For Ghanaian cruserweight boxer, Ayitey Powers, coming to Brazil for the World Cup was a great and unprecedented favour done him by former President Jerry John Rawlings.
He said he was happy to see Brazil “fiili fiili” if even only for the three days that he would be spending in the capital, Brasilia. “But for President Rawlings, l wouldn’t have come here for the historic World Cup which every Ghanaian wanted to attend and cheer the Black Stars,” said Powers in an unalloyed Ga.
Powers, who had a chat with the Graphic Sports at the lobby of the Air Am Hotel in Brasilia last Friday, couldn’t stop thanking the former President:
“l am grateful to him and will ever be thankful for making it possible for me to see the ‘land of samba’ even though it is unfortunate that I couldn’t watch any match, including our last group match because of our late arrival in Brasilia”.
Sporting his famous haircut, dyed blonde and parted into two, the disappointed Powers blamed changes in their flight times, which occured more than five times, for the delayed arrival and which contributed to the opting out by his friend and boxing nemesis, Bukom Banku.
“At a point, l also decided not to make the trip again because of the repeated flight postponements and disappointments, but it was my inspirer and former boxing champion, Rabon Dodoo, who encouraged me to join them,” Powers said.
According to the Korle Gonno-based boxer, he and Banku were offered the favour and honour by President Rawlings to spend their holidays at the Brazil World Cup after watching them in their recent non-title catch-weight fight in Accra. He said President Rawlings, who was at the ringside during the historic fight which he lost to Bukom Banku, felt impressed by their performance and for the manner the two of them continued to liven up professional boxing which appeared dead in the whole country.
Powers, however, expressed regret that he had still not been paid his full contract sum by the promoter of that fight, claiming he had received GH¢20,000 with GH¢5,000 still outstanding.
Apart from that, Powers also claimed that up till now the promoter had failed to settle him on the weight difference, which was a risk that he took in agreeing to fight as a catch-weight against Banku who was far heavier for the cruserweight for which they signed to fight.
“I could have pulled out at the last minute because of that but l did not want to disrupt the fight and more so when the promoter had promised to pay me extra money for that, but has still not fulfilled the promise,” he lamented.
Powers, who hoped to reunite with his Australian promoter later in the year, also expressed hapinness of the opportunity to avenge the defeat to Banku in a planned rematch to be staged in Kumasi since his opponent would be expected to fight at the correct weight this time around.