Streetwise Foundation is serious about its intent to transform Ghana youth through boxing and to help the impoverished gyms all over the country.
Michael Amoo-Bediako, the organization’s founder and the top man at Streetwise Management, has prepared a staggering amount of boxing gloves, shoes, hats and other accoutrements to be shipped to Ghana and used primarily in the gyms in the Bukom section of Accra.
“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 center 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 Richard Commey in Bukom’s famed Bronx Boxing Club, a gym headed by the nation’s finest trainer, Lawrence Carl Lokko.
“Being around Richard 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.”
Streetwise Management guided Commey, who had only 12 amateur bouts to a world title. He is currently the IBF world lightweight champion, a belt he will defend a second time when he meets undefeated mandatory challenger Teofimo Lopez on December 14.
Commey is also the Global Ambassador for Streetwise Foundation. On a recent trip to Ghana, he and Amoo-Bediako supported several young boxers by giving them scholarships to get an education.
“We want to empower the sport in Ghana, beginning at a grassroots level,” said Amoo-Bediako. “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. There is much work to be done.”