Olympic bronze medalist Samuel Takyi of Ghana may find himself on the shelf soon, courtesy of the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA).
Takyi (1-0, 1 KO) was set to face South Africa’s Mandlenkosi Sibuso Saturday, June 11, in a super featherweight contest at Emperor’s Palace in Johannesburg.
That fight is now in jeopardy as the GBA is refusing to issue Takyi a release letter to fight outside of his native Ghana.
“I have a fight coming up in South Africa so I went to the GBA office with my manager, Ike Quartey, for a release letter to help in securing a visa to travel but I was sadly turned down by the GBA president [Abraham Kotei Neequaye],” Takyi narrated to BoxingAfrica.com.
“Neequaye requested that I sign an undertaking to ensure that I pay part of my purse to the GBA which I refused.”
As enshrined in the GBA statutes, boxers who are released to fight outside the shores of Ghana are required to pay 2-5% of their purse (negotiable) to aid in development of boxing in the country.
However, this undertaking, which is not in the GBA laws and by-laws, is a contract that binds the boxer for the entirety of his career to pay a percentage of any out-of-Ghana bouts to the GBA.
Reiterating the need for boxers to honor the said clause, Kotei Neequaye explained that his administration has introduced a formal legal letter to be signed by all fighters to commit them to pay their dues to the authority.
“We have realized that most our fighters don’t want to pay their due to the GBA whenever they fight outside so we have decided that they all sign an undertaking before we release them to go and fight.
“My administration will not endorse any release letter to any boxer who doesn’t want to give back to the very GBA that has helped him get to where he is today,” Neequaye told BoxingAfrica.com.
It should be noted that the GBA has their own housekeeping to take care of. Takyi made his pro debut last April scoring a second-round TKO over veteran Kamarudeen Boyefio. That fight result has not been recognized by Boxrec.com, the official record keeper of the sport.
Thus, Takyi’s official record is 0-0. Boxrec refuses to sign off on bouts staged in Ghana due to the country’s “corrupt” practices.
Takyi’s appearance on the June 1 card, organized by African powerhouse promoter Golden Gloves Ltd., was negotiated by Bazooka Promotions and Management Syndicate, an outfit owned by retired former welterweight champion and Ghana boxing legend, Ike “Bazooka” Quartey who also trains Takyi.
Last summer, the 21-year-old Takyi delivered Ghana’s first Olympic medal in 29 years. He is expected to present his fight documents to the South African High Commission in Ghana by Wednesday, June 1 to aid his visa acquisition process. This turn of events could jeopardize his chances of honouring his appearance on the card.
Earlier this year, former IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey was suspended by the GBA for refusing to pay a percentage of his purse from his December 2021 bout versus Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Commey argued that he was not required to pay any due since he has not been licensed by the GBA since 2017, has resided in the USA for several years, pays US taxes and thus, did not fall under their auspices. The GBA ignored this.
Another boxer, Emmanuel ‘Gameboy’ Tagoe, has not paid the GBA a percentage from his bout with Ryan Garcia in March.
Responding to the GBA’s directive, Ike Quartey described the undertaking as one which should not be condoned by anybody in the fraternity.
“This is a clear case of selfishness on the part of the GBA because I want to know what they have done for the boxer to demand the said percentage from him,” Quartey said during an interview with BoxingAfrica.com.
“There is nothing like that anywhere in the world and to know that the GBA is perpetuating this with a call on boxers to sign an undertaking is wickedness.”
Nevertheless, the GBA president remains dogged in his stance.
“The authority has allowed boxers to have their way for far too long and it is time to also seek the interest of the sport,” said Neequaye.
“If Samuel Takyi doesn’t want the GBA to benefit from him after all the Bukom Fist of Fury has done for his career, then what becomes of the sport?”
Yet some are likening the undertaking to a mafia tariff.