25.06.2004 Boxing

Great Chance For Ghana Boxing

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Ghana's James Toney will fight South African Mpush Makendi for the WBC International Middleweight title at the Accra Stadium on July 7.

To all intents and purposes, the championship must be seen as a godsend, not only for Toney, but all promising boxers in the country.Depending on how well the event will be organised, and what account Toney will give of himself, it could open doors for others too.

Given our pedigree in boxing, hosting major tournaments should be a matter of course, but not be seen as a privilege conferred on us anytime we get the chance to do so.

For a country that has produced the likes of Roy Ankrah, Klutei Robertson, Eddy Blay, Joe Tetteh, D. K. Poison, Azumah Nelson and Ike Quartey, among others, our esteem shouldn't have plummeted to so low.

Rather than have the patience to wait and mature before turning professional, many of our boxers today seek short-cuts to fame and wealth, often against sound advice. The result has been the churning out of half-baked professionals whose glitter is dimmed before is even recognised.

It is a good thing that something like the Mortein Boxing League has been introduced to heighten enthusiasm in the sport. It is, however, important that the right things are done for the good of Ghana boxing.

For instance, short-term benefits for people should not under any circumstances override the national interest, to the extent that mediocrity will be paraded in the name of boxing promotion.

Without quality material guided by masterhands, the desire to see more D.K. Poisons, Azumah Nelsons and Ike Quarteys to emerge from our soil will remain a mirage.Toney should make the best of the opportunity offered him by winning well and thus set himself on the road to fame and big time success.

Meanwhile, we welcome boxing legend, Azumah Nelson, back home from the United States where he was inducted into boxing's Hall of Fame.We reiterate the assertion that as far as Africa is concerned, he remains an icon worthy of emulation by the countless youth whose talent is beyond dispute but just need guidance to be groomed into future world champions.

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