Osei-Boateng ACCRA (Xinhua) -- Boxing is one of the many
well-known sporting disciplines in Ghana. The West African country
has a rich boxing history and boasts very talented and elite boxers
including former world champion and international Boxing Hall of
Fame inductee, Azumah Nelson.
Six of Ghana’s nine world champions
have emerged from Bukom, a small underprivileged fishing community
in the national capital, Accra.
At Bukom, where boxing is reckoned as
a serious business, there are over 20 boxing academies dedicated to
grooming talents for the next generation of Ghanaian boxers.
Theophilus Edwin Addo is the coach of
Akotuku Boxing Academy located in the area.
The academy aims to give young boxers
the opportunity to learn the rudiments of the sport at a tender age
and develop them into world champs.
The boxing school has been in
existence since the late 1970s.
Here, very young boxers from age nine
are groomed and taught how to fight.
“Our objective is to just train and
get the best out of the boys we have here,” Addo told Xinhua in an
“We want to live by the legacies of
the legendary D.K. Poison, the Azumah Nelsons, and the Ike Quarteys.
So we are following that suit; that is the main aim we are looking
up to. That is, we want to get a world championship.”
The Akotuku academy gets its boxers
from talent hunting while others come on their own to learn the
rudiments of the game.
Emmanuel Clottey, a 15-year-old young
boxer who is training at the academy, was brought to the gym by his
father who was once a boxer in Bukom, a community regarded as the
hotbed for fighters.
The teenager spends hours each day
after school at an out-of-doors gym, aiming to realize his dream of
becoming Ghana’s future world title holder.
“I want to be somebody like Azumah
Nelson and Floyd Mayweather. That’s what I want to be in future,”
Seidu Abdul Fatau, a senior high
school graduate, trekked hundreds of kilometers all the way from
northern Ghana to join the Akotuku Academy as a trainee.
He told Xinhua that he was happy to
follow his passion and advised young Ghanaians to join them as
perhaps they could become the country’s next world champion.
“The advice I have for the young
brothers and kids around is just to tell them that if you see that
boxing is your talent, try to push yourself. Don’t wait till the
time will pass by.”
Though the various boxing gyms have
produced world class fighters for Ghana, they lack basic equipment
and continue to train in dilapidated places.
The boxers are therefore calling on
the government to support them by investing in the sport.
“To the government, we are asking them
to come to our aid because we are already doing a yeoman’s job,
producing people to represent Ghana at every level of competitions,”
“If we get a little equipment to
augment what we are doing, we will be so much happy and Ghana will
not ever lack medals at any games.”