At the heart of Jamestown (Bukom), one of the oldest and poorest fishing communities in Accra, lies one of Ghana’s most fascinating but yet to be uncovered sporting stories.
Thirteen year old, Nii Armah is turning the heads of both the young and old with his boxing prowess. His sensational skills have seen him emerge as the undefeated champion of Bukom street boxing for three consecutive years, earning the child prodigy the nickname ‘Mayweather’.
With an outstanding record of 18 – 0 (12 Knockouts), Nii “Mayweather” Armah – the son of a fisherman and a petty trader – is on a desperate mission to fight his way out of the harsh conditions of Bukom, and etch his name into the history books as one of the greatest boxers to ever emerge from this town.
“Ghanaians should have their eyes on the ground for me and just give me five years. When I am sixteen years I will be a champion. I know it, God has spoken to me, and I am blessed” – Armah told GhanaFans.com
While Jamestown is a fishing community, the youth have boxing woven into their hearts. The community boasts of more than 20 boxing schools. In addition, Ghanaian boxing greats such as Azumah Nelson, D.K. Poison, Ike Quartey and Joshua Clottey, all of whom are Armah’s role models, come from this community.
“I have never seen my role models in person, but every evening when their videos are played in my neighbourhood-, I learn from them. Their skills, movements, everything – I know I will be bigger than Joshua Clottey, Azumah Nelson and Ike Quartey” – Armah has said.
This budding talent, bears not only Floyd’s sharp and boastful tongue but has been described as a gym rat by his handlers, all of whom are tipping him for greatness in the not-too distant future.
“I want to say a big thank you to Allah for giving us this boy. When he [Mayweather] comes home from school, every day he is training. I am [predicting] five years [until he blows up]. He is in the flyweight category now and I can bet that in no time, no one [will be able] stop him,” Alhaji Samiru Mayweather’s coach pointed out.
The similarities between this young prodigy and the famous character whose name he bears so brazenly are not farfetched. His counter punching fighting technique, coupled with his defensive flurry of quick decisive punches, set him miles apart from his contemporaries.
“If Mayweather [Nii Armah] jabs you once, twice, the third one will send you straight to the canvass. This boy can do everything in boxing at this young age. In this business, we have fighters and boxers and let me assure the nation that this boy can fight and box well”
“As you can see, most of the guys here are taller than him, but [even] now nobody can stand him. He’s knocked all of them down” – Alhaji Samiru stressed
However, Despite Armah’s bright prospects, dreams, and ambitions, he faces one major challenge which may hamper his objective of becoming a World Champion: he lacks the necessary mitts, gloves and equipment to send his career to the next level.
“I need a personal trainer to prepare me well. I also need gloves. I am begging you to get me a head guard, boxing boots and bandages. [Once] I get these and step into the ring, nobody can stand me. I know I will be a professional champion.” – Armah bristles with confidence as he speaks.
This is the heart-cry of an exciting young talent with the zeal and desire to make a real impact on the local and global sporting landscape. It is universally expected that Nii “Mayweather” Armah will soon propel Ghana to its former status as a boxing power-house, and lift the flag of Ghana high. Or at least, these are the hopes of the little fishing community of Jamestown in Accra.