'Boxing Has Huge Potential'
After his extensive tour of the boxing dome of Bukom, an Accra suburb, Sports Minister Elvis Afriyie Ankrah believes the sport abounds in great potential.
The Minister, in the company of the acting National Sports Authority (NSA) boss, Alice Atipoe and GBA scribe R O Lamptey, visited the Ato Quarshie, Will Power, Black Panther and the Akotoku Academy Gyms to have a first hand information about the state of the sport and how to support it.
After interactions with coaches , trainers and some of the trainees from the gyms, he commended them highly for their efforts despite the precarious challenges such as – lack of proper equipment, confronting them.
Having produced seven world champions in the persons of David Kotei Poison, Azumah Nelson, Ike Quartey, Alfred Kotey, Nana Yaw Konadu, Joshua Clottey and Joseph Agbeko, boxing , as observed by the new sports chief , really deserve more attention.
Inspired by the enthusiasm of the boxers he sighted at the various gyms, he promised, as a matter of urgency, to upgrade the gyms to basic boxing standards, saying 'The environment doesn't inspire, even ventilation is a problem, and despite the odds, you have been able to produce great boxers.
'I don't think it takes a lot to bring some of these gyms to the basic boxing gym standard.'
He, therefore, pledged government's support in that regard within the short term.
But in the long term, he promised the construction of a modern boxing gymnasium in the area, after a visit to one of the gyms with poor ventilation which stirred him to remark 'This can't continue, it's an eyesore, but don't give up, things will be alright soon.'
'I am here to see the real situation on the ground so I can report back to the president who has plans of putting up a boxing gym in the area soon.
'Boxing has huge potential to win the country more laurels, as I indicated earlier, my ministry will give attention to all the sporting disciplines. I would like to appeal to the corporate world to support the less financed sports,' he added.
Earlier , the Minister visited former IBF Bantamweight Champion Joseph Agbeko at his gym, Bridge Boxing Gym, in Accra to urge him on to go all out in his impending vacant IBO World title fight against Colombia's Luis Melendez.
By Kofi Owusu Aduonum