One of Ghana’s most successful boxing promoters, Samir Captan, has revealed that Azumah Nelson was loyal to him while he was managing the sport’s foremost icon even though he once took a decision to split from the boxer nearly four decades ago in spite of his pleas to continue their working relationship.
Last week, Mr Captan, who managed the boxing legend during his early years as a professional boxer, opened up to the Graphic Sports on the circumstances which led to their split in 1982.
He explained that his relationship with Azumah’s late father was the principal reason why he chose to discontinue working with the boxer despite investment he had made in the boxer and the huge prospects ahead.
Mr Captan said that he took the boxer to London with the aim of continuing to the US for a training tour but used his contacts to negotiate for a shot at the African Boxing Union (ABU) featherweight title, which was a stepping stone for the Commonwealth and World Boxing Council (WBC) titles.
As a result ,they abandoned their US tour and he got some good trainers to prepare Azumah in London for the ABU title fight in Accra against the title holder, Joe Skipper of Nigeria. However, after the fight, the Ghanaian boxer refused to travel with him to London for an arranged training programme.
“Azumah had a problem with me because his father had complained about me leaving him in London when we were supposed to go to US at the time”.
“I said I did that to get you the African championship fight with Joe Skipper which got you into the WBC ratings’’.
“Because of that, he was not ready to travel with me to London after I had made an arrangement and I got furious,” recounted Mr Captan, whose Sikaprix Promotions was the foremost boxing promotions firm back in the day.
Later, the ace promoter revealed that a remorseful Azumah and his father contacted the revered Oblempong Nii Kojo Ababio (then James Town Mantse an influential man) to plead on their behalf ,but he stuck to his guns when they met at the late chief’s Mamprobi residence to iron out their differences.
“A few days after the feud, a respected chief residing at Mamprobi, called Nii Ababio, sent for me to plead on their behalf with a bottle of Schnapps.”
“Even after refusing to take him back, Azumah came back to my office a month later to ask me to rethink our split. He said he doesn’t want anyone to eat from my foundation when he becomes a world champion.”
“At this point, my pride took the better of me and I still rejected his proposal. Azumah was God sent because every prediction he gave me about his career came to pass.”
“Azumah was loyal to me throughout our relationship because I knew several people tried convincing him when we were together but he refused,” emphasised Mr Captain, the immediate past president of the Ghana Boxing Authority, and presently the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Africa president.