Every boxer’s first crack at a world title is a moment of destiny. It, therefore, draws great sacrifice and stern preparation because the results when positive have many great ripple effects.
In the case of Ghana’s first boxing world champion D.K. Poison (David Kotei), he required no special training. He had his regular training camp and defeated Reuben Olivares to claim his WBC featherweight title in 1975 in California.
“When most people are going to have fights like that they do special training. I don’t go in for special training. I make sure I become fit. That’s all. I always say I was destined to become a boxer and a world champion”
The medicine ball and the punching back were the only major pieces of equipment used back in the time and D.K. has his improvised punching bag which was made of a soldier’s bag filled with sand and sawdust.
“I don’t even know how to use a speedball. It is common now but by then it was not common here in Ghana. Eddy Blay (1964 Olympic bronze medalist) was the only person who had it in Ghana. I don’t know where he got it from,” D.K. Poison told Joy Sports in one of the scenes of his upcoming documentary ‘The Boxing Loan’ by Nathaniel Attoh.
The boxing legend further explained that he always liked to use about two weeks to acclimatize ahead of his bouts. In this case, he trained intensively in New York the whole period and flew to California a week to the time.
“The promoter said they hadn’t seen me before and nobody knew about me and so I should train outside so people can see me and be assured of my quality. But I refused because the weather was cold. So I was given a new and good place to train,” he added.
En-route to winning the world title, D.K. Poison annexed the African Boxing Union (ABU) title after defeating Taher Ben Hassan in Tunisia in 1974.
The same year he snatched the Commonwealth title from then-champion Evan Armstrong after defeating him via a TKO. That loss to D.K. Poison marked the end of Evan Armstrong’s career.