By Oral Ofori
It has been two years and two months since Ghanaian boxer Ray ‘Sugar Ray’ Narh stepped into a ring to fight, that fight however saw him record his second ever loss to Mike Alvarado of the USA in Las Vegas Nevada. Come the 14th of June this year, Ray Narh tells me all that is set to change as he battles Ronald Cruz in a 10 rounder tune up Welterweight fight in Bethlehem Pennsylvania.
The June 14 fight will be televised live on NBC’s sports network. For ‘Sugar Ray’, it is an opportunity to rise to the occasion after being away for over two years. The Ghanaian Welterweight boxer who is now based in New York tells me that he expects nothing but a win as he intends to use the stage to reborn both himself and his career like Christ was born in the days of biblical Bethlehem.
Listen to the audio of my interview with Ray Narh here.
Raymond explains to me that the reasons accounting for his long absence are both personal and also due to the fact that he has run into a streak of unfortunate fates that have seen many of his scheduled fights and contracts being cancelled. That however did not stop him from staying positive and continuing to prepare himself for yet another opportunity, an attitude which has culminated into the Ronald Cruz clash. He specifically was also thankful to all of the people who extended a hand of encouragement during his days of trials, some of these people were his twin brother in the UK; also named Ray Narh, Kwame Asante, Daniel Copson, Debbie Craig and Jacob Zwennis.
As I spoke to Ray, I could sense the hunger in his voice coupled with his passion to prove himself as a boxer. He sounded like a hungry lion that was ready to devour its pray mercilessly and given the fact that some pundits of the game in the USA have said his last performance was unimpressive, he assured his fans that he is ready to prove to all that his wins have been no fluke. I guess the entire world will have to wait to see whether this will be the case come June 14, 2013.
When I asked Ray Narh who he admires the most in Ghanaian boxing annals, he did not mince words in singing the praises of Nana Yaw Konadu Yeboah; the Ghanaian boxing legend who won world titles in two different weight divisions.
According to Ray, Nana Konadu, now retired and living with his family in Sunyani Ghana, is someone he has a lot of respect for because of his cool calm collected demeanor. Ray feels Konadu took the time to master his trade and never let a defeat stop him from making a glamorous comeback. He went on to say that great Ghanaian boxing legends like Azumah Nelson and Ike ‘Bazooka’ Quartey are also worthy of mention.
On the issue of why the game of boxing is suffering a nose dive in Ghana, Ray said he feels the problem could be economical, explaining that the allure of financial perks professional bouts promise is leading a lot of amateur fighters to explore their chances in that rank.
The misfortune however is that most of these amateur fighters turn pro do not invest enough time into honing their skills and tend to fall away in their quest to chase big money fights. He advised upcoming boxers to land more fights and grow from experience before venturing into the professional realms and not let money be their sole motivation.
34 year old Ray Narh has been a professional boxer since 2001 with a fight record of 2 loses and 25 wins of which 21 are by knockouts. He was born on July 21, 1978 in Akotolante which is well known to be a breeding grounds of many a great Ghanian boxing legends. He was part of the team that represented Ghana in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney Australia.