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Gideon Kofi Nyamekye writes: Boxing in Ghana, is there any hope?

Seven days remain until the 13th African Games in Ghana begin, and the people of this West African nation will be hoping that its athletes, particularly in boxing, would do very well.

Ghana is still among the African nations that have given birth to well-known boxers who have traveled the world showing off their skills by winning titles in every division of the sport. Ghanaians who were born between 1970 and 1990 will be aware of their passion for boxing and may even stay up late to watch their fellow citizens compete on television.

Every year, the quality of boxing in Ghana declines, despite the country producing outstanding fighters like Floyd Robertson, Roy Ankrah, Nana Yaw Konadu, Azumah ‘Professor’ Nelson, David Kotei, often known as D.K. Poison, and others.

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The Poison and Professor Era
After defeating Ruben Olivares to capture the WBC featherweight title in 1975, D.K. Poison made history in the nation by becoming the first Ghanaian to win a world title. On November 6, 1976, however, he was defeated by Danny Lopez in his third defense of the championship.

Following D.K. Poison’s victory, which produced Azumah “Professor” Nelson, the best African fighter in history, Ghana was left as the continent’s only boxing hope. Nelson has won two super featherweight titles and the WBC featherweight title. A Hall of Famer, he competed in twenty-four (24) world title bouts.

Ghana hoped to keep its reputation in world boxing after the Azumah Nelson and co. era with the rise of Joshua Clottey, Joseph Agbeko, and Emmanuel Tagoe.

Rising up the ranks of boxing, Clottey gave Miguel Cotto a very tough fight that ended in a split decision. In addition, he faced Manny Pacquiao in a highly anticipated fight that many believed the Ghanaian might have performed better than what he offered the world.

Following all the setbacks, Ghanaians found optimism in a young, vibrant boxer named Isaac Dogboe, who defeated Jessie Magdaleno by technical knockout in August 2018 to win the WBO super-bantamweight title.
Emanuel Navarrete, a Mexican boxer, dethroned Dogboe four months later via unanimous decision. Dogboe lost the rematch via technical knockout in May 2019. In an attempt to reclaim his glory, he has changed a number of things in his corner, including management and trainers.

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Joseph Commey

Wonder-kid Samuel Takyi emergence
Twenty-year-old Samuel Takyi made history in the Ghanaian boxing at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo by capturing a bronze medal in the quarterfinals against international David Avila Ceiber from Columbia. In the semifinals, American boxer Duke Ragan crushed his hopes of taking home the gold.

Takyi is a member of Ghana’s “Black Bombers” squad, which will be vying for gold medals in the 13th African Games in Accra, Ghana, from March 8–23, 2024.

Ghana Boxing’s Future
The Ghana Professional Boxing League (GPBL) was introduced in 2022 by the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) and Imax Media Group as a way to find potential future champions.

Many talented boxers have developed from the Ghana Professional Boxing League (GPBL), which is now run by the GBA for the future of boxing in the nation. Season two has already passed.

The hopes of Ghanaians are high for the next big thing. Azumah Nelson or D.K. Poison-level success is what they are yearning to witness.

By: Gideon Kofi Nyamekye

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