Former President Jerry John Rawlings has heaped praises on World Boxing Council (WBC) Hall of Famer, Azumah Nelson for his tough sense of discipline and described him as a role model
Speaking during a phone-in to ‘Personality Profile’ on Joy FM’s ‘Drive Time’ programme hosted by Lexis Bill on Thursday evening, the former President congratulated Azumah as he attains the age of 60 in a couple of weeks, wishing him the best, with the expectation that when he turns 75 he would still be able to demonstrate to all that one can maintain his health and physical fitness through discipline and hard work.
Former President Rawlings also spoke with pride about the fact that Azumah had maintained his sense of humility despite his global stardom.
“As successful as he became, he didn’t allow that to go to his head. Azumah retained his humility. Some people would have been spoilt a long time ago but not this man (Azumah).”
Sounding poetic, the former President who mentored Azumah during his early days when the boxer used to train at the Air Force base, said the last time he saw Azumah, he felt good.
“He was looking good, he was looking fit, he was looking strong. Turning 60 and looking the way he was meant he was still holding on to his iron-heart discipline. He was taking good care of himself. He was not neglecting himself and this speaks volumes for the man’s character.
Flt Lt Rawlings said he was glad to have read that he prevented Azumah from joining the military. He explained that he did not want the security that Azumah would get in joining the military to smother, contain or lessen the burning fire the boxer had in him.
The former President disclosed that Azumah’s lifestyle at the time was a source of motivation to his career and that is what he needed to be able to achieve the ultimate.
An obviously overwhelmed Azumah who had referred to the former President as ‘daddy’ during the programme managed a ‘thank you’ as his mentor concluded his compliments and indicated that he would follow up with a visit on Friday.
Flt Lt Rawlings has never hidden his admiration for the former WBC featherweight and Super Featherweight champion and recently urged new WBO Super Bantamweight champion, Isaac Dogboe to emulate Azumah’s qualities in order to maintain his title for a long period.
In 2014 President Rawlings launched Azumah’s biography, ‘The Professor’ during which he stated that Professor Azumah Nelson almost single-handedly flew the kite of Ghana in the early days of the Revolution and brought so much joy to millions across the country. He said Azumah was an embodiment of the sense of purpose, sense of mission and unity that had gripped the nation during the revolutionary period.