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


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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