On June 15, Floyd Mayweather will arrive in Ghana in the gentle cunning smile he wears anytime he tears his opponents apart in the ring.
With 49 fights without a defeat, 24 of which came through a knockout, the Playboy Mayweather has every right to embark on an “Undisputed Tour” of Africa, his “Motherland” as he puts it.
It will be two nights in Ghana with the champion, the money man who many times turned the dreaded boxing ring into a boxing clinic and forced his sworn enemies into sparring partners.
With his deadly left hand and a super quick right, Mayweather sent Ricky to the canvass, left Cotto crumbled and subjected many of his opponents to a thorough one sided beating.
Fast and furious in the ring, cheery and benevolent outside it, Mayweather will connect with his roots on his “Undisputed Tour” in Africa, Ghana, after bowing out of a hugely successful boxing career in 2015, a career many consider as the greatest of all time.
He will not be the first boxing legend to pay Ghana a visit but his, is special in many significant respects.
He comes at a time when Ghana’s boxing, a once popular sport, has taken an audacious dip with no World Champion yet to report. But this is a country that had, at a point, three world titles after Azumah Nelson, Ike Quartey and Nana Yaw Konadu did to their opponents what Mayweather enjoyed doing.
Interestingly, the sport is not lacking in talents; it is rather hungry and thirsty for resources to feed its many greatest potentials.
So if Upscale Entertainment is collaborating with the Multimedia Group and other partners to bring the legendary boxer to Ghana, his second time in Africa, after a 2014 visit to South Africa, many well meaning Ghanaians are asking, what are stakeholders doing to leverage on the huge benefits a once-in-a-lifetime-visit like this will have for Ghana?
Roni Boateng, the CEO of Upscale entertainment, the certified event organizers in Ghana, could not have said it any better when she said “Mayweather will bring a lot of attention to Ghana with this historic visit and we are excited about that.”
On his 2014 visit to South Africa and dwarfed by two huge members of his contingent, the money man became the icon, a champion of peace, an ambassador against youth violence in a country where xenophobic attacks were rampant at the time. He did many things there but could do far more here in a country whose new president is talking of trade instead of aid.
One of the richest sports man in the world who walks his talk, Mayweather was damn right when he was quoted as saying “Why must I give to Africa?” Why must he when Africa on its own can stand without it been spoon fed by development partners.
His arrival in Ghana with an 18-man contingent, is money for the business men, the boxing fraternity, cultural and tourism experts, and the media magnates.
It is refreshing to know that the Baby Jet promotions, funded by yet another sporting icon, Ghana’s football great and Black Stars captain, Asamoah Gyan is playing a part in this iconic visit of a boxing legend.
We are told Mayweather will pay courtesy calls on the president as well as the Otumfuo Osei Tutu, the Ashanti King and will be part of a fund raising dinner to be organised in his honour and a boxing event at the Bukom boxing arena.
These are great events which when marketed well will yield great dividends for a country reeling under economic challenges.
Money, Culture and Tourism
Floyd Mayweather is money. Culture is the Ashanti Kingdom and when the two ‘institutions’ combine Ghana’s tourism should be earning a few more dollars in revenue. Only a few months ago the world was awed by the celebration of the death of the Queen mother of the Ashanti stool Asantehemaa Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa, Ampem II, the mother of Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. And if by chance the world failed to notice, they will now because the man who grabs attention with a little twitch of his mouth, and with a fine mona lisa smile will hit the garden city. He will see at first hand, a kingdom robed in power, majesty and rich history. He might not meet anybody from his ancestral roots but he surely will meet the finest of African culture, a great rallying point for many Africans, black Americans in the diaspora.
He is not only outstanding in his chosen profession, he is astute in making money. Money loves money and sees money in every venture. His visit to the president should to mark the beginning of great business discussions with key business men and women who are ready to trade ideas and make money as well. Ghana is replete with many business opportunities but the ‘village king’ mentality of many of our business men means Ghana will have to console itself with the crumbs of success when she has the power to dine with the finest on the globe. Mr President, get a man, woman to talk numbers with the money man and let’s see if something meaningful will not come out of this visit.
Motivation to the youth
A born hustler with pride , the grass to grace story of the money man should be a huge source of motivation to the country’s youth. Interestingly, after hanging his gloves in 2015 but eyeing a $100 million McGregor bout return, Mayweather, has since gone into motivation. Even though two days is not enough for many things, if I were part of the organisers, apart from having a small boxing clinic for up and coming boxers to learn the trade from the man himself, I will also have a small session for the money man to meet with a section of the country’s youth for a talk. It can be on anything, from mob injustice to addiction for success. Who knows, just by listening, the whole world view of a young man, woman will change.
The money man is on a mission to find a new Floyd Mayweather. One who will break his record and set a new one. Ghana may well be the source of that new money man.