Ray Opoku, a former Ghanaian amateur and professional boxer in the 1970s and early 80s has fulfilled a promise to provide headgear to support juvenile boxing in Ghana after watching a Facebook post of juveniles fighting without it back in July this year.
A number of kid boxers engaged in exhibition fights at this year’s ‘Salafest’ boxing show which took place at Opera Square in Accra on July 9, videos of which was posted on Facebook. Opoku who is now based in Germany where he trains aspiring boxers and others for self-defence, was one of those who watched the video online. He immediately expressed that it was wrong for the juveniles to fight without headgear in a comment on the said video.
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Mr. Opoku later requested for the two boys he saw in the video to be identified for him to bring them headgear when he comes to Ghana for Christmas holidays in December. He’s here now and took time off on Wednesday to present four pairs of gloves and four pieces of headgear to the young boxers and organizer of the ‘Salafest’ Fatai Issifu at the Addy Boxing Academy, near Bukom.
“It’s not allowed for kids their age to fight without headgear because it’s very dangerous to their health, a serious blow to the head can cause severe injury for life. This is the little I have to help now, to give back to my people and hope to do more in future,” Ray Opoku said.
“We thank Mr. Ray so much for this donation, we appreciate it very much because this is the first time somebody has seen only a video of us fighting and decided to come and help with what we don’t have. We thank you again and promise to make good use of the equipment,” said Fatai Issifu, popularly called Coach Pakistan.
GBA Communications Director, Naa Darkuah Dodoo expressed gratitude to Ray Opoku for the kind gesture on behalf of the Ghana Boxing Authority and urged others to emulate him.
“This is a huge surprise and we can’t stop thanking Uncle Ray for this support. As Coach Fatai said, it’s never happened before but it also shows the progress that we can make if our former boxers and coaches who are now successful can contribute like this in their own little ways,” Naa Darkuah Dodoo said.