Mixed reactions greet Takyi’s pro move

The decision by Olympic boxing bronze medalist, Samuel Takyi to join the paid ranks, has triggered a googol of reactions from the sport’s experts.

Takyi, at the weekend declared his ‘hidden’ intentions of becoming a professional boxer without delay – barely 24 hours after being honoured by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for annexing Ghana’s only medal at the just-ended Tokyo Olympic Games.  

Known as the ‘Golden Ring Warrior’ Takyi is expected to be handed a gift of $10,000 for his awe-inspiring efforts at the quadrennial event, and an additional $20,000 as career development fund. Besides that gesture, the featherweight boxer is also to receive a brand new car.

It may have come as surprise, therefore, when the 20-year-old nailed his colours to the mast with regard to his professional future.

Head coach of Ghana’s amateur boxing team (Black Bombers), Ofori Asare – the man who guided Takyi to Olympic glory, says he is not all-too surprised by his lad’s decision.

“He told me about his decision to be a professional and I wished him well.

In such situations, it is difficult to say no to him, since many boxers have returned from the Olympics to become world champions. I can cite Isaac Dogbe as an example, who turned professional after the London Olympics and later became a world champion.

“If the decision Takyi took is coming solely from him and not influenced by people who have suddenly swarmed around him because of his success, then that’s good,” Coach Asare told the Times Sports yesterday.

The experienced Bombers’ coach hoped the Olympic bronze medalist has the right management team to guide him to the top and possibly win a world title for Ghana.

“For now, we can only advise him as he develops his career.”

Coach Asare’s view differs stridently from other experts including that of the newly-appointed Communications Director of the Ghana Boxing Association (GBA), Mohammed Amin Lamptey, who thinks the timing is wrong for the young boxer.

“Personally, I think the timing is wrong. Takyi needs to gather some more experience along the way; sharpen his tactics and technique a bit more before joining the paid ranks.

“He’s a good boxer, doubtless. But I would rather he fought in the next championship (not Olympics) – maybe after the Ghana 2023 African Games, gets more matured and then go professional,” Amin Lamptey asserted in an interview with the Times Sports yesterday.

Takyi assured the nation of a world title, shortly after making his big ‘pro-move’ statement. 

His Tokyo medal was also the first in boxing after 49 years since Prince Amartey clinched bronze at the Munich ’72 Games.

BY JOHN VIGAH

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