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Boxing News of Monday, 3 March 2014

Source: Osumanu Al-Hassan

Thumbs up for Bukom Banku

.....FOR A CHIVALROUS SPORTING CONDUCT

By Osumanu Al-Hassan

Undefeated Ghanaian boxing champion, Braimah Kamoko, a.k.a Bukom Banku exhibited a gracious other-side of his personality at the Hathramani Sports Hall during a press conference for his upcoming none-title bout with Nii Ayittey Okine, a.k.a Ayittey Powers.

A highly charged Bukom Banku who electrified the press conference with his presence and challenged members on the team of his opponent to a wager of GH¢200,000 for a knockout, also demonstrated that besides all his swagger, he is an astute boxer and a gentleman who distinguishes between boxing as a sport and street brawl.

The boxer, who had been the louder of the two fighters at the press conference, remonstrating and swanking he will knock out his opponent in the 7th round at most, was also quick to step in when cheers by opposing fans threatened to degenerate into an insult competition.

The stomping fans of the two boxers, who tried to outdo each other with cheer songs, turned on each other, using some abusive and unprintable words to describe the opposing boxer.

Realizing perhaps, the day was heading for a catastrophic end, the boxer stepped in and cautioned his fans to drop the insults.

The boxer went as far as snap at one of his fans when the overzealous boy, oblivious to the warning of Bukom Banku, continued to hurl abusive words at Ayittey Powers.

The followers of Powers who appeared unimpressed at Banku’s intervention continued with the litany of abusive words, possibly to pique the anger of the boxer and have him lose his cool, especially after the fighter had exhibited some anger when he first confronted his opponent’s team. However, instead of being upset by the words of his opponent’s fans, Banku welcomed and nodded to their offensive chants while gesturing at them to dish out more.

Bukom Banku insisted that in spite of the fact that he would be fighting Ayittey Powers next month, his opponent is not an enemy and urged his supporters to place the fight in its proper perspective, a sport. According to him, both boxers live in the same community and have been neighbours for years.

He argued that though the Judgment Night bout has drawn a line between his supporters and that of Ayittey Powers, these are the very same supporters who join forces to cheer him when he fights an outside opponent. The boxer insisted he has no quarrels with his opponent and if anything at all Ayittey Powers is his friend.

“I don’t hate Powers and he is not my enemy. I consider him as a good friend. However, this is boxing, a sport where you have to fight even your best friend to show you are the best in this game. So on April 18th, I am just going to do that, punish and then knock Powers out to show him I am cut above his class and I am the best in this division.”

Personally, I believe that was a chivalrous conduct on the part of the boxer and adds a feather to the cap of Ghana boxing.

For a sport where a charged atmosphere is considered the best platform to draw crowds, to a point where opposing boxers have even gone for each other’s neck in public and virtually turned members of opposing camps into sworn enemies, Banku’s move to dispel this extremity and showcase boxing as a beautiful sport in contrast to street brawl is commendable.

Though President of the Ghana Boxing Authority, Lawyer Peter Zwennes, did not comment directly on Bukom Banku’s deportment, he sure would be grateful to the boxer for his stand, especially when he had himself urged the two fighters to make the bout a historic one by giving out their best performance on the night. His appeal comes on the back of the report that the Judgment Night bout would be televised throughout Ghana and Africa by Super Sports and TV3 and the last thing Ghana boxing would wish for is for fans of these fighters to take the fight out of the ring and spoil what is expected to be the biggest boxing match in Ghana in recent times.

Dubbed Judgment Night, the bout between Bukom Banku and Ayittey Powers promises excitement and lot of fun and expected to draw record crowd to the Accra Sports Stadium.

The biggest ever attendance at any boxing match at the Accra Sports Stadium was the bout between Ghana’s DK Poison and Danny Lopez in 1976, which reportedly saw a record attendance of 130,000 fans throng the venue.

Judgment Night is expected to take attendance to the next level and what a night it would be when Bukom Banku meets Ayitey Powers.

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