The boxing fraternity in Ghana has been hit with yet another shocking death – this time its seasoned Referee Fred Ghartey, a family source has confirmed.
He is said to have lost the battle with a brief illness at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and was 59 years.
Ghartey until his death served diligently as the Head of the Ring Officials Committee of the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA).
Ref Ghartey who has at least three decades of experience under his sleeve and is also decorated with badges from all the major sanctioning bodies – WBC (World Boxing Council), WBA (World Boxing Association), International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Organization (WBO).
He wholeheartedly served boxing over these three decades and played the role of the Head of Promotions under the Samir Captan led administration of the GBA.
During the last Congress of the GBA at the Theodocia Okoh Hockey Stadium in Accra, Ref. Ghartey was duly elected Treasuer, while Lawyer Peter Zwennes earned a second term unopposed. He also served as Chairman of the Ring Officials Committee of the GBA until his untimely death.
The late Referee Fred Ghartey is best remembered for his rather bizarre stoppage of the blockbuster bout between Bukom Banku and Bastie Samir at the Bukom Boxing Arena. He walked in to stop a barrage of punches from Bastie Samir on Bukom Banku who was bleeding heavily above his right eye. The highly experienced Referee/Judge moved Banku to the neutral corner after which he administered the mandatory count. Banku survived but when the latter resumed the fight he was punished further and was knocked out cold by Bastie Samir. The late Ref Ghartey was criticized for what looked like helping Banku to rest a bit and escape punishment but explained in an interview with Joy Sports that he took the decision purely to ensure the safety of the boxer.
WBC International Judge Ataa Eddie Pappoe described the late Referee Ghartey as a true servant of the sport who left a great legacy of discipline and professionalism.
The late Referee Ghartey was also an Assistant Commissioner of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA). His death follows a chain of unfortunate ones in the sport over the last two years including Godwin Nii Dzanie Kotey (former President of the United Boxing Coaches Association of Ghana), Emmanuel ‘Akese’ Tagoe former trainer of IBO lightweight champion Emmanuel ‘Game Boy’ Tagoe, Wallace Tackie Commey, former Chairman of the Greater Accra Amateur Boxing Association, ex-WBC international champion and trainer Napoleon Tagoe, matchmaker Peter Ako Patterson and Gideon Quartey, former chairman of the Ghana Boxing Federation (formerly Ghana Amateur Boxing Association).
He was survived by a wife and four children.