‘Boxing can turn around Ghana’s economy if we’re serious with it’ – Azumah Nelson

Source The Ghana Report/ Francis Kobena Tandoh

International Boxing Hall of Famer and former World Boxing Council (WBC) Super featherweight champion, Prof. Azumah Nelson has said boxing can be used to improve the country’s economy if authorities pay attention to the sport.

According to him, the state of boxing in the country keeps dwindling, a situation he attributes to the lack of attention paid to the sport.

Speaking exclusively to The Ghana Report (TGR), the boxing professor did not mince words in expressing worry about the neglect of the sport by authorities.

“I’ve been telling people that everything that you see nice, bright; we use money to do it. Last time I told somebody that if you have 10 children you have to feed all of them; somebody will eat more; some too will eat small. You have to use money to feed them all. If you feed some and leave some, the one you leave will die. And so, we have to be serious and look into it. There are a lot of sports that we can achieve a lot from it,” he remarked.

The country, he emphasized can have a lot of world champions if authorities pay special attention to it.

Prof. Azumah Nelson said, “If the government is serious in taking care of boxing, and we can have five, ten world champions, this country will go far and we can get a lot of foreign money from it. Because if one person can fight and within the one hour that you stand in the ring you can earn like 500 million dollars or 300 million dollars, you know, imagine if a Ghanaian is fighting and getting that much, where is he taking the money to?… He is bringing the money home so we have to take care of our sports.”

He urged government to put the right calibre of personnel who have the knowledge and interest in the sport in order to see an improvement in its current state.

“We need to have the right people who knows what they are doing so that when they are doing it, you put the money inside and when you put the right people there, you have confidence that by four, five years we will start hearing good news,” he observed.

The boxing professor urged Ghanaians to exhibit a high sense of patriotism and dedicate their lives to improving this country as that was the only way to court the attention of the international audience.

This, he emphasized, will contribute to the development of other sectors of the economy.

Azumah urged Ghanaians, especially those who are well to do to use their positions to assist the less privileged in society.

“I want to tell Ghanaians that when God bless them, they should bless others. When I was fighting, at times I have to pay about 60,000 US dollars for the nation to watch my fight, it tells you how much I love this country because God put me here and what God told me do, that’s what I’m doing. So if you too can do your part, I’m telling you this country when foreigners are coming here, getting visa will be difficult for them.,” he remarked.

Prof. Azumah Nelson is considered as one of the greatest boxers Ghana and African has ever produced.

He held the WBC Featherweight title once and the Super Featherweight title twice. He was selected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame on January 8, 2004. He was inducted on June 13, 2004. He is also a member of the World Boxing Hall of Fame.

He is now retired and has set up the Azumah Nelson Foundation (AZNEF) which is aimed at providing social services to the poor and needy through the use of sports and education.

The Foundation will also provide vocational training to the disadvantaged in the society with periodic health and sanitation assistance to the rural poor in Ghana.


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