Richard Commey

Former IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey will not fight or be seen at any boxing-related activities sanctioned by the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) for the next two years following a disciplinary action on some slanderous comments he recently made.

Commey’s sanction which takes retrospective effect from March 31, 2021, came after he made insulting remarks about the regulatory body’s executives in an interview with Kpanlogo Mashi TV on Facebook.

A portion of the letter dated April 9, 2021, read “notwithstanding the seriousness of your misconduct, the GBA took cognizance amongst others your admission of guilt, the apology you rendered (albeit half-hearted and not contrite) as well as the intervention of the Ga Mantse Nii Tackie Teiko in mitigation of your sentence.”

“It is hoped that the haughty and arrogant posture that you have adopted towards fellow members of the fraternity in recent times will cease in the aftermath of this decision. Be advised accordingly,” the letter concluded.

This sanction interestingly comes only days after Commey was named a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Association of Ghana Commission for Women and Children Affairs (UNACWCA).

Commey’s wrong deed

The disparaging remarks about the GBA executives came during an online interview which he granted in his native Ga language. “Thanks be to God I get sponsorships from Snap who make supplements. I also got some from the UK. But no company from Ghana ever sponsors me. But when you win, they ask you to go see this and that person, when none of them supported me to go and fight,” he said.

“Excuse me to say this but the Ghana Boxing Authority must do their work. If they can’t they should get away. Secondly, they are adults and when we make certain comments people say we are insulting.”

“However, if they deserve insults they must be insulted because we are the ones who fight and toil in the ring. When I was going to fight there was no good luck message, yet when I won, the congratulatory letter from the GBA was circulating on Whatsapp platforms but not directly to me. I have hardly set my eyes on that letter. Are they trying to impress Ghanaians?  If they are smoking weed or taking drugs which are affecting their brains they better stop.”

When asked about whether the GBA places phone calls to him ahead of his bouts, he answered in the negative. “If they did I would have been grateful,” Commey said sarcastically.

The effect

Richard Commey’s bouts will all have to be staged outside the jurisdiction of Ghana for the period. There will be no support of any form from the GBA in these bouts irrespective of their magnitude.

Commey’s apology

The apology dated February 25, 2021 read:

It has come to my attention that in a recent interview I may have caused offence to the GBA and others in the boxing fraternity, by using certain words which I now realize are inappropriate.

I wish to apologise to the GBA and to all concerned. I realize my position as a role model to many and have to be mindful of my actions. In future, I will refrain from airing certain views in public and will air them diplomatically and appropriately. There are certain things I am unhappy with and on my return to Ghana along with my team we will deal with them in the correct way.

Previous episodes

Back in April 2000, the Ghana Boxing Authority ordered Ike ‘Bazooka’ Quartey not to fight under the Ghana flag when he faced and lost to Fernando Vargas. This was after he refused the statutory payment of 5% of his eventual $1.25 million purse for that bout to the GBA.

Possible intervention?   

The Ga Mantse, Nii Tackie Teiko Tsuru II, has requested a meeting with the leadership of the GBA. Joy Sports understands that it is likely the king will mediate, for the possibility of mitigation of the ban. The King actually sent a representative to the March 31 disciplinary hearing to start initial conversations about possibly solving the matter and extended an invitation to the GBA executives. For now, however, Richard Commey’s status quo remains.