Coach Head Coach of the National Armature boxing team, Coach Ofori Asare has revealed that he faced huge criticism after including Ghana’s Olympic medalist, Samuel Takyi in the Black Bombers squad.
Samuel Takyi emerged onto the boxing scene as a teenager paying his dues as a juvenile boxer before earning a place in the national team after his success in the national boxing championship.
However, speaking in an exclusive interview with GhanaWeb.com, coach Ofori Asare admitted it was a daunting task to forgo equally good boxers for Samuel Takyi who was just 18-years-old at the time.
“Takyi is a very talented boxer, he was doing juvenile boxing and he grew into the national championship by fighting in the national championships,” the experienced Black Bombers coach said.
He added, “It was a very tough decision that I took that I had a lot of criticism from other people when I selected him into the national team.”
According to coach Asare, he faced stiff opposition from people in the boxing fraternity because there were boxers who had been in the national team for a long time and just wanted the opportunity to qualify for the Olympic Games.
Coach Ofori Asare recalls that he had to exclude some boxers in the national team to select Takyi due to his distinct talent.
“It was like other people must be sacrificed for him. I saw he had something special. I saw it during our competition, the buildup, the national championship and even at the training camp. In the end, I selected him and he didn’t disgrace me,” Coach Asare told GhanaWeb.
After nearly 30 years, Samuel Takyi who was not yet born when Ghana won its last medal at the Olympic Games in Barcelona 1992 is now the country’s 5th Olympic Medalist.
And after watching his 20-year-old boxer defeat some older boxers in Africa and the world, Coach Asare believes “when you work hard with such boxers [like Takyi] they can make it.”
Watch interview in video below