The President of the Ghana Boxing Federation (GBF), Mr. Bernard Quartey has asked for an increased number of slots allotted the national amateur boxing team, the Black Bombers in the upcoming Commonwealth Games.
In his view, what has been allocated to boxing was woefully inadequate, considering it stands the biggest chance of winning more medals for Ghana at the Games.
Addressing a press conference yesterday, Mr Quartey indicated that the GBF would meet and discuss with the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Mustapha Ussif the possibility of supporting an increased number of boxers at the Games.
He said out of a number of the 30 boxers in the team, it would be fair to at least be given half the number to participate.
“The nine slots is not enough. Boxing should be given similar support as football. We plan to meet the Minister of Youth and Sports to discuss our grievances.We have a comparative advantage in boxing so we must invest to put us in a better position to win medals. , it is very prudent to give additional slots. We have written to the sector minister but yet to hear from him” he added.
Commenting on recent trials held by the GBF, he disclosed that 30 boxers have been recruited to commence the second phase of preparation, awaiting a pre-camp ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in United Kingdom.
He said the three-day exercise was opened to all gyms in the 10old traditional regions, adding that the selectors will select the best nine for the Games.
Mr Quartey said the condition of the boxers was not the best and called for support from the government and corporate sector for help.
“We plead with the government and other benevolent bodies to come to our aid technically and financially. Our current state is not something to be enthused about; all because very little investment has been made in them.
“If a quarter of what we spend on football is spent on boxing, one will be marveled at the progress of the discipline. Most people agree that football is the passion of the nation but Idisagree,” he stated.
Head Coach of the Black Bombers, Dr Ofori Asare, said preparations have begun with the new team after the previous team was dissolved.
“We have gone through strenuous exercise with 249 bouts before settling on the 30 boxers. They are the nucleus of the team but we will trim the number to nine after the third and fourth phase. We still have more to do because some are new to the discipline and we have to work extra on them so they have in-depth knowledge on the rules and understand the sport,” he said.
Coach Asare added that, he will be elated should the team gain extra slots to occupy all 15 weight categories and expressed optimism about winning medals at the Games.
BY LINUS SIAW NARTEY