Thursday 27th March , 2014 10:20 am
UPDATE at 7:15pm
Citi Sports can confirm that May 2 is the new date for the highly-anticipated bout between Braimah “Bukom Banku” Kamoko and Ayittey Powers.
Earlier on Thursday, Powers announced he was pulling out of the bout which had been slated for 18th April at the Accra Sports Stadium.
But sources close to the organisers, Box Office Promotions, say after lengthy discussions throughout Thursday, an agreement on a May 2 date was struck between the fighters, organizers and SuperSport, the broadcasters.
Citi Sports can also confirm that SuperSport is willing to telecast the bout on the new date and it is expected to release a press statement sometime next week to announce the new date and broadcast plans for the bout.
The Ghana Boxing Authority had stated that Powers was yet to formally inform them of his decision and in their books, the April 18 bout would go ahead as planned.
What remains under discussion is the issue of tickets which have already been purchased by boxing fans. It is believed an announcement on that will be made in due course.
Lots of boxing fans had expressed disappointment at Powers’ decision to opt out of the bout but it seems the showdown dubbed “The Judgement Night” would still take place between the rivals who had had exchanged very strong words in the build up to the eventual signing of the contract in March 2014.
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Earlier, Alex Ntiamoah Boakye, who represents the promotions syndicate and expressed surprise when Citi Sports spoke to him.
“I only got calls from friends about what Powers said but trust me that we are not going to take it lightly. This is a fight that is going to be big for Ghana boxing,” he said.
“People think the windfall will be for my company. No. This is for the whole Ghanaian boxing industry.”
“We have spent a lot of money and resources into this fight. We have brought rings from outside the country. The amounts that have gone into commercials run into the millions.”
“Contracts have been signed. We are just waiting to hear from Powers officially.”
Powers said after visiting controversial Nigerian preacher T.B Joshua at the weekend, spiritual direction has led him to call of the fight to a later date.
Big fights such as these usually demand stringent clauses to be signed, and Alex Ntiamoah indicated that this was the case for this bout as well.
“We have clauses in the contract, yes. But if he wants to leave the fight, we will take it up with the Ghana Boxing Authority. They usually decide these things.”
“I know people will be disappointed if the fight doesn’t happen, in which case we simply have to give monies back to those who have paid for the tickets.”
Citi Sports spoke to many people on the streets who were simply gutted at the news of Powers withdrawal. It is clear that the expectations behind this fight would have lifted the country’s boxing to a slightly higher level of appreciation.
Click to listen to Ayittey Powers and Alex Ntiamoah of Box Office Promotions.
Social Media explosion
Soon after Powers (won 18, lost 23) made his declaration, a hashtags related to him were trending on Twitter: #PowersMustFight
Social media reactions began with disbelief, then shock and then anger and typical Ghanaian sarcasm.
The two boxers have managed to hype their April 18 bout so much that tickets have become scarce.
More to follow. Send your reactions to our Facebook page (click here) or our Twitter (click here) or Whatsapp us: +233 (0) 549 986 996.
You can also click here for our story and video on Ayittey Powers’ visit to popular Nigerian pastor, T. B Joshua where he got the spiritual direction to cancel the bout for now.
By: Gary Al-Smith/Citifmonline.com/Ghana