- Azumah Nelson says former president Jerry John Rawlings convinced him to ditch his dream of joining the military
- The three-time world champion told the story of how the the former president's advice has been a blessing to him on his 60th birthday
Ghanaian boxing legend, Azumah Nelson, says he is delighted that former president Jerry John Rawlings talked him out of joining the military during his formative years.
The former WBC Super Featherweight champion said he nearly joined the army when he was young, but for the advice of Rawlings.
Explaining how his professional boxing career started, the boxing professor said he was drafted into the Ghana Army Boxing team whiles he was a teenager.
He said that was where he met a young Rawlings, who used to cook for all the amateur boxers in camp.
According to him, camping with the military men nearly swayed him into joining the army, but the ex-president advised him to stick to boxing.
Speaking in an interview with Ghanaweb TV, Azumah Nelson stated that, in hindsight, he considers Rawlings’ advice as a blessing in disguise since it led to him to become the man he is today.
“I wanted to be a military man and the former President Rawlings said [I should rather become a boxer]. When we were amateur boxers, he used to take care of us, so he said with what he saw in me, I shouldn’t be a military man. So he didn’t allow me to join the force,” he recalled.
“Because of that I always thank him and I pray for him every time. God used him to advise me not to join the military. If I had joined the military, maybe I would have been a sergeant.”
Azumah Nelson, who turned 60 on July 19, is widely regarded as the greatest boxer to ever emerge from Africa, having dominated the Featherweight and Super Featherweight divisions in the 1980s and 1990s.
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