remit a percentage sum to their authority, such percentage amount will be determined from time to time by the Ghana Boxing Authority. With effect from January 1, 1996, the payment of a percentage by boxers engaged in local tournaments shall commence, such percentage to be determined from time to time by the Authority”.

Early this year, former IBF lightweight champion, Richard Commey, was suspended by the GBA for failing to pay a percentage of his purse from his December 2021 non - title fight with the Vasyl Lomachenko.

Commey argued that he would not pay the said amount because he was not licensed by the GBA, having permanently relocated to the US since 2017.

Emmanuel ‘Gameboy’ Tagoe is also yet to honour his pledge to pay the development fee to the GBA following his unanimous decision loss to American Ryan Garcia in March, this year.

GBA’s stance

Reacting to the impasse, Abraham Kotei Neequaye, the president of the GBA, told the Daily Graphic that his administration was forced to come up with a new directive to compel fighters to pay what was due to the authority.

He noted that boxers refused to pay the development fees due to the inability of the GBA to bind them with a contract in the past.

“There is a clause in our statutes that Ghanaian boxers who fight outside Ghana must remit a percentage of their purse to aid in boxing development but they don’t want to pay.

“So we decided to introduce an undertaking to commit them to pay the said amounts whenever we release them to fight outside. I am not ready to issue a release letter to any boxer who is not ready to abide by the regulations of the GBA,” Mr Neequaye stated.