This decline is not synonymous to only Ghana. Numerous counting with rich boxing histories relate to this dwindling fortunes of boxing.
Mexico, for instance, can boast of the highest professional World Boxing Champions rate, yet in sharp contrast with success at the amateur ranks. A country which can boast of Julius Cesar Chavez, Salvador Sanchez, Ruben Olivares, Ricardo “Finito” Lopez, Juan Manul Maqiez Erik Morales, Mako Antonio Bamera. Current national boxing icon Saul Canelo Alvarez tuned pro at 15.
This is in sharp contrast to the Ghana story, where all but D.K Poison, former World Champion, graduated from the amateur level.
Do what accent for this varying phenomena of two prominent boxing tradition?
In Mexico, authorities claim poverty as a major reason. All of these boxers listed above are from very poor homes hence the quest to earn huge purse to support family is very attractive.
The geographical location of Mexico, a mere border away from USA, home to the most powerful boxing promoters, is also a contributing factor to the low amateur boxer retention rate in Mexico.
Obviously the power of the dollar forces young men to abandon Olympic glory…
For Mexico, it hasn’t been all gloomy for them since these young men eventually gets exposed to the best equipment, deals, so they still raise high the flag of Mexico.
Same cannot be said of Ghana. Recent successes of Raymond Narh and Duke Micah couldn’t translate into capital enough to impact local amateurs. We keep declining in our fortunes, and this, if not checked, will come with dire consequences. Wahid, who lost in the ongoing Olympics in Rio, if not well managed will never find his name in the folklore of Ghana boxing.
Amateur boxers need to know that there is much benefit in working up the amateur ranks before pursuing professionals’ challenges. The quest for cash over national glory at a young age should be discouraged. The GBF should put an internationally acceptable standard measure of progress for every amateur boxer to achieve as a requirement for PRO.
Governments should step up their game with good policies on sports, and boxing for that matter. A state of the art boxing gym at Korle Gonno will come in handy. Coaches and technical support for young boxers should be encouraged by way of coaching courses oversees to fraternize and upgrade on new trends in boxing.
A national boxing league should be reintroduced, a standing “Black Bombers” team always in place to partake in WABA sanctioned competition.
Also a humble appeal to corporate Ghana to put in massive support to bring back the glory of Ghana boxing.
Confucius, a Chinese State man once said “By three methods, we may learn wisdom;
First, by reflection, which is the noblest.
Second, by imitation, which is the easiest, and
Third, by experience, which is the bitterest.
A word to a wise……. I rest my case