Azumah Nelson in Brooklyn


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Brooklyn, NY – Azumah “The Professor” Nelson, former two-division world champion, put African boxing on the map KO after KO throughout the 1980s and 90s. Azumah Nelson will make his first appearance at New York’s famous Gleason’s Gym on June 13, 2011, from 6-9pm for a meet and greet charity auction benefiting the Azumah Nelson Foundation’s “Mentoring for a Brighter Future” building project in Akuse, Ghana. The Azumah Nelson Academy is being built on 50 acres of land acquired by Azumah Nelson to give back to the young people of Ghana, as he calls on the help of the global village to raise every child by mentoring for a brighter future.

On June 11, Nelson also made an appearance at the International Boxing Hall of Fame—where he was inducted in 2004—and participated in a ringside chat to bring international awareness to the Azumah Nelson Foundation and its efforts. He also welcomed new inductees Mike Tyson, Julio Cesar Chavez, Sylvester Stallone and Kostya Tszyu to the Hall. When asked if he minds being called a senior amongst other boxing champions like Mike Tyson, Azumah laughed and said, “In my country being called a senior is great because it gives you a certain reverence amongst the next generation in a passing of age ritual that all cultures need for growth and the passing down of tradition. So, Yes I am happy to be part of the senior class and to have the opportunity to extend the Azumah Nelson Foundation’s motto of ‘Mentoring for a Brighter Future’ to the IBHOF by serving as a mentor to the new class of inductees as well as future inductees from Ghana and other parts of the world. This new class is special to me because many of my history-making career highlights were with great fighters and promoters of their respective nations—USA, Mexico and Australia. The UN has declared 2011 the International Year of African Descendants and this year’s theme of Africa Day is “Africa and the Diaspora,” so I want to reach out more to my brothers and sisters in the Diaspora in unity and working together to give all of our children all over the world a brighter future.”

Azumah Nelson holds his title of “The Professor” to heart, as he has made it his life’s mission to educate the children of the black star nation of Ghana, West Africa. Azumah Nelson has dedicated all proceeds from his book, Azumah Nelson, The Professor: 12 Rounds of Boxing and Life and his new documentary, Zoom Zoom—The Professor, which made its US debut at the National Geographic Headquarters in Washington DC on April 2, 2011, to raising money for the Azumah Nelson Academy building project.

Azumah Nelson also holds the high reverence of being dubbed “The Muhammad Ali of Africa.” Ali, a man who is bigger than life to most Africans and boxing fans throughout the world, has inspired Nelson not only through his globally recognized accomplishments, but also through his compassion and dedication to giving back to Africa. Today hip-hop artists from Africa name check him in their raps and young boxers from Ghana like Joshua Clottey, who has garnered international fame, fight in his name and shadow. On June 13, 201l, join Azumah “The Professor” Nelson and friends of the Azumah Nelson Foundation such as: actor Jeffrey Wright, writer Burt Sugar, and academy award-winning Million Dollar Baby boxing trainer, Hector Roca.

Tags: Azumah Nelson

  • nealo

    A great champion Azumah Nelson. I remember watching him fight Pat Cowdell many years ago when i was, well, younger. Nelson landed a left uppercut, in I think the 2nd, that would have knocked out a mule. Good to see he has found a positive purpose in life now he’s retired.

    • Carlos Acevedo

      Hi Neal,

      thanks for checking in. The Cowdell fight was broadcast in America on national television, ABC, I believe. All I can say is “ouch.” It’s incredible that Cowdell went 15 fairly close rounds with Salvador Sanchez, but got blown out by Nelson. Azumah at the time was chasing Barry McGuigan and wanted to make a statement to the European public. Of course, McGuigan lost to Stevie Cruz a few months later and that was that. McGuigan was always so exciting; Nelson less so, but he was a better technician than Finbar. He really plastered Cowdell, however, who I remember not making it out of the first round. Still, Cowdell was a fine European fighter, whose biggest drawback was his chin. It’s good to see Nelson doing positive things–definitely–and he deserves the legendary status he holds in Ghana.

  • phils

    Absolutely agree, and he does deserve his legendary status. I’d say he enjoys that in the US a little too. Whenever there is an African boxer on American TV, it doesn’t matter what country he is from, Azumah’s name ALWAYS comes up in the broadcast.