Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Tagoe challenges AIBA — Over ban on headgears for amateur boxers

Story: Kweku Zurek
Napoleon Tagoe

Former Ghanaian middleweight champion, Napoleon Tagoe, says the International Boxing Association (AIBA) decision to ban amateur boxers from competing with headgears will result in young fighters retiring early or suffering serious brain injuries.
AIBA's executive committee unanimously voted to add headgears to amateur competition in April 1984 but in  June last year, it  banned the use of headgears.However, Tagoe owner of the Will Power Boxing Gym, believes that this practice is dangerous, calling for the re-introduction of headgears  for amateur boxers.He insists that all the amateur boxers under his tutelage will fight with headgears.
He said: “It is a very bad decision; these youngsters are not yet professionals and might not get to that level because of the injuries they  will  sustain in their youth.
“As a professional boxer, I got paid to be hit on the head but some of these amateurs start as early  as 17 years, just imagine them taking a few heavy punches directly to the head for no money.
“My new project with Goldstar Airlines aims to find talented amateur fighters between the ages of 15 and 17. We were at the Jamestown Roundabout last Sunday, this week it will be Gbese also in Accra, and all the amateur fighters will wear headgears for adequate protection”, Tagoe stressed.
Tagoe also contended that the practice of professional boxers engaging in strenuous sparring sessions when they were not preparing for fights was another practice that had to be discouraged.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Banku-Napari off?

Story: Kweku Zurek (Originally published in the Graphic Sports on 22/9/14)

McDon seperating Banku and Napari at a press conference 
McDon Multimedia Promotions, promotors of the intended “No Retreat, No Surrender” bout between Bukom Banku and John Napari are determined to find a new opponent for Banku after his opponent was declared unfit by an official of the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA).
The undefeated duo of Banku and Napari were set to clash for the WBA International Cruiserweight championship at the Accra Sports Stadium on October 3 until GBA medical officer, Dr Samuel Armah Acquaye last Friday ruled out Napari after a medical examination.
“During the examination, I found out that Napari was unfit to fight so I ruled him out. He came to me and I advised him that he couldn’t fight not only in this fight but for some time till he cures himself,” Dr Acquaye told Accra based radio station Starr FM.
The decision represents a huge set-back for Napari (18-0-0), who was unavailable for comment but had earlier expressed his delight with making a return to the sport after a two-year absence.
However, McDon Atitsogbe, CEO of McDon Promotions says he is unperturbed by the development and has declared that his outfit has already begun the search for a new opponent who will take on Banku on a new date.
Mr Atitsogbe said:“The GBA has not called-off the fight, the fight is definitely coming on and we are just changing Banku’s opponent. I don’t want to declare the name of the new opponent until everything is sealed; Banku will still fight but not on October 3.
“Napari was just declared unfit, I think he has some issues and it will affect his health if he fights. We should just respect the medical and move on, people say he can still fight but personally if he has been declared unfit we have to let go and move on “, he added.
According to Graphic Sports sources, former Black Bomber Maxwell Amponsah alias Black Wolf leads Ugandan slugger, Hamza Wandera and Nigerian brawler, Michael Gbenga in the race to replace Napari with Ghanaian cruiserweight contender, Prince George Akrong being an outsider.
In a related development, the GBA has denied ruling-out Napari from fighting adding that a decision will only be made after a meeting with all the interested parties on Tuseday.

“We asked Napari to go for a medical and as at now we have not received the results. Officially the GBA Board has not decided anything; an announcement will only come-out on Tuesday", said GBA spokesperson, Gifty Naa Darkoa Dodoo.

Monday, 8 September 2014


They are on a cool website called The website helps me keep track of some of my online articles that have been published over the past year.
Check it out here -

Monday, 1 September 2014

‘Last 150 metres did the trick’

An ecstatic Martha Bissah with her parents Kwame Adu and Afua Ampomah shortly after touching down at the airport
Golden Girl Martha Bissah has described as most difficult the last 150 metres of the 800 metres race that won her the ultimate prize at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China.

In the company of the Ghana contingent who arrived at the Kotoko Airport last Saturday to a rapturous reception, Martha said she drew on her reserves of energy to sprint past the leading pack and eventually pull away from the chasing bunch from the final 150-metre mark, much to the surprise of the crowd.

“They were surprised at my victory because Ghana is known for producing short distance runners and not middle or long distance runners. But I bet you, the last 150 metres was the most difficult”, she told the Graphic Sports with a beaming smile.
A 17-year-old former Aduman Senior High School student, cut a big slice of sporting history in a time of 2:04.90 minutes to beat the much fancied Hawi Alemu Negeri of Ethiopia and Germany’s Mareen Kalis to second and third place respectively and in the process set a new national record in the two-lap race.

Martha’s historic feat was the nation’s maiden Olympic gold medal at any level and it makes her a prospective candidate for a scholarship to join 15 other Ghanaian athletes already studying in American colleges.
She was grateful to her coach Isaac Nii Odartey Lamptey, a corporal of the Ghana Police Service, and Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) president, Professor Francis Dodoo, for their invaluable counsel which led to her achievement.
“I am grateful to my coach and guardian, Isaac Lamptey, for all the support he has given me, especially when I was about to write my final exams. Prof Dodoo’s advice about sticking to my lane in the early stages of races was also very crucial,” she said.
The Olympic gold medalist also issued a passionate plea to the government to give more support to athletics.
Later in an interview, an ecstatic Prof Dodoo attributed Martha’s performance to experience that she gained from participating in various competitions, adding that her achievement in Nanjing was a stepping stone to better things.
“What Martha did in China was unbelievable. She ran a mature race and that came from the number of events she had run in before then.
“She went to the African Championships in Morocco where she lost to Ethiopia’s Negeri finishing in third place and before that, she was in Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games. Those events helped her development and she has made the nation very proud,” Prof Dodoo said.
Martha, who received half of her per diem allowance in China, is expecting to be rewarded with $5,000 from the government in recognition of her historic feat.

Ghana's first Olympian Martha Bissah

Monday, 16 June 2014

FA Cup winning goal remains my best — Bancey By: Kweku Zurek

Kumasi Asante Kotoko striker, Seidu Bancey, says his late winner against Inter Allies in the MTN FA Cup final is the most important goal of his career so far.
Seidu Bancey ghosts way from his marker
Kotoko were drawing 1-1 with Allies in the second-half of extra time and the tie looked destined for a penalty shoot-out when Bancey struck in the 115th minute to hand the Porcupine Warriors victory.
The 24-year-old  told Graphic Sports that, the goal was all about anticipation and stamina not beauty.
“Last year we lost painfully in the final of the FA Cup to Medeama SC at the same venue, so we were determined not to fail again.
“This is the most important goal of my career as we couldn’t afford to go through the penalty shoot-outs. With that goal, my teammates and I made history by winning the first double for Kotoko” he added.
“The goal was a team effort and we used our experience and superior stamina levels to defeat Allies, Bancey stated.
The striker also distanced himself from rumours that had linked him to Sudanese club, Al Meirrekh, stating that he has a year left on contract with Kotoko.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Kotoko win MTN FA Cup

The Kotoko team celebrating their eighth FA Cup triumph
Kumasi Asante Kotoko made history at the Accra Sports Stadium yesterday after defeating Inter Allies 2-1 in the final of the 2013/2014 MTN FA Cup to complete their first-ever league and cup double.
The game was as close as the scoreline suggests, with Kotoko needing an opportunistic strike in the dying embers of the game as Seidu Bancey capitalised on a goalkeeping blunder in the 115th minute to score the match winner which secured them their eighth FA Cup trophy .
Kotoko opened the scoring in the eighth minute through winger Richard Mpong, who pounced on a weak header from Inter Allies defender, Stephen Owusu Ansah, and raced with the ball into the opponents’ half before firing an unstoppable shot past goalie Osei Kwame.
The Porcupine Warriors continued to dominate the exchanges in the first half with Allies content with occasional counter-attacking forays.
Allies returned a rejuvenated side in the second half and Coach Herbert Addo made his first substitution with Dauda Diop replacing centre-back Baba Mensah in the 50th minute.
The dominance of the league debutantes paid dividends when Talla Ndiaye levelled the tie with a sublime volley after a fortunate deflection in the penalty box.
Kotoko striker, Bancey, had a penalty appeal waved off by referee William Agbovi in the 69th minute before Allies replaced goal-scorer Ndiaye with Simon Martey in the 73rd minute as both sides ended normal time level.
In the first half of extra-time, Kotoko midfielder Michael Akuffo came close to scoring when his sublime free-kick rattled the crossbar after substitute Prince Baffoe was felled outside the penalty box.
Bancey’s 115th minute winner broke Allies’ hearts and sent Kotoko faithful into delirium when he reacted quickly to fire home after goalie Osei Kwame had parried a fierce drive from his Kotoko teammate Jordan Opoku.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Akaminko in US for surgery by Kweku Zurek.

Ghana defender Jerry Akaminko last Saturday was only a few minutes from making the final Black Stars' 23-man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup when he injured his left ankle  the Ghana-Netherlands friendly in Rotterdam.
The Turkey-based defender even though ruled out of the mundial will travel with the squad to the United States to undergo surgery on his fractured left ankle after he landed awkwardly in an aerial challenge in the 90th minute.
Black Stars team doctor, Adam Baba, confirmed  that Akaminko would miss the tournament after a medical examniation on the ankle in Rotterdam last Saturday night.
“X-rays have revealed that there is a fracture to his left ankle joint-a fracture of the fibula bone. What will have to be done is surgery.
 “If surgery is done and depending on his rehabilitation we will give him at least three months to be able to fully recuperate and start playing”, Baba stated.
Meanwhile, Coach Kwesi Appiah has expressed disappointment after injury ruled out defender Jerry Akaminko from the World Cup.
“It is unfortunate that Jerry has got to face this,” Appiah told
“Looking at the training he  had with the team we had lots of hope for the World Cup.
“All we have to do, apart from the support we will offer him is to pray for him to come back stronger.”, he stated.
The president of the Ghana Football Association, Kwesi Nyantakyi, has also expressed his sympathy to the defender.
“This is a bitter blow for Jerry and the entire Ghana team. When he went down yesterday I felt something in my stomach. We all feel very sorry for him,” he said.

Accam gutted! by Kweku Zurek

David Accam-Dropped

Ghana and Helsingborg IF midfielder, David Accam has expressed disappointment at being left out of the Black Stars 23-man squad for the World Cup in Brazil.
The 23-year-old was axed together with Leicester City’s Jeffery Schlupp and the injured Jerry Akaminko but he believes his exclusion was because he was not given the opportunity to convince Coach Kwasi Appiah in the friendly against Holland.
The Right to Dream graduate  in a post on his official Facebook page said,  “It's been an honour to be part of the national team. I'm disappointed not to have been selected for the final squad, and not have the opportunity to prove myself against Holland, but that is finished now.
“When the squad was announced, I took the first flight back to Sweden and my focus is now 100 per cent on Helsingborg’s next game against Falkenberg. God knows best!”, he concluded.
Accam is yet to make his competitive debut for the Stars after receiving two call-ups including a starting role in a 6-1 drubbing over a local select side in a pre-World Cup friendly in Accra. 

Sunday, 25 May 2014

FANS COUGH-UP CASH... TO WATCH BLACK STARS TRAIN by Kweku Zurek @gskzurek on Twitter

Stranded fans loitering outside the Accra Stadium.

Black Stars fans who thronged the Accra Sports Stadium last Wednesday to watch the team train were left stranded outside the walls of the stadium after security personnel demanded they purchased tickets for the First Capital Plus Premier League clash between Accra Hearts of Oak and Inter Allies later in the day before they would be permitted into the stadium.
The  fans were caught off-guard as the security insisted they were only enforcing a directive from the Hearts management who feared the fans would remain in the stadium to watch the league match without paying.
An estimated  400 fans, eager to watch Ghana’s provisional World Cup squad at train, were compelled to pay GHc4 for the Hearts-Inter Allies match tickets to gain access to the stadium.

Muheeb Saeed, Public Relations Officer of Hearts, told Graphic Sports that tickets sale for last Thursday’s  28th week game was due to begin at 12 noon and if fans were allowed to have free access to the stadium before gates officially opened, attendance to the game would be disrupted.
“We are not cashing in on the Black Stars; our position is that it will be impossible to eject fans after the Stars finish training around 12.00pm. So we are asking the fans to co-operate by purchasing the tickets which entitle them to a Hearts reserve team clash against Allies and the league game itself,” he explained.
However the move backfired as a few fans stayed behind for the Hearts - Allies. Hearts won the game 1-0.


The undercards of the Bukom Banku-Ayitey Powers, Judgement Night bill which came-off last Thursday night at the Accra Stadium did not disappoint, with all six contests including a first round stoppage-ending in Technical Knock-Outs (TKO).
The night got-off to a brilliant start in the first bout of the night which saw nigerian boxer, Gifted Chiori who is based in the USA recording a sixth-round TKO over his Ghanaian opponent, Daniel Adjei Sowah in a bout that was scheduled for eight rounds.
The light middle weight bout between, Obodai Sai and Nigerian, Abolaji Rasheed continued in the same vein with Rasheed the aggressor. In round three, Rasheed opened a cut on Sai’s eyelid which bled profusely for the remainder of the fight.
But, Sai under the tutelage of Nii Djanie Kotey dominated the remaining rounds which sent Rasheed backing into the ropes. In one of such moments in round seven, Sai connected with a flurry of unanswered uppercuts and hooks but the Nigerian was saved by the bell.
However, Rasheed failed to respond to the bell for round 8 handing Sai the win by TKO.
In arguably the fight of the night; an eight round bantamweight contest between Manyo Plange and Albert Commey. The former olympian, Plange handed Commey a lesson in the sweet science of boxing. He constantly punched his opponent with cheeky ease while evading all his feeble attempts at being hit.
In round four, Plange continued to hararss his opponent, backing him into a corner and landing solid combinations. The bout came to an abrupt end when referee Michael Neequaye saved Commey from further punishment with the bout being ruled a TKO in favour of Plange.
The eight-round middle weight contest involving  Sadiq Musah and the undefeated, Ahmed Saraku ended abruptly in round one with the referee, Erasmus Owoo stopping the bout in one of several bizarre refereeing decisions which characterized the bill.
After Musah failed to respond to several powerful blows to his head from Saraku, referee Owoo stopped the bout to the displeasure of Musah who clearly wanted the fight to continue leaving Saraku to win by TKO.
The National Bantamweight Championships between Galley Cudjoe and Prince “Octopus” Djanie was marred by another contentious decision by referee Emmanuel Brenya which handed Dzanie victory in round 6 by TKO.
Cudjoe had earlier lost a point in round 2 for a low-blow with Djanie dominating the other rounds, the bout was however stopped by a combination of the referee and a towel thrown-in by Cudjoe’s corner.
In the last bout which preceded the entry of Bukom Banku and Ayittey Powers to the ring, Maxwell Amponsah landed a huge right hook to George Banson’s face which sent him sprawling onto the canvas ending their national light heavyweight championships bout.
Banson failed to recover from that blow with the fight being ruled a TKO victory for Amponsah.