Stanley Nyantakyi had to relocate to Bukom in Accra in order to pursue his dream of becoming a professional boxer.
It wasn’t easy. Nyantakyi first fought off stiff opposition from his family, who scoffed at his desires.
“Growing up in Kumasi, there was nothing like boxing because it’s not a popular sport over there,” Nyantakyi told BoxingAfrica.com.
“The focus for every young boy is to either become a footballer or an athlete and it was very difficult to choose something different from these known sports.”
Nyantakyi fell in love with boxing at age 13 after watching highlights of the famous Oscar De La Hoya-Ike Quartey world championship bout in February 1999.
From that day, the 19-year-old decided to imitate the legendary De La Hoya by taking up boxing. He soon realized few others shared his aspirations in his native region.
“I wanted to start training as a boxer but there were no boxing gyms around in Kumasi,” said Nyantakyi. “It was a difficult moment for me because I didn’t know where to start from.
“I felt like giving up my dreams in boxing but decided to chase it until there is nothing more to do.”
In 2019, Nyantakyi traveled to the Bono Region of Ghana to attend a fight night in Berekum. There, he met Daniel Selassie Gosh, a young amateur fighter.
Nyantakyi approached Gosh and told him about his readiness to become a boxer. Gosh promised to get him a trainer if he could relocate to Accra.
The rest, as they say, is history.
“I gave him my number and asked him to come to the Bukom Boxing Arena in Accra so we can meet whenever he is ready,” Gosh recalled.
“I didn’t even expect him to make the trip because he had no family here but his determination made it happened and we met.”
Gosh took him to the famed Bronx Boxing Club at Bukom where he trained and introduced him to renowned trainer Lawrence Carl Lokko.
Lokko was touched by Nyantakyi’s story and vowed to transform him into one of the best fighters in the country.
“When I met him, I realized he was very determined and that’s all a fighter needs to be successful,” Lokko told BoxingAfrica.com.
“So I started taking him through the basics of the sport and he is doing well. I want to start giving him fights at the amateur ranks to test him.”
Having a dream is one thing but fulfilling it is another. Nyantakyi soon discovered that the work needed to become a professional was far greater than anything he imagined. But that hasn’t stopped him pursuing his goals.
Floyd Mayweather once said he said he lives, eats, and sleeps boxing. Nyantakyi does the same—literally. He said he has found a new home in the gym where he typically sleeps and trains.
When Nyantakyi isn’t in the gym, he works evening shifts as a security guard at Accra’s Korlebu Teaching Hospital. He returns to Bronx Boxing Club in the morning and resumes his routine.
“I’ve really learnt a lot since coming here and it’s good for my progress. The focus is to reach the world stage and to become a champion,” said Nyantakyi.
“I think that will take a lot of hard work to achieve. I’m ready for the task ahead.”