Boxing legend, Barimah Azumah Nelson, says the ongoing DE-LUXY Boxing League can only serve as a source of livelihood for boxers but not the growth and development of boxing in the country.
He noted that the skills and talents being displayed at the event were an eyesore, as the boxers appeared to be fighting for survival other than showcasing boxing as an artistic sport.
“What is happening there is a joke. Those fighting don’t know why they are in the ring and the organisers also appear to be more interested in the money they will make; it is not boxing,” he told the Graphic Sports in a telephone interview in Accra last Thursday.
Mr Nelson, who thought the sport was not being taken seriously by the government, added that the competition was only useful because it somehow prevented boxers from being social deviants, which was inimical to the society.
“On the flipside of this is that this league gives some form of token to these boxers to live on for a period of time and to survive on and this prevents them from engaging in vices such as stealing or robbery,” he explained.
The WBC Hall of Famer said he had engaged with the organisers of the league to discuss a wage increase for the boxers and better conditions of service.
“I have met the organisers and told them to increase the pittance they are currently giving them and they have obliged. I hope they take it seriously and help these fighters,” he stated.
He entreated the various gyms to train their boxers well and let them understand the rudiments of the sport so as to fight well in the ring.
“Boxing is a science and acquired skills, coupled with talent embedded in the fighter. Our boxers must learn this; it is not only throwing of hands and fists,” he stressed.
Azumah also charged the government to take the sport seriously and give it a quarter of the treatment it gives to football.
“The state must invest in boxing infrastructure across the country, support promoters and financially back them to promote big boxing events.
“Corporate entities must also come in to support, then we can engage in serious boxing in the country,” he stated.