Former world featherweight champion, David Kotei ‘Poison’, has received a grant of $4, 800 from the World Boxing Council.
The grant is aimed at helping rehabilitate former champions of the council. D. K. Poison outclassed then holder, Ruben Olivares of Mexico, to capture the WBC featherweight title in Los Angeles in the USA, on September 20, 1975.
The presentation was done on Monday, through the affiliate body, the Ghana Boxing Authority, at a short ceremony at the Media Centre of the Accra Sports Stadium, presided over by the president of the authority, Peter Zwennes.
“Our initial application was in 2014, and we put forward our (Ghana’s) first ever world champion … in any sporting discipline, D. K. ‘Poison’ and Ebo Danquah (ex-WBC international super flyweight champ).”
Zwenens enumerated some hurdles the application experienced, “but eventually, they agreed to accept our application” but “had to wait for a while” before knowing the exact amount granted.
“We didn’t get the $10, 000 we were looking for, because at that time they had started downgrading the awards, but like they say, half a loaf is better than none. “So, they awarded D.K. ‘Poison’ $4,800 and awarded Ebo Danquah $3, 600.
“That was not the end of the story,” he said, continuing, “it took more than a year for the monies to come into our (Ghana Boxing authority) account, adding, “Infact, I had to write a lot of protest letters, they apologised, but eventually, the transfer’s now here.”
“So, they (David Kotei ‘Poison’ and Ebo Danquah) are here, today, to receive their cheques from the GBA for those awards.”
In appreciation, David Kotei ‘Poison’ expressed gratitude to Peter Zwennes
“for all the efforts he did”, acknowledging that “it’s not easy” surmounting the hurdles involved in the process of securing the grant from that fund. “I also thank all members of the boxing board authority. I thank everybody.”
Ebo Danquah also took his turn to express gratitude.
“I even don’t know what to say, but I give thanks to the Lord,” he began, continuing, “I thank my chairman (Peter Zwennes) who has done a lot for me, because even during my fights, I don’t (sic) receive the (amount of) money given to me, today ($4, 800).
“This is a huge money to me … So, I thank God.”
Zwennes disclosed that the GBA had lined up other plans to submit applications on behalf of other Ghanaian world champions undergoing hard times.
“We intend to submit the names of Nana Yaw Konadu and Alfred Kotey, in due course,” he ended, hinting the authority would do so, in consultation with the Old Boxers Association.
For the record, Nana Yaw Konadu prised the WBC super flyweight title from Mexican Gilberto Roman in Mexico, in December 1989, while Alfred Kotey won the World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight title by outpointing then Puerto Rican holder, Rafael Del Valle, in London on July 30, 1994.
In 2013, 16 boxers benefitted from that fund, says Zwennes. “I think at that time, each of them (the aforementioned beneficiaries) received money in the region of $10, 000,” disclosed Zwennes, adding however that the amount has since experienced avv cut.
Previous recipients of the grant include Livingstone Bramble, Mike McCaulum and Australian Jeff Harding. Other beneficiaries include Gerald McCleland, Iran Barkley, Meldrick Taylor, Ken Buchanan and Leon Spinks.