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19.03.2006 Business & Finance

Ataa Eddie fires back at critics as incompetent


Accra, March 19, GNA - Ataa Eddie Pappoe, a World Boxing Council (WBC) ring official on Sunday fired back at his critics for allegedly ruling against Osumanu Yahaya (Ossie Duran) in his Commonwealth title fight against Bradley Pryce of Wales, describing them as incompetent and ignorant.

All three judges including Ataa Eddie ruled unanimously - 112 - 118 (Eddie), 114-115 (Mickey Vann), 113-116 (Dave Parris) - in favour of Pryce who was a better boxer on the night as Duran failed to glitter in defence of his light middleweight belt.

Ataa Eddie told the GNA Sports that apart from the first three rounds which Duran exhibited some excellent boxing prowess, he completely fizzled out from the fourth round and allowed his challenger to take charge.

He said the Ghanaian even failed to capitalise on an earlier cut Pryce suffered adding, "I was surprised because I have never seen Duran in this state before; in fact he was completely out of breath." "Personally, I think Duran and his local manager Alhaji Toffic were looking beyond this fight and taught they were going to have a pushover," he told the GNA Sports.

Toffic after the Wales bout accused Ataa Eddie of scoring against his own countryman, Duran, adding, "we even paid for his trip." He also said Ataa Eddie refused to either get closer or speak with them prior to the fight and the hotel given them was not the best. But Ataa Eddie, who was voted SWAG Ring Official of the Year in 2005 said it was untrue that Toffic paid for his trip.

He said as part of the pre-fight arrangements, Toffic and Al Halmilton, a promoter based in UK were to reimburse Eddie after the bout but Toffic "never honoured his side of the arrangement".

"I was there as a ring official not as a protocol man so how could I have been in-charge of hotel arrangements, it only goes to buttress my point that some of our managers are incompetent and ignorant," he told the GNA Sports.

Giving an insight into the rules governing international fights Ataa Eddie said an official was not suppose to either be seen or talking to any of the boxers or even their managers prior to the fights; "so under the circumstances I just couldn't get closer to them."

"Even that, I managed to meet Aljahi at his hotel to brief him on what we (judges) would be look for including aggressiveness which carries 75 per cent and good delivery", he said.

A fax message from the British Boxing Board of Control Limited and signed Simon Block, General Secretary, and sighted by the GNA Sports exonerated Ataa Eddie of any wrong doings rather it commended him. "Mr Pappoe conducted himself properly and represented the Ghana Boxing Authority extremely well and would be welcome back here as a judge again in the future," the fax message sent to GBA Chairman Moses Foh-Amoaning said.

"Duran was a disappointment as I know he is a talented boxer. On my own score card I had him losing by 113-116 and from round 7 to 12 could only find one round in his favour and one drawn round. There were lot of missed punches in the contest but Bradley Pryce's work rate was always greater than that of Ossie Duran and in the end Pryce was a deserved winner," the fax said.

Ataa Eddie who, is also the President of Ring Officials of the Africa Boxing Union said it was important that refresher courses were organised for local managers and in deed those involved in boxing to avert a possible reoccurrence of such an incident. 19 March 06