Boxing is a sport and a business, so there are many roles that others play to ensure a successful fight night.
We know of the boxers, who take the big stage and the coaches, cut men, referee, judges, doctor, card girls, mc/ring announcer and of course, the timekeeper/bellman.
Yours Truly had some opportunity time with 59 years old Edward Addo, Ghana Boxing’s only TIME KEEPER / BELL MAN over 25 years in practice at the Bukom Boxing Arena in Accra.
Here are excerpts-
Sammy Heywood Okine (SHO): Good Afternoon Sir, Please have you had a personal interview with the media before, I want to make history for you.
Edward Addo (EA): Hmm, Please No, No journalist or media has interviewed me, but I know my importance in the game, and you are the one to do this job.
SHO: Hahaha, Ok can you tell me about Ghana’s only Boxing Time Keeper?
EA: Yes, Edward Addo is a 58-year-old boxing enthusiast who has taken upon himself the responsibility of making sure time is right at boxing events.
SHO: Ok, are you married and what is your profession?
EA: I am married to my dearest Mrs Joana Babra Addo, and we are blessed with five children, including a caterer, nurse and students. I work with the Ministry of Defence in Ghana. I am at the Electricals Department of the Support Squadron at Juba Camp for the 49 Engineers Regiment. I am a civilian worker with the Armed Forces.
SHO: How long have you been a Bell Man/ Time Keeper, Is it rewarding or pay good?
EA: Oh As for the money it is not good, I just get something small for transport. Some promote don’t pay at all. It is sad, but we love the game and just want to support. I started somewhere in 1994, through following a friend called Teddy Lamptey who was an AIBA boxing referee instructor to boxing trainings and events. He encouraged me to get involved in boxing, and I still do the same thing for the past years, with no recognition or honour.
SHO: Have you done amateur before, or how did you start?
EA: Yes, I was in amateur before moving to the professional. In fact, I do both and I enjoy my work, You know there is the need for fairness and timing in sports, and I keep the time for boxers to get ready, box and stop.
SHO: Who are your favourite boxers?
EA: I love Floyd Mayweather of USA and George Ashie of Ghana.
SHO: Why do you love Mayweather?
EA: Because he is disciplined and listens to his coaches.
SHO: How do you see Ghana boxing, going high or low?
EA: I think it is going high, we have the arena, we have the boxers, we have the fans, we just need promotions and businesses to support the game.
SHO: How do you access the current GBA headed by Peter Zwennes?
EA: I think they are doing well, we can now see some discipline in the sport and we have a few potential world champions, some of whom are rated by the Commonwealth and World Boxing Groups, like WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO and IBC.
SHO: Why is it that people in Accra, Bukom love boxing?
EA: Yes we love boxing because that is our sport. We love to settle issues with a fight to know who is stronger and should be respected. Maybe due to poverty, the people fight to survive. Also living in a place like Bukom will definitely make you courageous and bold, not timid and not afraid. That is why they don’t fear to fight.
SHO: Do you have any boxing experience?
EA: I tried boxing training at Teddy Lamptey’s gym, but it was too hard, I could not do the daily road work and receive the punishment. I doff off my hat for boxers because the sport is not easy, that is why only disciplined boxers go far. I was disciplined, but am not strong, my role is the timing and belling.
SHO: Thank You