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20.04.2004 Sports News

Akotoku Academy to go international

By GNA

Accra, April 20, GNA - Plans have been completed to elevate Akotoku Academy, the cradle of professional boxing in Ghana into an international institution that will train boxers and their supporting staff from other parts of the continent as well.

Mr Kpakpo Reg Hansen Thompson, president of the Academy told the were concluded last month and work will begin on the new site soon. The president said the new facility will include classroom blocks, dormitories, recreational rooms, a video centre, combat rings, and a gymnasium complete with the state of the art equipment and everything thing that will be needed to train boxers to attain championship status. He said when completed, the Academy will become a showpiece on the continent and will attract foreign boxers to come and prepare for important fights instead of going to Europe and America to look for such opportunities.

Mr Thompson who is also the chief executive of James Quagraine Consulting Limited, a firm of financial consultants said there would be courses for boxing coaches, corner-men, referees and judges as well as journalists, in order to give the sport a new perception.

He said when that is achieved, boxing will entice literate and educated people whose mentality will be better tuned toward success and Ghana will once again dominate on the continent.

The president said guys who will be admitted into the Academy will be screened and only those who will be ready to subject themselves to camp discipline and adhere strictly to the rules of the academy, which will include formal education, will be considered.

He said for the first time in the history of the sport in the country, boxers would also have the opportunity to study human anatomy, psychology of boxing, sparring conditions and have access to correct scoring system so that they could appraise their own performances during fights.

Mr Thompson said he has assigned Peter Assandoh a former world rated boxer and a distinguished coach to go round the schools and the regions to scout for tough guys who are cast for boxing but do not have the opportunity to participate in the sport and enlist them in the academy.

He assured Ghanaians that the Academy would produce a world champion in the person of Kpakpo Allotey this year, adding that Azumah Nelson became champion in1984, Ike Quartey in 1994 and academy's tradition favours Allotey in 2004.

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