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26.07.2005 Sports News

Adama Mensah's comeback annulled


Accra, July 26, GNA - The much-publicised comeback of Adama Mensah, former African Boxing Union (ABU) heavyweight champion will not materialise after all.

The decision to keep the former champion on perpetual ice arose after a meeting between Mr Moses Foh Amoaning, chairman of the Ghana Boxing Association (GBA) and Adama and his associates on one hand. At the meeting held at Sole Mio Restaurant at Osu, in the presence of Mr Eddie Blay, chairman of the Ghana Amateur Boxing Association (GABA) the GBA chairman persuaded Adama to terminate his comeback mission and utilise other opportunities available to him as a former champion.

Adama was billed to fight Patrick Owie of Nigeria over eight rounds in his comeback schedule at the Azumah Nelson Sports Complex on Friday, August 2.

Dilating upon the circumstances compelling the GBA to persuade Adama out of his proposed comeback, Mr Foh Amoaning said it was the policy of the GBA to develop young talents and not to encourage former champions to return into the ring at the peril of their lives. He said boxing was a dangerous sport and age was one of the parameters, which determined those who were at minimum or maximum risk when they participate in it and pledged the Association's determination to discourage old men from boxing.

The chairman said it was incumbent on former great boxers to turn trainers and groom the up and coming boxers in order to improve the existing low standard of boxing, particularly in the amateur rungs. He said instead of Adama going into a contest, the GBA would organise a "swan fight" for him, like a testimonial for footballers, on a Mortein Boxing Night to climax his retirement.

Mr Foh Amoaning said the retirement ceremony would be institutionalised as a policy of the GBA to glorify former champions and encourage the young ones to emulate their predecessors. The chairman said Adama was the best heavyweight boxer Ghana had ever had and it would be worthwhile to allow him to teach the young ones how to attain greatness instead of luring him into the ring to fight boxers fit to be his children.

Adama Mensah the former ABU heavyweight champion announced his intention to stage a comeback quite recently and was indeed scheduled to fight Patrick Owie, the Nigerian champion on August 2.

With a professional record of 24-4-0; 19 knockouts, Adama reigned as the ABU champion for three years before losing to Man Mountain Kilamanjaro of Zambia.

As an amateur, Adama was a Commonwealth Games silver medallist and joined the duo of Azumah Nelson and Mama Mohammed to win three gold medals for Ghana at the World Military Boxing Championship. He however missed out of the Olympic Games, as Ghana and many other African countries pulled out of the Global Games in Montreal in 1976 in protest against the tour of South Africa, which was an apartheid enclave at that time, by Spring Brooks rugby team of New Zealand, a country which was expected to participate in the Olympics.

Then in 1980, Adama could not fight at the Moscow Olympics because the US had led a boycott against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and Ghana was part of the embargo. 26 July 05