Ghanaian International Boxing referee Joshua Barnor has announced his resignation from the center of the ring from Thursday May 2, 2013. He attributed his hasty decision to complaints and comments made by journalists and some members of the general public, notably Professor Azumah Nelson.
According to Barnor, he accepted doing some petty mistakes in his last fight involving Ghana’s Emmanuel Tagoe and Pontilas of the Philipines, but that did not warrant insults and threats.
The 20 years experienced boxing referee / judge said he started officiating at the amateur level before graduating to the professional and did his first course with a few journalists who wanted to know much about the sport or increase their knowledge, but now most of the sports journalists do not know about the games they report on.
He called on the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) and the National Sports Authority (NSA) especially to run seminars and higher upgrading courses for stake holders in sports.
“In fact it is sad that our pressmen do not know the rules and laws of boxing officiating. I am in the ring and I see more than those outside. It is true I was speaking to boxers. I told Tagoe in Ga to raise his head and not go to the slippery part of the ring because he does not understand English. I told Polinkas the same. So I do not see why they are accusing me of bias or helping the local boy” he explained.
On Azumah Nelson, he noted that the boxing professor wanted to manage Tagoe, which the later declined so the former world champion has hated the rising champion and wants to frustrate him. He revealed that Emmanuel Tagoe has graduated from different boxing gyms in Accra, like the Black Panthers Gym to the Will Power Gym own by Napoleon Tagoe, to the Azumah gym and now being handled by Coach Emmanuel Tagoe of Black Pathers Gym at James Town.
Roger Barnor, whom many connoisseurs of the game believe to be the hardest working referee in Ghana, said he has resigned as a referee, but would still be a boxing fan and may decide to become a match maker.
“I have officiated over 1000 fights and I think I have paid my dues. Even when I deserved to be awarded by the Sports Writers Association (SWAG), they did not, so I am very sad for Ghana Sports. I think though many people see me to be young, I have done much” he said.
Meanwhile, at the time of filing this report, executive members of the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) led by President Peter Zwennes were meeting to decide on what sanction to award to referee Barnor as they felt he did not live up to expectation on the night of May 24, 2013.