President of the Ghana Boxing Federation, lawyer Peter Zwennes has jabbed the Sports Ministry to sit up and stop overly concentrating on football at the detriment of other sporting disciplines.
Peter Zwennes has also urged the Sports Ministry to refrain from the usual paying of lip-service and get serious about their numerous yet mostly unfulfilled promises to invest in the growth and development of other sporting disciplines.
He was speaking during a media engagement following the arrival of the new WBO World Super Bantamweight title holder Isaac ‘the Royal Storm’ Dogboe.
Dogboe shot himself to world fame and acclaim by becoming Ghana’s youngest ever World Champion following his 11th round knockout victory over then title holder Jessie Magdaleno.
And according to Peter Zwennes, “it is time the ministry stop paying lip service to helping the other sports”.
“It is time the ministry translated its help in practical terms” he continued.
Mr. Zwennes lamented that the Dogboe camp led by father Paul Dogboe had invested over millions of dollars into the project of getting the world title for Isaac and claimed that it’s undeserving for the Sports Ministry to bask in their glory.
“If the minister is listening, I’m saying it loud and clear, this is the time for them to come and translate their help in practical terms for us to know that the ministry is not just a soccer ministry.
“If the ministry as usual will want to come and take credit for the success of other individuals for which we haven’t seen any concrete contribution, then they must sit up,” he charged.
BOXING THE NUMBER ONE SPORT IN GHANA
Lawyer Peter Zwennes also opened up on a long standing debate over which sport has projected the country the most at the international level.
He argues that boxing’s record in this stead is unparalleled and has charged the sports minister to back his words with actions.
“I have always said that professional boxing is the sport that has always put us on the world map” he opined.
“Forget about those who talk about soccer, who talk about the Black Stars having gone to the World Cup, Boxing is the number one sports in this country” he snapped.
“If you’re talking about glory and achievement and laurels, it is professional boxing which has out us there” he concluded.
While Ghana’s senior football team, the Black Stars are yet to conquer the world despite making three appearances at the Fifa World Cup, the sport is religiously followed and it’s certain that the Peter Zwennes’ comments will draw wide criticism and opposition from the football divide.
However, with Ghana chasing a major title at senior level in football since 1982, the age limit national teams have been successful at several international competitions.
The Black Satellites and the Starlets have conquered the world at U-20 and U-17 world cups.
During this over 30 years wait for a major football title at senior level, boxing can boast of recognizable world title holders.
Azumah Nelson between 1984 and 1996 was a world champion at the featherweight and super featherweight divisions.
Ike Quartey, Joshua Clottey and Joseph Agbeko and now Dogboe have all been world title holders between this period and this forms the fulcrum of Peter Zwennes’ argument that boxing has sold Ghana more than any other sporting discipline.
Certainly the matter won’t just rest here as further questions will be asked across the sports platforms in the country.