National super flyweight champion, Isaac Owusu, has challenged the Ghana Boxing Authority's (GBA) on its decision to allow Isaac Quaye to feature in a Commonwealth title fight when he was more qualified to fight in the said bout.
He argued that his current status as the national champion, coupled with his Commonwealth rating, makes him the eligible boxer for the bout against Don Broadhurst in Birmingham, West Midlands, UK, on October 31. Quaye lost to Broadhurst by a unanimous decision in the vacant Commonwealth super flyweight championship bout.
Owusu who visited the offices of Graphic Sports in the company of his coach, Ishmael Quaye, a.k.a. Breaker, said on December 26, 2007, he challenged national champion, Isaac Quaye, at the MTN Academy House and won the fight by a unanimous decision.
“I was presented with the Mortein (Men Only) title instead of the national one. Mr Samir Captan, Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) who decorated me with the title explained that the national title was not ready. Since then I have checked twice with Mr Captan but he keeps giving me the same excuse,” he said.
Coach Breaker told this paper that after his boxer's victory he got rated in the Commonwealth rankings and signed a contract to fight Lee Haskins on June 4, 2008, in London.
“But later, our agent, Papa Kermah, informed us that the fight had been cancelled because one of the boxers on the main bill was injured,” the visibly frustrated trainer told this reporter.
According to the Wisdom Gym trainer, on October 14th, 2008, their agent, Papa Kermah collected their passports to secure visas for the fight which had been rescheduled for October 31.
“Kermah later returned our passports to us explaining that the fight had been given to Quaye instead. We were very disappointed and felt cheated. We don't understand why the GBA should do this to us. To add insult to injury Quaye lost the fight,” Coach Breaker told this reporter.
However, attempts to reach Mr Kermah on phone for his version of the story failed.
The trainer however revealed that while preparing for the fight his boxer failed one of his medical tests which was for Hepatitis A. Owusu, however, tested negative for the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C tests.
“We spent GH ¢140 to treat it at Dr Ayi Armah's Plant Clinic in North Kaneshie, Accra between July 1 and 31 this year. So as at October my boxer was fine and good to go,” he said.
Mr Captan later in an interview explained that financial constraints on the part of the GBA had accounted for the failure to honour some boxers with the required titles.
“When a particular weight division's title is not available, another one is presented. I might have presented the title to the boxer on behalf of the GBA, but I don't remember anyone coming to me to ask me about titles. I think the best people to handle these matters are the GBA chairman, Moses Foh Amoaning, and King Tony Akwettey, a GBA member.
In another interview, the GBA Chairman, Moses Foh-Amoaning, said Owusu missed the opportunity to fight because, he tested positive for Hepatitis B. “He could have honoured the fight but for health reasons. By the rules when you fail the standard tests of which Hepatitis B is one, you will not be allowed to fight,” he explained.
On the issue of the title belt, Mr Foh-Amoaning said it was common knowledge that the GBA has withdrawn all old ones and is currently having new ones manufactured from South Africa. “We are having all the Ghanaian titles as well as the West African title belts redesigned. So very soon we will have new title belts for every weight division,” he said.
Story by Nathaniel Attoh