Boxing News of Friday, 8 August 2014
Joshua Clottey is warning new Sports Minister, Hon. Mahama Ayariga to live up to his word of extending support and development to all sporting disciplines and not to follow in the footsteps of a plethora of his predecessors who only promise but fail to deliver.
The former world champion says he is furious with government and sports administration for a blatant lack of support, financing and reward for boxers even though he reckons practitioners of the fistic sport continue to bring honour to the country through their personal efforts and hardwork.
Clottey says he won’t even be coerced into believing the situation will change with Hon. Mahama Ayariga even after the Sports Minister met boxer Bukom Banku last Sunday to discuss the way forward for boxing in this country.
“When every minister comes, they talk the same thing, promise, promise, promise that they will support boxing but they all end up just doing football. They don’t care about boxing, they only care about football,” Clottey told Allsports.com.gh from his US base.
“Look at Hon. Afriyie Ankrah when he came he was talking about the same thing, he will build a boxing gymnasium, promote boxing to make more world champions, develop the sport and a lot of promises. But he did not do anything and now he has left,” Clottey pointed out.
The former IBF Welterweight champion is particularly unhappy with the situation where huge amounts of money continue to be pushed into football citing the situation where $4million was carted on a chartered plane to Brazil to pay the appearance fees of the Black Stars during the World Cup.
“They don’t care about the sport, they only like football yet what do the footballers win for the country? We go out there and fight on our own, sometimes on empty stomachs yet they show no appreciation. The money that they give to footballers, if they invest even a tenth of it in boxing, the country could be boasting several world champions,” Joshua said.
Clottey is also frantic over the way his recent comprehensive victory away in Australia over home favourite, Anthony Mundine was just brushed under the carpet even when the then Minister invited him to present the title.
“I went to Australia and beat the guy, it brought so many memories like Azumah and Fenech but they pretended that they didn’t know anything. The minister called me to his office and I went to show the title to him, he didn’t say anything,” Clottey revealed.
“Up to today, they don’t appreciate what I have done but look at the huge amount they gave to the Black Stars to go and waste in Brazil in the name of World Cup. If they give boxing that kind support, we’ll have more than ten times the 8 world titles our boxers have won despite the lack of support,” Clottey said.