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04.04.2006 Sports News

Amateur boxers to join the paying ranks

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Accra, April 4, GNA - Amateur boxers in the Greater Accra will soon start earning allowances for their fights to motivate them to remain in the amateur ranks and develop to their fullest potential before turning professional.

The decision is a clear departure from the prevailing norm where amateur boxers are not given any monetary remuneration but are given items like towels, gum shields and bandages.

In an interview with the GNA Sports, Mr Gideon Quartey, Vice Chairman of the Greater Accra Amateur Boxing Association said such incentives would go a long in assisting the boxers, since they face enormous social burdens and have to look elsewhere for their survival. Mr Quartey said the situation often place a lot of pressure on owners of boxing gyms, who virtually become parents of such amateur boxers by clothing and feeding them which at times, become too much for the gym owners to bear.

The Vice Chairman said the motivation for the idea of establishing the allowance scheme is to ensure that amateur boxers get some regular source of income so as to take the minds of the boxers rushing to turn professionals just to make some money to ensure their survival. "For now, what we plan doing as an Association is to pay each boxer about 50,000 cedis per fight from our own resources and to increase the amount as more funds flow in".

Mr Quartey said when the allowance system is sustained it would go a long way in bringing about some stability in the national amateur boxing team, the Black Bombers, since most of them leave the team immediately after attending one major tournament to join the paying ranks.

"When there is consistency in the team, the country will soon reclaim her glorious past where they dominated in the amateur ranks on the continent.