Joshua Wahab is understandably disappointed. Wahab was scheduled to face Anthony Moloisane on Saturday, July 10, for the vacant WBO Africa Super Featherweight title.
This wasn’t just another bout for the undefeated Nigerian. This was the start of a new chapter.
Wahab had recently signed to Lou DiBella’s promotional outfit, DiBella Entertainment, the same company which promotes former world lightweight champ Richard Commey and lightweight contender Emmanuel Tagoe, both natives of Ghana—the same country Wahab fights out of.
This was to be Wahab’s first fight with his new promoter, and second with managers, Streetwise Management. His debut is now on hold following Thursday’s announcement from event organizers Ace Power Promotions, which was first reported by BoxingAfrica.com here, that the card had been postponed due to circumstances beyond their control.
The news hit Wahab harder than any punch might.
“I have been training for over three months preparing for this bout and to hear that it has been cancelled really makes me sad,” Wahab (20-0, 13 KOs) told BoxingAfrica.com.
“The most painful part is that the problem which led to the postponement has nothing to do with my handlers but the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA).”
According to Kizito Akudago, the Corporate Affairs Manager of Ace Power Promotions, his organization decided to call off their scheduled card after they were informed by Boxrec.com, official record keeper of boxing stats—including fighter records—that they would not recognize the bout nor any other fight cards coming out of Ghana.
“As an outfit, we cannot organize shows and allow our fighters to fight without being recognized by Boxrec so we decided to postpone the bout,” said Akudago.
“As it stands now, we don’t know what led to the rift between the Ghana Boxing Authority and Boxrec but we are not going to allow it affect our fight nights considering the monies involved.”
One source closely involved with the rift says various issues are the cause, citing “lies and deceit,” including false documentation from the GBA.
Whether true or not, Ace Power Promotions’ allegations were confirmed by GBA Secretary General Patrick Johnson, who explained that he was in no position to discuss further.
“I know of the concerns raised by Ace Power Promotions but I am not in the right position to talk about the rift with Boxrec because I don’t have authorization from my president [GBA head Peter Zwennes],” Johnson told BoxingAfrica.com.
All of this is of little solace to Wahab. The 23-year-old boxer has been training with coach Charles Quartey at the Charles Quartey Boxing Club at Jamestown in Accra in preparation for the bout versus South Africa’s Moloisane (14-5-1, 8 KOs).
“I believe things can be sorted out quickly for me to fight for the WBO Africa championship and I want the GBA to consider doing that immediately,” said Wahab.
“Everything happens for a reason and so I am ready to put the disappointment behind me and continue working hard for the future.”