Sports News Sun, 22 Dec 2019

2019 in Review: Biggest winners and losers in Ghana boxing

Remember Professor Azumah ‘Zoom Zoom” Nelson, Ike Quartey, D.K Poison, Joshua Clottey, and Joseph Agbeko? They, long before football put Ghana on the world map had done so by pummeling opponents for fun.

These days Ghana boxing has lost its luster and as the year ends it is painful to come to the realization that the country cannot boast of a boxing world champion. Richard Commey lost his title only a few days ago while Isaac Dogboe lost his title last year and failed to reclaim it earlier this year.

Now as we draw the curtains on 2019, Ghanaweb reviews the biggest winners and losers in Ghana boxing in 2019.

Though it would be a year to forget for the Ghana boxing Association (GBA) after losing two of its world titles, Ghana boxing was able to chalk a few wins at continental level despite the biggest loses at the World stages.

Below is our assessment of how Ghanaian boxers fared in the year 2019.

Biggest Losers

Isaac Dogboe

Ghana’s former World Boxing Organization (WBO) Super Bantamweight champion failed in his attempt to reclaim his title he lost to Emmanuel Navarette a year ago. The Royal Storm was handed a rematch by the Mexican in 2019 after defeating him a year before to win the belt.

Dogboe was determined to claim his title back but the undefeated Navarette proved too strong for the young Ghanaian whose dreams of unifying the division was dashed after his corner threw in the towel in round 12.

The Royal Storm had conditioned himself for the fight but the Mexican had also upped his game which made his work rate more effective. Dogboe’s sign with world acclaimed promoter Bob Arum and his Top Rank label and expected his stock to rise markedly, instead his form has dipped and his stock has fallen.

Dogboe has fought just twice under Top Rank and is expected to make his final fight to end his contract.

Patrick Allotey

The WBO African Super Welterweight also could not realize his dreams of winning the WBO junior middleweight title in September following a defeat to undefeated Mexican boxer, Jaime Munguia in California. The ‘Lone Ranger’ was unable to make the trip with his long term coach, Ofori Asare after the promoters failed to secure his visa.

Allotey’s hopes of becoming Ghana’s newest world boxing champion was dashed as the 23-year-old pugilist dropped him twice in round 3. The ‘Lone Ranger’s’ corner threw in the towel in round 4 after Allotey went down again. Allotey was shortly conveyed into an ambulance for further checks following the punishment meted to him by the Mexican champ.

Richard Commey

Early in the year, February to be specific, Richard Oblitey Commey restored Ghana’s World title after his masterclass performance to knock out Russian Isa Chaniev in Round 2 awarded him the vacant IBF Lightweight World title. Four months after Commey went on to make his first title defense where he also knocked out Raymundo Beltran in round 8.

The Ghanaian pocketed $370k from the fight and was previously awarded a car by Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo for putting the country on the map in the world of boxing.

However, the 32-year-old reign as a World Champion came to a halt on December 14 after being smashed by 22-year-old Teofimo Lopez at the Maddison Square Garden in the US. Commey’s abysmal performance was described as the worse be far as undefeated Lopez destroyed Commey in two rounds to capture the IBF lightweight world title.

Fredrick Lawson

Mexico’s Juan Ruiz shockingly stopped Fredrick Lawson in the fourth round of a scheduled 10-round junior middleweight match. Lawson who recently signed a deal with Top Rank was not able to handle Ruiz’s right hand which resulted in a deep cut on his face.

The fight was technically stopped in round 4 after the Ghanaian kept oozing blood. Lawson, however, returned to the ring with a six-round unanimous decision win over Carlos Winston Velasquez in Kissimmee, Florida, USA in October.

Biggest Winners

Dodzi Kemeh

IBF Africa welterweight champ made a claim for himself and defeated journeyman Frank Dodzi at Dodze in the Volta region via a technical knockout in the fifth round of their welterweight contest to take the IBF Africa title.

The boxer who has relocated to the motherland after a two year stay in the States has declared his readiness for a WBO World title in 2020.

Joseph Agbeko

Two-time IBF Bantamweight world champion, Joseph ‘King Kong’ Agbeko edged closer to another world title shot with a round 9 stoppage victory over Uchieng of Tanzania to successfully defend the WBO Africa bantamweight belt on November 2. This was Agbeko’s 3rd defense to the title after a unanimous decision victory over Shabani Hashimu Zuberi in April.

King Kong is currently ranked number two in the WBO Africa Bantamweight rankings. At age 39, the 2013 Bantamweight champion is very optimistic of winning another World title before hanging his gloves.

Joshua Clottey

In 2018, Clottey announced a surprise retirement after an impressive performance against Tanzania’s Mfaume Mfaume at the Bukom Boxing Arena in Accra. But that statement was short lived as the 8th Word Champion from Ghana returned to the ring in September to stop Tanzanian boxer, Azizi Mponda in round nine of a super welterweight bout.

The victory made it two wins in a row for 41-year-old Clottey since returning to the ring after more than three years of inactivity in the ring. ‘The Hitter’ was billed to make a trip to the United Kingdom on November 28 in a light-middleweight contest. However after agreeing to terms and flying to Ghana, his challenger, Tommy Jacobs called off the fight for reasons yet to be known.

Duke Micah

Bantamweight fighter, Duke Micah, ended the year with two victories from all two fights he was engaged in. The Olympian begun the year by destroying Mexico’s Roy Suarez Cruz in two rounds. The boxer showed no form of rustiness despite a one year wait for a fight.

The WBO Bantamweight title holder climaxed the year earning a unanimous victory over Janiel Rivera at the Barclays Centre on December 7. Micah knocked Rivera down three times on his way to an emphatic victory. The boxer has described next year as a defining one in his career.

Bukom Banku

We definitely cannot end the list without taking note of Braimah Kamoko’s first fight outside Ghana. The loud-mouth Ghanaian boxer was declared unfit to fight outside the continent by his previous promoters because doctors said his eyesight was delicate and not appropriate for a sport which involves constant punching of the head.

However, many years after he was declared medically unfit to box, Bukom Banku finally fulfilled his dreams of fighting outside the shores of Ghana by defeating German boxer, Rojhat Belgetekin in round 3 in the United Kingdom to win the World Boxing Union International title in September.

The ‘African Mayweather’ returned home to a rousing welcome which set the capital agog as his fans paraded through the streets of Accra. Banku was supposed to make a defense to the title on October 26th in Atlanta, US but the fight did not come off as expected. Kamoko has since vowed not to fight Bastie Samir in a return match despite losing his first career fight to the latter.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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