After two days of twenty-five (25) exhilarating bouts of boxing between the three services of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), the boys got separated from the men, as Ghana Navy triumphed over the Air Force and the Army, at the 2018 Inter-Services Boxing Competition.
The boxing competition is a tri-service contest, which pitches the Army, Navy and Air Force against each other in the development of skills for personal unarmed combat training as well as unearthing sporting skills for sports development in the country.
The two days of fisticuffs, took place at the Nicholson Stadium, Burma Camp, Accra, on the 8th and 9th February, 2018 and was hosted by the Air Force.
One of the objectives of GAF is to improve on the state of its combat readiness, thus the training of the troops forms an integral part in achieving this objective.
Historically, GAF has been well noted for unearthing sports talents capable of representing the nation, internationally and produced Ex Warrant Officer (WO1) Tijani Moro of the Air Force, who won bronze at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Canada and later became the National Super-Featherweight champion in 2000.
Guest of Honour for the competition, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) IS Kadri (rtd), in a speech at the opening ceremony, told the soldiers that it was imperative that every soldier is physically fit and imbued with self-defence skills necessary to face a threat.
The retired AVM further said such competitions provide the needed impetus for personal unarmed combat training, as continuous training was a must for all in the military.
At the games proper, the three services each fought 14 bouts, with the Army winning 3 and losing 5 resulting in 9 points, Navy winning 7 and losing 2 with 21 points and the Air Force winning 4 and losing 6 with 12 points.
High points of the two nights was the bout between Able-Seaman Class 1 (AB1) Emmanuel Quashie, a middleweight heavy-puncher, who in his first match, with a single punch, knocked his opponent from the Army, Lance Corporal (L/Cpl) Kpodo Kenneth, out and he fell out of the ropes and landed awkwardly on the back of his head, and was quickly whisked to the 37 Military Hospital.
In his next contest with Aircraft Man II (ACII) Seshie Gamelli, it took a lot of cajoling and jostling Seshie to mount the ring to do battle. However, after a single jab from Quashie, Seshie’s corner threw in the towel, as Seshie feigned dissatisfaction with his corner’s action and the thick viewing crowd roared and cheers.
Another great talent that emerged out of the competition was L/Cpl Anyomi Johnson, a heavyweight Army southpawed boxer, cast in the mold of Pernell Whitaker, former champion who out-punched the legendary Professor Azumah Nelson, some years back.
The awards were presented in this order: Gallant Loser – ACII Dodoi Laryea of Air Force, Best Female Boxer – Cpl Mohammed Anatu of Army, Best Male – AB1 Adjartey Alfred of Navy, Runner-up – Ghana Air Force and Overall Best – Ghana Navy.
Dignitaries present at the events included the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Lieutenant General (Lt-Gen) OB Akwah, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Major General WA Ayamdo, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Rear Admiral (R/Adm) Peter Kofi Faidoo, Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Vice Marshall (AVM) PK Faidoo and Chief of Staff, General Headquarters, R/Adm MK Beick-Baffour.
The rest were Maj-Gen Omane-Adjekum – Commandant, Military Academy Training Schools (MATS), R\Adm Seth Amoama – Commandant – Command and Staff College, Air-Commodore IW Wayoe – Director-General, Training and Air Commodore Dzamefe-Director-General, Logistics.
Story: Kofi Ampeah-Woode, Nicholson Stadium, Burma Camp, Accra