GBA, gov’t should pay attention to boxing – Joseph ‘King Kong’ Agbeko
Ghanaian professional boxer, Joseph ‘King Kong’ Agbeko, has called on the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) and government of Ghana to dedicate more attention to the boxing industry because “it has a great potential to create world champions as well as generate revenue and business for the country.”
The onetime, IBO and two-time IBF Bantamweight World Champion, Agbeko, who has a fight with Juanito Rubillar at the Southwest University Event Centre in El Paso, Texas, USA on Saturday, May 16, 2015; in a recent tweet on his official Twitter page, expressed his frustration over the less or no attention given to the Ghanaian Boxing industry on Easter Monday, April 7, 2015.
Read tweets below;
Kazakhstan National Boxing Team on training tour. Ghana Amateur Team is definitely sleeping by now pic.twitter.com/oPrNYpCy2H
— Joseph Agbeko (@Kingkong4real) April 7, 2015
Ghana amateur Boxing Team can never win Olympic medals if the government keep supporting only football. Save boxing and save the street
— Joseph Agbeko (@Kingkong4real) April 7, 2015
In a bid to find reasons to his tweets, TheAfricanDream in a phone interview with the former world champion, ‘King Kong’ Agbeko revealed that he was broken-hearted about how badly boxing has retrogressed in Ghana today;
“I made the tweet after I had trained with the national boxing team of Kazakhstan here in Las Vega, Nevada, who stopped by the Roy Jones Boxing Gym where I also train.”
The Ghanaian boxer, who is now with the Roy Jones Jnr Promotions further indicated, “Indeed, I was happy to train with another country’s team; I felt I would have been happier to see more Ghanaian boxers on international training tours even if I don’t necessarily train with them.”
Adding, “Ghana has had great boxers like DK Poison, Roy Ankrah, Azuma, Nelson, Ike Quartey, Nana Yaw Konadu and many others who brought honor, medals and revenue to the country, due to the necessary attention boxing received in their times.
“Today all that once-much given attention in the past decade and half is lost, and the boxing authorities are rather being over-reliant on government alone, not realizing the huge opportunity that lies in the private sectors of the country.”
Doubling as a chief of Sogakope in the Volta Region of Ghana; Agbeko further explained, “it seems football receives bulky attention from sporting authorities in Ghana, but there is a lot of money in the private sectors that could be roped in to help advance boxing.”
“The GBA needs a more powerful team to market and promote the game in a more exciting way, which will lure the private sector to invest into it because beside soccer, boxing is a greatly loved sport in Ghana and Africa,” he told TheAfricanDream.
In a suggestion, Agbeko opined that the best place to start the revival is at the amateur level, because “if Ghana can create more awareness, more attention and above all more support even for the young boys and women, who show their love and passion for boxing on the streets of Bukom in Accra, Ghana and other parts of the country; organizing competitions, providing logistical and moral support, and then the path to recovery will begin.”
When asked about his alleged ‘fight under the USA flag’ issue; Joseph Agbeko said, “indeed, some people have asked me to change my nationality to improve my fan base, but my love for my motherland, Ghana is unquenched and will never fight for any other country besides Ghana.”
On whom the best boxer of our time is, Agbeko in laughter over the phone said, “No doubt, Floyd
Mayweather is the best fighter in the world. He’s simply the best”.
About what his hobbies are, he answered, “I’m a very boring person, boxing is my life and I eat, sleep and dream about it always.”
The last time Abgeko fought competitively was on December 11, 2010; when he had a chance to regain his IBF title in a fight with Yonnhy Pérez in the semi-finals of the Showtime Bantamweight tournament.
That live-televised match from the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington in the USA saw him cruise to a unanimous decision victory.
The Ghanaian boxer says he will use this fight to propel himself for a crack again at the world title, because he misses fighting at the world championship level.
He promised his fans worldwide that he would take the world title back home to Ghana by the close of the year, asking all to support his comeback fight on May 16, 2015.
Agbeko has fought on Showtime and HBO against the likes of Abner Mares, Vic Darchinyan, Yonny Perez and Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Editor’s Note; This is a submitted piece by Oral Ofori, TheAfricanDream.