Ghana's boxing medal hero Samuel Takyi to turn pro

After winning men's featherweight bronze at Tokyo 2020, Samuel Takyi has decided to end his amateur career and aim for a professional world title.

Picture by 2021 Pool

After winning Ghana's first Olympic medal in any sport in 29 years at Tokyo 2020, boxer Samuel Takyi has announced his intention to end his amateur career and turn professional.

Takyi won men's featherweight bronze in Tokyo by reaching the semi-finals, where he lost to eventual silver medallist Duke Ragan of USA.

"I am going professional," the 20-year-old told Ghanian television station TV3.

"I and my coach are ready for professional. I have a dream […] I am young and have records to break."

Samuel Takyi (red) of Team Ghana celebrates victory over Ceiber David Avila Segura of Team Colombia during the Men's Feather (52-57kg) quarter final on day nine of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Kokugikan Arena on August 01, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Takyi, who trains in the capital Accra, first made the Ghanian boxing team in 2019.

He fought at the Olympic African Boxing Qualifier in Dakar, Senegal, last February, where he won bronze and qualified for Tokyo.

At the Kokugikan Arena, Takyi defeated Ecuador's Jean Caicedo by unanimous decision in the round of 16 before a narrow 3-2 split-decision victory over Ceiber David Ávila of Colombia in the quarters, guaranteeing him a medal.

Although he lost a 4-1 split decision to Ragan in the semi-finals, Takyi had become the first Ghanian Olympic medallist since the men's football team won bronze at Barcelona 1992, and the first Ghanian boxer to win an Olympic medal since Prince Amartey's 1972 bronze medal in middleweight.

He was the only African boxer to win a medal at Tokyo 2020.

That success helped Takyi make his decision, with the youngster explaining that having competed at the Olympic Games and won a medal, he wanted to move on.

Samuel Takyi (red) of Ghana exchanges punches with Jean Carlos Caicedo Pachito of Ecuador during the Men's Feather (52-57kg) on day five of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Kokugikan Arena on July 28, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Frank Franklin - Pool/Getty Images)
Picture by 2021 Pool

"I’m not going to fight amateur boxing again because I am an Olympic bronze medalist," Takyi explained.

"The Olympics is the highest of all Games, so I am determined to become a professional."

According to reports in Ghana, the president of the country's Olympic Committee had asked Takyi to stay on with the national amateur team and compete at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games Paris 2024, but was unable to change his mind.

Takyi, though, intends to continue representing his country's flag with pride – just on the professional stage.

"When I go to professional and bring the world title to Ghana, Ghanaians will celebrate it too," he said.