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Sports Features of Monday, 25 November 2019


FEATURE: Juju doesn't ensure sporting success!

It was fun watching and listening to Braimah Kamoko, alias Bukom Banku, blame his defeat to Bastie Samir two years ago on spiritual grounds, which got me wondering if a boxer could indeed win a bout through ‘juju’.

To me, his excuses of Bastie suddenly becoming taller than him in the ring and he (Bukom Banku) almost suffering stroke after the fight were unreal and must be disregarded by all boxing enthusiasts in the country.

To the best of my knowledge, boxing is an art and supposed to be scientific, so I find it difficult to believe whenever someone attempts to attach spirituality to this pugilism sport.

I beg to differ on this one because should that be the case, our boxers must be winning all their international bouts against their opponents who don’t believe in spirituality.

What is that even supposed to mean? That a fighter will decide to avoid training ahead of a fight and concentrate on using ‘juju’ on his opponent so he can win?

This argument does not go down well with me and I think Bukom Banku could have accepted defeat in good faith by congratulating Bastie for being the better fighter on the night rather than insinuating that his opponent could not stand him without the use of ‘juju’.

If the interview he granted UTV was not one of his usual comics, then I wonder if he engages in spirituality himself because as the saying goes, “It takes one to know the other.”

Finding fault

I remember in the build-up to the fight which I covered, Bukom Banku was full of himself and even predicted a sixth round stoppage victory over Bastie, which ended with the latter triumphing in the seventh round instead.

There were calls for a rematch immediately after the bout because many expected Bukom Banku to topple the then lesser-known Bastie, to which Bukom Banku agreed before chickening out.

If his claim of Bastie nearly inflicting stroke on him through ‘juju’ after the fight is anything to go by, then I wonder why he agreed to an immediate rematch to the extent of signing a contract with Box Office Sports Promotions and taking GH¢17,000 for training.

For God’s sake, it was evident that Bukom Banku concentrated more on his usual war of words in the build-up to the fight, and he succeeded because Bastie at the time was unknown to the public despite being an Olympian for Ghana in 2008 and winning silver at the 2007 African Games.

I remember Bastie telling Bukom Banku at the weigh-in session not to get carried away because of his enormous support ahead of the fight since boxing was won in the ring.

Role model

I stated clearly in my last column about this whole brouhaha that despite his usual untoward behaviour, Bukom Banku remained a backbone of the sport locally and must live up to that.

He remains a role model among the upcoming boxers and must avoid making utterances that may negatively influence these young ones who are hoping to make it in this difficult terrain.

Having hung around most of these boxers in my journalistic practice, it will be hypocritical on my part to say that I’m unaware of their belief in this spirituality thing during and after bouts.

This I believe is a canker that must be fought by the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) through education to give them a different view about the sport as a whole.

I, therefore, call on the leadership of the sanctioning body to lead a campaign to end this spirituality belief of our boxers to make them concentrate on working harder to attain higher heights.