By Chris Glover
Michael Amoo-Bediako, managing director of Streetwise Management, announced today the launch of The Streetwise Foundation, a program endowing equipment to needy boxing gyms in Ghana.
The Foundation will provide boxers with the necessary tools to ply their craft, such as boxing gloves, wraps, boots and bags. World lightweight contender Richard Commey will serve as the Global Ambassador.
“Although I was born in the UK, both of my parents are from Ghana and I spent a good part of my schooling there,” says Amoo-Bediako. “So Ghana is dear to my heart and I’m extremely proud of my Ghanaian heritage.”
That heritage includes a rich history in boxing. Ghana has produced many elite fighters, including world champions Ike Quartey, Joshua Clottey, Joseph Agbeko, Nana Yaw Konadu, David Kotei and, of course, International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee Azumah Nelson.
At the centre of Ghana boxing is Bukom. The tiny fishing town in capital city Accra has produced a disproportionate number of world-class pugilists. Amoo-Bediako met Commey in Bukom’s famed Bronx Boxing Club, a gym headed by the nation’s finest trainer, Lawrence Carl Lokko.
Streetwise Management guided Commey, who had only 12 amateur bouts, to a world title shot in September 2016. Commey lost a controversial split decision to Robert Easter Jr. He’s since earned another world title bout and may fight Easter again in the coming months.
“It is an honour to be chosen as the Global Ambassador for this fantastic foundation,” Commey said. “My manager, Michael Amoo-Bediako, has worked tirelessly to help fulfil my dreams of competing at the highest level and becoming a world champion. To be able to give back so that others may have the same opportunity is a blessing. I will carry out my role to the best of my abilities with dignity and pride.”
“Being around Richard and the Bronx Boxing Club showed me what’s needed to help the children and to help the budding boxers in the area attain the opportunities that Richard capitalized on,” Amoo-Bediako notes. “This has not been lost on Richard. We often speak about what he wants to do following his boxing career. Helping the community where he grew up is a top priority for him.”
Amoo-Bediako began collecting equipment with the help of two friends, Paul Brown and Clive Whitbread. Brown and Whitbread popped into his gym in Loughton, Essex, in the UK and donated boxing gloves. More equipment was acquired from another friend, Ken Mills of Boxfit UK. Amoo-Bediako intends to distribute these items to gyms in the Bukom area once he returns to Ghana.
“We want to empower the sport in Ghana, beginning at a grassroots level,” he says. “But our ultimate goal is to help all of the children in those communities by securing funding for school equipment, such as books, pens and pencils. This is simply the start.
“Setting up this foundation and having Richard Commey as the Global Ambassador gives us an opportunity to spread the word. The goal is for others to follow in the footsteps of past champions to create the champions of the future. Richard will be counted among the latter. We want to ensure that there are more to come.”
Stay tuned for more information on The Streetwise Foundation.