In a major upset, Abraham Kotei Neequaye was elected president of the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) in an elective congress held at Accra’s Bukom Boxing Arena on Thursday.
Neequaye, the former CEO of the Baby Jet Promotions, defeated opponent Henry Manly-Spain with 54 votes to 46 in an outcome that left many observers stunned. He will now serve four years spearheading the organization which licenses, sanctions and governs professional boxing events in Ghana.
A former second vice-president of the GBA, Neequaye was Manly-Spain’s campaign manager four years ago when Manly-Spain beat Rabone Dodoo to become the first vice-president of the association.
This time, the two were on opposite sides, slugging it out for the GBA’s head role in a race many predicted would be a landslide win for longtime promoter Manly-Spain.
“I am not going to neglect anybody just because I won the election,” Neequaye told BoxingAfrica.com after his swearing-in yesterday.
“I am willing to tap into the knowledge of all the previous presidents as well as executive members to ensure boxing regains its rightful place in the country.”
The results shocked favourite Manly-Spain who congratulated the newly-elected president and promised to offer him his support when called upon.
“This is obviously not what I expected but I have to take a back seat and see what the future holds for me in the sport,” Manly-Spain told BoxingAfrica.com.
“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate our new president and everyone who made it a point to be part of this.”
Neequaye previously headed the Greater Accra Amateur Boxing Association for four years and has managed several big names in the boxing fraternity, including Emmanuel ‘Gameboy’ Tagoe, George ‘Red Tiger’ Ashie, Michael ‘One Bullet’ Ansah, and the popular Brimah Kamoko, alias Bukom Banku, all at different stages of their respective careers.
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In the other results, former boxer Rabone Dodoo and referee/judge Roger Barnor were sworn in as first and second vice-presidents of the GBA, respectively, after running unopposed.
Referees Michael Neequaye, Shadrack Acquaye alongside Alhaji Muritela Tofik and Lawrence Carl Lokko were all voted as executive members. Johnny Gordon was not appointed.
The new executive members are expected to meet and announce other co-opted members in the coming days.