“I am the son of a fisherman and I come from a humble background and I want to work hard to succeed so that my family will be proud of me.”
These are the genuine words of John ‘Abaja’ Laryea who is preparing to challenge for the WBO Africa featherweight title on July 17 here in Accra.
The product of the Bronx Gym in Jamestown Accra, awed attendees to his conference last Friday for the announcement of his bout against Namibia’s Sebastien Nathanael, who currently holds the belt. “Boxing has made me somebody and I want to work hard to ensure that I become a world champion and a super star so that I can use my position to help others,” he told the media.
John Laryea is clear in his statements about his mission in the sport whose featherweight division has seen Ghanaian greats like D.K. Poison and Azumah Nelson grace it.
He was also clear about his confidence and zero fear for his opponent who has won 14 out of his 16 professional fights since debuting seven years ago. Laryea goes into this bout as an undefeated challenger who has won six of his eight bouts via knockout. The bout also represents an elevation for the self-motivated Laryea who won the Ghana featherweight title two months ago at the Bukom Boxing Arena following a TKO win against Kamarudeen Boyefio.
The young Ghanaian challenger could have a tough customer in the Namibian holder who is definitely nurturing similar ambitions of world championship.
WBO Africa title beckons John Laryea
Sebastianus Nathanael – reigning WBO Africa featherweight champion
Sebastianus Nathanael, nicknamed Iron Fists, currently holds the WBO Africa title which he won last month against a relatively inexperienced Jermiah Mhere. His two losses against South Africa’s Sibusiso Zingange and Singapore’s Muahamad Ridhwan were also major eliminators which could have landed him a more prominent spot on the ratings tables.
Laryea’s Manager and promoter Sammy Anim Addo is of the conviction that his boxer has the quality to break into the spaces of relevance in the sport and make world title winning impact.
“He is disciplined and skillful and has passion for the sport. I see something special in him which I am ready to invest in to get him all the way to the top,” he told Joy Sports in a separate interview.
Supporting bouts on the bill will be announced in the coming days.