FEATURE: What’s happening to the pro boxing league?

Date: Feb – 14 – 2022 , 12:12

BY: Bernard Neequaye

Category: Boxing

IN two weeks, the much anticipated boxing professional league has been postponed twice making enthusiasts wonder whether the tournament is facing challenges.

The league was announced to initially commence on February 5 but was later postponed to February 12 with no tangible reason given for the postponement.

Just when I thought the time was right for the league to start, the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) came out with another statement saying the commencement has been moved to February 12???.

This new postponement raised questions for me on what was delaying the start of the league so I decided to probe to see if there are indeed obstacles.

My consultations brought many issues with the format of the league with many stakeholders not happy with the way the professional league was being staged.

Some of the concerns that were raised were genuine to me and I felt the need to share them with the GBA and the public to see how best they could be addressed.

It is not an imposition on the GBA but legitimate concerns that could help transform the organization of the league or boxing as a whole in the country.

I hope these concerns and suggestions find organizers of the league well so they can consult the stakeholders before commencing anything.

Concerns

I have been able to find out that most promoters in the country are not in favor of the league not because it is not a good idea but the fact the GBA decided to be the organizer with a broadcaster.

In any case, a broadcaster (Imax Media Group) coming on board to sponsor a league should not make them a promoter as has been said by the GBA.

Also, the GBA should be a supervisory body for the sport and not being the one organizing boxing shows in the country with a broadcaster.

My checks from other jurisdictions (USA and UK) have taught me that the Executive Board must be made up of independent people who only act as regulators of boxing in the country.

That is not the situation here because we have a body that is involved in hosting shows together with a broadcaster that is also acting as a promoter.

It was also evident that managers of boxers are not happy with the way the GBA have sidelined them and dealing with trainers to get boxers for the league.

This, I gathered, has led to several managers pulling their fighters out of the league which is delaying its commencement. I don’t think this must be encouraged if that is the situation at hand because from what I know, the managers are yet to know the details of the $1.7 million contract signed by the GBA and Imax Media Group for the league.

Transparency is very key in every dealings and I entreat the GBA to provide all stakeholders involved in the league with the needed documents to give them an insight on what to expect from the league.

Interventions

I have read extensively about what lead to the collapse of the Morten Boxing League under the Moses Foh-Amoaning’s GBA leadership and I believe we should learn from that.

One of the major concerns of that league was that amateur fighters opted to turn professionals because of the monies they stand to gain for fighting as a pro in the league.

We could get there again because many amateurs are willing to be sacrificed just for the financial gains. From some of the pairings that I have seen, most of the fighters are debutants who are supposed to be coming up against already-made pros.

How do they match them? This is a clear case of pairing half-baked fighters up in mismatch bouts just to favor a particular boxer which will end up destroying their careers.

I am not in favor of this whole arrangement and I believe it is high time all the stakeholders come together to form a quorum on the matters arising from the professional league.

Until all these concerns raised are dealt with, I won’t be surprised to see another communique from the GBA postponing the league to a further date.

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