A professor of history at the University of Cape Coast, De-Valera Nym Botchway, has described boxing legend, Azumah Nelson, as a true champion who placed the nation on the international sporting map during his illustrious career.
Prof. Botchway lauded the former three-time world champion for his splendid performance in the ring and for becoming the most successful African boxer of all-time and the only boxer from the continent to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, an exclusive class of the sport’s finest practitioners.
Speaking at the launch in Accra yesterday of a book he authored in honour of the boxing icon, entitled, Boxing is no Cakewalk, the historian explained that he was motivated to write about the legendary boxer in order to celebrate him as part of the social history of Ghanaian boxing.
He revealed that the book — the 12th edition of the African Humanities Programme (AHP) series — chronicles Azumah’s journey in the pugilistic sport from humble beginnings and how he used his talent unified the entire nation during his heyday.
“As historians, it is our duty to research and put our greatest personalities out and I decided to do something on Azumah Nelson to inspire the youth who find themselves in his situation during his upbringing,” noted Prof. Botchway, an editor of the AHP series.
Azumah, who retired in 1998 as a former World Boxing Council (WBC) featherweight champion and WBC super featherweight title holder, received the first copy of the book and noted that he always considered it as an honour to be hailed for his success.
He said he was optimistic that the book would serve its purpose of informing the youth about the need to stay focused in life.
“I am honoured by this gesture and I can only thank the author for finding me fit to write about in his bid to motivate the youth in society,” said the legend who turns 61 today.
For his part, the Minister of Inner Cities and Zongo Development, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, said he was touched after reading the entire manuscript of the book which, he indicated, would play a pivotal role in the work of his ministry.