The Chairman of Promotions of the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA), Alhaji Tofiq Muritala, has moved to quell suspicions over recent suspension of 16 boxers, stating that the decision was to protect the well-being of the affected boxers.
According to the experienced boxing administrator and promoter, the decision was an activation of the GBA’s own rules to guide and promote safety among boxers.
Alhaji Tofiq’s response was in reaction to last Thursday’s announcement of two to three months suspensions unleashed by the GBA on all 16 boxers that suffered defeats in the last boxing promotion held at the Golden Beach Resort on July 8 by SWAVY BLU Boxing Promotions.
According to the GBA statement, the affected boxers suffered knockouts and technical knockouts, while others retired and would attract sanctions ranging from two to three months, commencing on July 9 and 10.
Boxers getting two months (60 days) include Bright Ayala, Aduku Nsor, Felix Mankattah, Jonas Malm and Enoch Lamptey.
Those handed three months (90 days) suspensions include Bernard Adzewoda, Sampson Quaye, David Nortey, Manaf Tetteh, Fatiou Sarouna, Prince Tetteh and Bernard Tagoe.
The rest are Moses Lartey, Albert Armah, Kofi Raymond Ansah and Seidu Amadu.
The decision has not been a popular one among a majority of boxing stakeholders most of whom have described it as a GBA witch-hunt against some stakeholders that have been at loggerheads with the current GBA administration led by Mr Kotei Neequaye.
But speaking to the Times Sports over the weekend, Alhaji Tofiq said the decision falls in line with Article 11 (C) of the GBA constitution.
The article states inter alia “If any contest (wherever it takes place) is stopped by the Referee (other than by reason of disqualification) or by retirement of the boxer or if a boxer is counted out in such a contest, the license of the boxer shall be automatically suspended for a period of at least 60 days for Technical Knockout (TKO) and 90 days for a Knockout (KO) therefore, and until the boxer is certified by a doctor who may be appointed by the authority at its discretion. Written certificate of fitness must be received at the secretariat at least 24 hours prior to the boxer’s next contest.”
According to him, it was quite strange that all the 16 fights on the said fight promotion ended via the three outcomes captured in the statement, and believes that may have fuelled the speculation that the GBA was after somebody.
“The GBA is not doing anything to against anybody or witch-hunting any promoter or boxer. The outcomes of the fights left much to be desired but the GBA is only enforcing its own regulation to protect the boxers.
“The safety of the boxers must be paramount to the GBA and that is exactly what we are doing. What the suspensions mean is that the affected boxers would be inactive within this period of deferment to address what medical challenge they face.”
Alhaji Tofiq hoped the action would make boxers take their professions serious and would prepare well before they append their signatures to fight contracts.
“When you fight thinking you are just coming to fall and take your purse, the laws of the sport will get you,” he added.