When David Haye caused an upset in 2009 by defeating Nikolai Valuev to win the WBA heavyweight title, it was revealed that he denied himself sex for 13 weeks.
That was the extent of sacrifice fuelled by the hunger for success invested in the sport.
But some decades earlier another boxing great in Ghana David Kotei (D.K. Poison) made similar sacrifices but with a different twist.
In the upcoming Joy News/ Joy Sports Hotline documentary, The Boxing Loan, which amongst other things marks his 45th title-winning milestone for Ghana, D.K. Poison also resisted big temptations from some beautiful women.
The Ghanaian legend arrived in Inglewood, California for pre-fight events a week ahead of time after a successful training camp in New York.
The promoters at the time sent spies as well as sparring partners to gather information on D.K. Poison but he outsmarted them by not doing much during the specific sessions.
He recollects that “they thought I was some ordinary boxer whom their boxer could easily outwit in the ring. The spy who came to my camp returned with information that I loved drinking a lot of beer and that Olivares could easily beat me.”
“After the press conference they got up to those foolish tricks and the Olivares camp sent some beautiful ladies to my lobby to tempt me. You know what that means. They wanted to see if I would have an issue with one of them.
But I told them I left my manhood in Africa. After the fight, I will go back for it. They couldn’t help but have a good laugh,” he recollected.
His explanation for not turning a head to take a second look at any of the women was that his concentration was on the title. At the time, Ghana hardly had a world champion, or a global title in any sport, after failed attempts by the likes of Love Allotey and Floyd Klutei Robertson.
D.K. Poison’s defeat of Reuben Olivares on September 20, 1975, was greeted with a lot of anger by the fans at the Coliseum in California such that he had to be declared winner in the dressing room.
D.K. Poison’s documentary The Boxing Loan will be aired on the Joy News channel (DSTV 421 and free-to-air) ahead of the commemoration of his 45th anniversary of annexing the title which falls on September 20.
D.K. Poison’s rating of Reuben Olivares
“I don’t want to praise myself for anything but at the time, the bookmakers regarded Olivares more than Mohammed Ali. I believe that Mohammed Ali is the greatest of all time. Olivares was a tough opponent. He was not cheap. It was a tough fight.”
Reuben ‘El Puas’ Olivares retired in 1988, after racking up 105 bouts throughout his professional career. He won 89 of them, lost 13 and drew 3 with 79 of the wins coming through knockouts.