Ghanaian boxing great Nana Yaw Konadu has cited the lack of qualified coaches and trainers as a major setback to Ghana’s quest to raise more boxers with world title prospects.
He said the bar had been lowered to accommodate a swath of coaches and trainers who do not possess the requisite background and certification and yet were responsible for handling both professional and amateur boxers.
“One of our biggest challenges is the quality of our coaches and trainers. They hang around the gym for a long time and suddenly become coaches and trainers without the required skills and certification – ultimately hurting the boxers they train,” he said.
Konadu, who dominated the WBC flyweight division in 1989 and the WBA Bantamweight division in 1996, also pointed to the lack of modern training equipments across the various gyms and the poor level of maintenance as another pertinent challenge facing the sport.
“A lot of the boxers don’t train under the best of conditions or with the right equipment required to build them into world champions.
“We boast of a lot of talented boxers across the country but their growth is also stifled or restricted because we dont invest in the sought of equipments and infrastructure that can enable a lot of them reach that high level,” he stressed.
Konadu, who works as the Regional Technical Director for the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) and the National Sports Authority (NSA) in the Bono Region, appealed to the government to ramp up investments in boxing as it had the potential and prospects to produce a lot of world champions for the country.
He made these comments on BA TV’s Anopa Busuo Sports where he eulogised his friend and former WBO bantamweight winner, Alfred Kotey, who recently died in the United States to an undisclosed illness.
He described Kotey as a legend whose contributions to the sport would never be forgotten.
“He was a very good friend and a great asset to the boxing fraternity. We kept in touch whilst he was in the States and even planned some events together. Indeed, his demise is a big loss to the boxing family.”
The late Kotey, 52, (26-16-1,17KOs) affectionately nicknamed “The Cobra” was Ghana’s first world champion in the WBO division from 1994 to 1995 and also a commonwealth title winner at the regional level from 1989 to 1990.
BY NANA BENTSI ODURO