Joseph “King Kong” Agbeko; a Ghanaian professional boxer has called on the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) and the government of Ghana to devote more attention to the boxing because it has a great potential to create world champions as well as generate revenue and business for the country.
Onetime IBO and two time IBF Bantamweight World Champion Agbeko will be making his return in the USA on Saturday, May 16 in El Paso, Texas at the Southwest University Event Center in his fight with Juanito Rubillar. Agbeko has fought on Showtime and HBO against the likes of Abner Mares, Vic Darchinyan, Yonny Perez and Guillermo Rigondeaux.
In a recent tweet on his official Twitter page, the boxer expressed his frustration over the lack of attention given the sport as shown below in his tweet that was made on April 7, 2015 around midday from his base in the USA:
Kazakhstan National Boxing Team on training tour. Ghana Amateur Team is definitely sleeping by now pic.twitter.com/oPrNYpCy2H
— Joseph Agbeko (@josephagbeko01) April 7, 2015
In a bid to find out the reasons behind his tweet and catch up with the former world champion who is also a chief in the town of Sogakope in the Volta Region of Ghana, the owner and editor of #TheAfricanDream; Oral Ofori, made a phone call to him in his USA base in Las Vegas. During the call the boxer revealed how heartbroken he has become about how badly boxing has retrogressed in Ghana today.
“I made the tweet after I trained with the national boxing team of Kazakhstan here in Las Vegas Nevada during their training tour when they stopped by here at the Roy Jones Boxing Gym where I also train”, the boxer said to #TheAfricanDream. The boxer who is now with Roy Jones Jnr. Promotions said “even though 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.”
Agbeko said “Ghana has had greats like DK Poison, Roy Ankrah, Azuma Nelson, Ike Quartey, Nana Yaw Konadu and many others who brought a lot of honor, medals and revenue to it because of the attention the sports received in their times. Today all that needed attention has been lost in the past decade and half and the boxing authorities are being over-reliant on government alone, not realizing the huge opportunity that lies in the private sectors of the country.”
Explaining further, Agbeko said “it seems football receives the bulk of 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 to lure the private sector to pour money into it because beside soccer, boxing is a greatly loved sport in Ghana and Africa.”
The best place to start the revival is at the amateur level, 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, organize more competitions, provide logistical and moral support, then the path to recovery will begin “King Kong” suggested.
During the phone interview, #TheAfricanDream asked Joseph Agbeko whether it was true if he had been asked to fight under the USA flag, he responded saying some people have asked him to change his nationality to improve his fan base but his love for Ghana is unquenched and he shall never fight for any other country besides “my motherland Ghana.”
When asked who in his opinion is the best boxer on earth now, Joseph Agbeko loudly burst out over the phone and said “No doubt Floyd Mayweather is the best fighter in the world. He’s simply the best”. Ha again laughed when asked whether he has a hobby, to which he answered: “Am 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 world wide to take a world title back home to Ghana by the close of the year, asking all to support his comeback fight on May 16, 2015.
Source: Oral Ofori