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22.06.2004 Boxing

Eddy Blay Laments Dearth Of Boxing Trainers

By Graphic Sports
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Former boxer, Eddy Blay, has asked for a training programme for boxing trainers in local gyms to upgrade their knowledge on the sport.“If good trainers exist in the local gyms the national team will be fed with good materials.

“What we have as trainers in the gyms now are not trainers. They lack the basic skill and technique to turn talents into world beaters,” he told the Graphic Sports in an interview.Mr Blay, a Commonwealth Games gold medallist and one-time Chairman of the Ghana Amateur Boxing Association (GABA),therefore, advised that the GABA organise training programmes for these boxing coaches in local gyms to upgrade them to appreciable standard.

Ghanaian boxers will be missing at the Athens Olympics in August following their failure to qualify from the All Africa Games and later the African championship. Mr Blay blamed it on the lack of a competent hand to guide the Black Bombers.

The Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA), which handles professional boxing in Ghana, has Peter Essandoh, also a former boxer, on its staff as Technical Director.Essandoh was sponsored for a training programme on boxing coaching but has confined his expertise to administrative duties at the GBA since his return, while his association with a few boxers has been in his private capacity as a trainer.

But Mr Blay condemned the arrangement, maintaining that Essandoh is a waste in his present capacity as Technical Director.“If anything at all, he should be placed in charge of the Black Bombers. After all, he is a former boxer and also a qualified coach with credible credentials.”

Mr Blay said the decline of amateur boxing in the country has affected the professional aspect, insisting that it is one of the reasons that have accounted for Ghana's inability to produce credible boxers after Azumah Nelson and Ike Quartey.

“Good professional boxers have almost always been good amateurs,” he emphasised, while asking for co-operation and co-ordination of programmes between GABA and GBA to seek a common interest of promoting Ghana boxing. Eddy Blay won Olympic bronze as a boxer at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and gold at the 1962 and 1966 Commonwealth Games.