Bukom Banku

Former WBO Africa Cruiserweight champion, Brimah Kamoko a.k.a. Bukom Banku is advocating for the building of boxing gyms outside the capital Accra.

According to him, the concentration of gyms and boxers in Accra is denying other regions of the country the development of talents in the sport.

“There are too many boxers in Accra and others in the other regions are not getting the opportunities. So I want the government to build many gyms in different places in the country so that the talents can be developed,” he told Nathaniel Attoh on the Joy Sports Link on Joy FM.

Out of Ghana’s 10 world champions in history, only three hail from regions aside the Greater Accra.

Former IBF bantamweight champion Joseph Agbeko and WBO super bantamweight champion Isaac Dogbe hail from the Volta Region but were based in the capital city Accra.

Also, Marvelous Nana Yaw Konadu, who won WBC Super Flyweight and WBA bantamweight titles, hails from the Bono Region of Ghana.

D.K. Poison Ghana’s first world champion, Prof. Azumah Nelson, Africa’s Greatest, Ike ‘Bazooka’ Quartey, the late Alfred ‘Cobra’ Kotey, Joshua Clottey as well as Emmanuel ‘Game Boy’ Tagoe were all born and bred in Accra. 

“There are many boxers in Accra. But the people of Kumasi really love boxing just like the people of Accra. I want the Accra coaches as well to go out to the other regions and train boxers.”

“We need boxers from the other regions as well so we must put the effort in it,” Banku said on the Joy Sports Link on Joy 99.7 fm. According to him it’s unfortunate that certain towns and cities across the country are hardly producing boxers.  

Gym Distribution

Available data from the Ghana Boxing Authority indicate that 52 boxing gyms are recognized by the regulatory body. More than 50 per cent of the gyms are situated in the Greater Accra Region specifically Accra.

Accra alone has 27 of the gyms while the Volta Region, which produced two out of the nation’s 10 world champions, has only three. The Bono Region which gave Ghana Nana Yaw Konadu has six gyms recognized by the GBA. There are 5 gyms in the Western Region while the Central Region, from where former Commonwealth Champion Sam Akroma emerged, also has five. Northern Ghana has the lowest presence of boxing gyms with Tamale, Bolga and Wa having one each.    

Banku’s advice to emerging boxing talents

“Boxing is hard work and if you want to be a big boxer like Bukom Banku or Ike Quartey don’t drink and don’t smoke. I am a Muslim so I don’t drink. These young ones must know that if they engage in alcohol and smoking their careers will not go forward.”

“They must stay away from all these and make sure they listen to their coaches as well if they want to become world champions.”

If you are a good boxer you are not better than your coach. I respect my coach, that’s why I am a good boxer,” he added.