Home World Kwame Asante: The trainer who guided two Ghanaians to environment titles

Kwame Asante: The trainer who guided two Ghanaians to environment titles


He is just about 6 foot tall, dim in complexion, interesting and collected. With a smooth bald, complementing his physique the fantastic gentleman could be mistaken for a retired basketball player. But he traces his sporting roots to the sweet science of boxing.

Kwame Asante has his own unique put in Ghana’s sporting heritage for the straightforward reason that he guided two unique boxers to globe title results – a feat that is unparalleled in the West African nation’s record. He resurfaced on the scene in 2007 when he guided unfancied contender Joseph Agbeko to gain the IBF bantamweight title from the then champion Luis Alberto Perez.

The 64-yr-outdated man is presently dependent in New York, a place he has termed household because 1989 when he remaining his homeland Ghana.

Kwame Asante, is a revered boxing trainer at the John’s Health and fitness center in Bronx, New York, for a very basic rationale – he dealt with the only two of the gym’s boxers to have turned major environment champions.  Within just the forewalls of the John’s Health and fitness center are two massive portraits of Ghana’s Joseph Agbeko who won the IBF Bantamweight title in 2007 and Joshua Clottey who annexed the IBF welterweight title a year later on.

Novice Vocation

Young Kwame (correct) is declared winner in a exclusive bout place collectively by the Ghana Olympic Committee at the C.K. Gyamfi Sports activities Faculty in the late 80s

His affiliation with the sport is not accidental. It was a calculated just one which observed him coach professionally and exercise as effectively. In 1980 the Ghana Prisons Services recruited sportsmen and girls into the support. This was less than the management of the then Sporting activities Director of Prisons, ADP B.T. Baba, who would shift on to head the nation’s Olympic Committee (GOC) for above a 10 years and inevitably became a Member of Parliament. So in the mid to late 80s the younger ambitious novice boxer, Kwame Asante was properly trained at the Ghana Prisons Schooling university in Maamobi, a suburb of Ghana’s capital Accra. He underwent an intense six-thirty day period training programme, with 3 months idea at the Prisons Depot and 3 months of practicals. All the trainees had been assigned to a variety of units of Ghana’s Prisons Services and youthful Kwame was assigned to the Service’s Training University. Asante and his fellow newbie boxing mates analyzed and trained underneath a coach termed W.O. Akwetteh, a renowned Navy bodily education and boxing teacher.

For the duration of that time period, Ghana’s athletics sector had a extremely energetic calendar. So Kwame as an beginner boxer had a good range of platforms in his homeland to build him and enhance his ability. They provided the Nationwide Sports activities Competition set alongside one another by the Countrywide Sports activities Authority (then the Sporting activities Council), the Specific championships and the SESSA Video games. SESSA is the abbreviation for the Protection Companies Sports activities Association and as its name suggests is the formal sporting arm of all the stability solutions in Ghana. The SESSA Video games was a gallant phase, which identified the famous Azumah Nelson who moved on to turn into Ghana and Africa’s finest boxer.

In 1984, there was an particular person championship occasion held for newbie boxers drawn from many districts of Ghana’s capital Accra. The goal was to decide on the greatest to participate in qualifiers for the Los Angeles Olympic Video games. Kwame with each other with many other boxers ended up camped at the Azumah Nelson Complicated ( the Kaneshie Athletics Complex).

Then-President of the Ghana Beginner Boxing Federation (now Ghana Boxing Federation), Ambassador Ray Quarcoo, personally sponsored a contingent of 23 boxers and officials to a schooling tour of London and Denmark.

Younger Kwame’s desires have been shattered when he sustained a knee damage immediately after the tour. This dominated him out of the occasion which could have shaped his desires. “But it did not discourage me,’ he recalled in an job interview.

Another likelihood beckoned him as a comparable party was held two a long time later for choice for the Commonwealth Game titles in Scotland. On the closing evening of selection, Kwame was given two bouts as an alternative of just one, to fight by the Head Coach of the Black Bombers, Armstrong Agbana. The coaches’ strategy was to expose Kwame’s expertise to all the officials.

“I stopped my very first opponent in the to start with spherical and confronted a single Tetteh Nartey from the Ghana Fire Provider in the second bout.  I defeat him serious fantastic. The officials were pleased about my effectiveness and I was picked.”

“We travelled to Hannover, Germany for a education tour and over there I fought one of their best boxers and stopped him in the next round in one particular of my bouts, he included.”

Regretably, Ghana was amongst the 32 African nations that boycotted the 1986 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games. This was in solidarity with South Africa which was battling with the Apartheid regime. Another large doorway appeared shut before Kwame Asante’s eyes.

Kwame Asante (still left) and his Cuban opponent attempt to land simultaneously in a training bout in Germany.

Boxing Education

Prior to the schooling tour of Germany, Coach Armstrong Agbana advised he took a program in boxing coaching. Kwame Asante was interested and duly utilized for the course. Kwame and a person of his mates, Papa Kwaku Ananse took the course together in 1987 in Leipzig. Kwame returned a year later on to guide at the Nationwide Sports Authority of Ghana with teaching Ghana’s national crew the Black Bombers to get ready for the Seoul Olympic Video games. They provided two of Ghana’s eventual 10 environment champions – Ike ‘Bazooka’ Quartey who grew to become a WBA welterweight champion and Alfred ‘Cobra’ Kotey. A different of the a lot of younger ones who labored with Kwame Asante at the early phase of his job is deceased previous WBC Global champion and trainer, Napoleon Tagoe, who recognized the Will Electricity Gym in Accra.

Kwame Asante  

Joseph Agbeko – previous IBF and IBO winner

Joseph ‘King Kong’ Agbeko is now a 3-time earth champion following annexing the IBF and IBO titles at bantamweight.  When Joseph Agbeko won the IBF Bantamweight title in 2007, Ghana had been starved for at least 13 several years. “I achieved Mentor Asante when I went to the US in 2007. I moved to New Jersey but was not at ease so I moved to New York to dwell with Joshua Clottey. I joined his gymnasium and we began performing collectively. That was when I achieved Kwame Asante,” Agbeko recalled in an interview with Joy Sporting activities.

Joseph Agbeko and Kwame Asante glimpse on during pre-bout formalities for the IBF title bout in Sacramento, California in 2007

Agbeko describes his previous coach as very humble. “He would occur to select us to the gymnasium. He was like a close friend to us. He was a extremely seasoned coach dwelling in the US and was the to start with port of phone for all young Ghanaian boxers who went to the US.”

Agbeko credits the improvement in his combat type during the time period to Kwame Asante. “He skilled me and stepped up my pace. He handled me for my initially battle in Vegas and then for the entire world title. He is a superb individuality and a great coach.”

Joshua Clottey – previous IBF Welterweight champion

Kwame Asante applies the bandage for Joshua Clottey ahead of a bout

Interestingly, Kwame Asante introduced the boxer to Dibella Leisure owned by promoter Lou DiBella. This marketing agreement was to verify the major strategic determination produced by the boxer considering the fact that it brought him the major bouts of his vocation and also observed him select his most significant paycheques. It was also good aid for Clottey a superior battle record for himself, but experienced but was rising from an acrimonious conclusion of partnership with his prior supervisor, Freddy Annan of Foundation Sporting activities Administration, British isles.

“We had a lot of fantastic situations together, and he did a whole lot to get ready me for my bout from Zab Judah. We camped at the Pocono Vacation resort which is two hours’ push from my regular home in New York. It was tranquil and I was ready to prepare well”, Clottey recalled.

Kwame Asante selects the appropriate gloves forward of Clottey’s bout against Miguel Cotto

“One of the things that have marked him out as a coach is the capacity to thrust his boxers to get the ideal.”

Asante had assurance in Joshua from the initially working day he stepped into the gymnasium. Joshua remembers that he was keen to do one thing amazing and was amazed with him. Their partnership kicked off on a very good take note and there was fantastic chemistry as effectively. “We fought in and gained our eliminators foremost up to the environment title combat towards Zab Judah. We gained individuals fights and have been ready to forge ahead. The two parted strategies afterwards on.

Kwame Asante and Joshua Clottey await the  announcement success of one of their bouts

New Era

Right now, Kwame Asante, the father of four, carries on to function diligently to make environment beaters out of a crop of boxers such as lightweights Dashaun ‘Too Sweet’ Johns and Issouf ‘Volcano’ Kinda, from Burkina Faso and light-weight heavyweight, Matthew Tinker from Eire. “We retain doing work difficult and force to get the best out of the young types. I have travelled a extended journey in the activity and learnt a fantastic deal and I want to give back again as considerably as I can,” he concluded.

Kwame Aasante and Dashaun Johns

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