Raphael Mensah keen on winning WBA title

BY: Bernard Neequaye
Raphael Mensah keen on winning WBA title
Raphael Mensah keen on winning WBA title

Ghana’s undefeated boxer, Raphael "Sweet Pea" Mensah, is keen on beating Alberto Machado to snatch the World Boxing Association (WBA) super featherweight title from the Puerto Rican.

Raphael Mensah (31-0, 23 KOs) is still in negotiation to challenge Machado (19-0, 16 KOs) following an order from the WBA to the champion to make a mandatory defence of his title against the Ghanaian.

The Ghanaian is relishing a fight away from home for the first time in his career under his new manager and trainer, Stacy McKinley, in the upcoming championship bout.

Raphael Mensah, who fought 31 times under former manager, Anthony Kermah of Landmark Promotions, without receiving any payment, believes it is time to fight for a world title in the United States of America.

In an interview, Raphael Mensah was quoted by boxing website boxingscene.com as saying that: "In Ghana I was the champion but I didn't get any money. The promoter there signed me and I didn't get money. Why? Somebody ‘chopped’ my money. Every time I fight he tells me he is building my record for me”.

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"I don't know why. I fought 31 big fights. I won the African title twice and the African Boxing Union title. I fight in front of huge crowds in Ghana — it is like the Las Vegas of Africa; it is the Mecca of boxing. Ike Quartey, Joshua Clottey, Azumah Nelson, Joseph Agbeko — they all fought there," he lamented.

The hard-hitting puncher relished the opportunity to fight at a bigger stage in the United States with better training facilities against another tough opponent in Machado.

Raphael Mensah noted that he was given a warm reception by Don King after meeting him for the first time despite signing with his promotions three years ago.

"I was in Ghana and I was told I got this opportunity to fight Machado and I may not get this opportunity again so I said okay, I will come to the America to see Don King for the first time.

"I signed with Don King three years ago with my old manager and never met him. My old manager would not let me meet Don King. My contract with my old manager was up in November and my new manager told me to come to the US to get better training.

"I came to the US a month ago and Don King said, "Rafael, now that you are here how can I help you?" I said 'yes, I will take this title to give to you. Don't worry about that.' I am here in the USA training and it will not be a problem.

“I am the man, I am Sweet Pea," Raphael Mensah bragged.