Island News

The rise and fall of Kwadjo

Written By : Ringside watch with LEPANI WILSON*. Bula Fiji! Yes the inevitable has happened when Joseph Kwadjo lost his fight against Serge Yannick in Melbourne. All the hype surrounding
09 Oct 2010 12:00

Written By : Ringside watch with LEPANI WILSON*. Bula Fiji!
Yes the inevitable has happened when Joseph Kwadjo lost his fight against Serge Yannick in Melbourne. All the hype surrounding our friend from Ghana, who suddenly decided to call Fiji his second home, has come to an abrupt end.
It’s a pity that it has to be this way.
But for us there are some important lessons to learn from.
Kwadjo and his trainer Gyan Singh failed to realise that they were playing right into the enemy zone when they signed up for the Yannick fight.
I guess they got carried away with that knockout win over Jamie Pittman and decided that they could do it themselves.
That was a bad move.
They were not aware of what boxing politics is all about, especially here.
Mate, politics is everywhere right up to the world stage.
Australia was shocked when Pittman went down so the next step was to play it safe.
Les Sherrington was told to step aside simply because no one knew what Kwadjo was capable of.
So they quickly pushed Yannick in who is a Cameroon national.
That’s the trump card.
So with two African brothers in the same ring- surely this feeling of brotherhood comes in and one of the boxers is bound to lose that hunger or some say fire to win.
Unfortunately, it had to be our man.
It’s all psychological!
Just after the Pittman win, I had asked Kwadjo on the possibility of fighting a Kenyan boxer in Sydney.
He immediately replied, ‘No I can’t he’s my brother’.
I hope you’ll see where I’m coming from.
So what was the best route Kwadjo should have taken?
If I had been his trainer or manager the best possible option to take was to give Pittman a return fight.
If that does not fall through, then why not do it at home by offering Joy Ali another fight.
I had watched the first fight on DVD and I reckoned that it should have been a draw. There was no need to rush Kwadjo but anyway it has happened and now it’s all back to square one.

Is it a revival?

This week I read an article by Boxing Commission of Fiji’s interim chairman Sakaraia Tuva of some recommendations they have made to the Minister for Sports.
What interested me was that it is very much similar to the issues I had raised with this newspaper last month.
The Commission must first put its house on order.
Money making should not be a top priority.
The Commission directors should know that they are there to make things happen for boxing.
This is what we did in 2001 when we came in to revive boxing after it was in the doldrums for almost 10 years.
The first step was to lower the promoter’s licence fee to $50 per annum.
Every member in the Professional Boxing & Wrestling Association had the sport at heart.
We had meetings even under the mango tree and one time in an empty warehouse in Nabua.
We all paid our own expenses and we went out of our way to assist promoters and boxers.
It worked!
That year alone we had 22 promotions in a year, which is almost two promotions in a month.
The current promoter’s licence fee of $1500 per year is suicidal for the sport.
That’s why there’s no boxing up to now.
I’ve been told the next programme is right in December but what about October and November?
So where’s all the big talk about boxing revival.
If it’s not now then definitely it’s not going to happen. Mark my word.

What’s next?

Well, word around here is that Kwadjo and his trainer Gyan are looking for a quick fight before they return home. A win to restore their credibility. Not a bad move but if it does not fall through- then God help them.

l (Mr Wilson was the former Fiji Professional Boxing & Wrestling Association president. He is also a boxing trainer and resides in Sydney, Australia This is the first issue of his monthly column).

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