Home Sports FEATURE: What I learned from boxing’s return!

FEATURE: What I learned from boxing’s return!

I was at the Seconds Out Gym in Accra to witness the maiden boxing bout after the COVID-19 outbreak and I liked what I saw last Thursday.

It was a small show by Fight Ready Promotions due to COVID-19 restrictions but very intense as boxers look to start on a bright note.

The enthusiasm to make a return to the ring by these fighters in the midst of so many restrictions show how professional and hungrier they are.

In all these, I was bent on assessing their performances especially when most of them were making an appearance for the first time in nine months.

There were others who were fighting for the first time this year but gave up good performances and I was impressed.

Despite focus been on America-born Ghanaian fighter, Eslih Owusu’s debut in Ghana, there were other home-based fighters who showed their worth with scintillating displays.

The likes of high-flying Faisal Abubakar, Jacob Dickson and Jacob Laryea among others were slick on the night without any sign of rustiness.

It was indeed a night of bliss and I really enjoyed every bit of it. But during the various bouts, there were so many many observations that I would love to share with readers.

Mismatch

I realised from most of the fights that either some opponents were not well-conditioned to fight or simply not a match to their colleagues.

Owusu, Abubakar, Dickson and Laryea proved to be on a different level to their opponents with their performances.

It was obvious in most of the bouts who was going to win but I expected their opponents to give off good fights but that never happened.

While Owusu stopped Benjamin Ankrah in three rounds, Abubakar, Dickson and Laryea’s victories didn’t go beyond round two. That is what I’m talking about.

I’m not refusing to give credit to the winners but I only felt other great oppositions could have tested them enough than the boxers they fought.

I have never been in favour of mismatches because it usually exposes our fighters at the international level despite having built an impressive record back home against journeymen.

A clear example was Habib Ahmed’s sixth round knockout defeat to Gilberto Ramirez in 2018 when he challenged the Mexican for his WBO super middleweight title.

At the time, Ahmed was undefeated in 26 professional bouts, a record he had built back home against walkovers.

However, in his real test against Ramirez, he struggled throughout the bout and could only last six rounds. Going forward, our fighters must test themselves with high profile opponents to prepare them adequately for the future.

Rustiness

Despite having good fights on the night, I believe several of the fighters suffered from ring rust after a while. I wasn’t surprised because it’s been long training without fights.

It was expected and it really contributed to most of the bouts ending after two rounds. The abysmal performances from most of the boxers were expected especially when the sport is coming from several months of hiatus.

Now that boxing is back, I’m looking forward to more crack fights in the coming weeks. The coming weeks is expected to bring together several interesting bouts starting from the Christmas festivities.

Until then, I want to take the opportunity to laud the leadership of the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) for their immense contributions in ensuring the port resumes after a long lay-off.

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