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Azumah Nelson

Azumah Nelson




Azumah Nelson, born on July 19, 1958, is a celebrated Ghanaian former professional boxer renowned for his exceptional career achievements in the ring. Known affectionately as "The Professor," Nelson competed professionally from 1979 to 2008 and is recognized as one of the greatest African boxers of all time. He held two world titles across different weight classes, including the WBC featherweight title from 1984 to 1987 and the WBC super-featherweight title twice between 1988 and 1997. Additionally, he held regional titles such as the ABU and Commonwealth featherweight titles from 1980 to 1982.

Nelson first gained international attention when he competed in the 1978 All-Africa Games and Commonwealth Games, where he won gold medals in the featherweight division at both events. That same year, he was named Amateur Boxer of the Year by the Sports Writers Association of Ghana. Despite his domestic success, he was relatively unknown outside of Ghana and was considered an underdog when he challenged WBC featherweight champion Salvador Sánchez at Madison Square Garden in 1982. Although Nelson lost the fight, he gained recognition for his skill and resilience.

In 1984, Nelson solidified his reputation as a world-class boxer by winning the WBC featherweight title. He achieved this milestone by defeating Wilfredo Gómez in a dramatic match, turning the tide in his favor to secure the victory. Nelson went on to defend his title successfully in subsequent fights, demonstrating his mastery and expertise in the ring.

Transitioning to the super-featherweight division, Nelson won the vacant WBC title in 1988 by defeating Mario Martinez. He continued to dominate in this weight class, eventually claiming the title from world champion Gabriel Ruelas in 1995. Nelson's reign at super-featherweight lasted until 1997, when he lost the title to Genaro Hernandez.

Throughout his career, Nelson's influence extended beyond the ring. The Azumah Nelson Sports Complex in Kaneshie, Accra, was named in his honor, recognizing his significant contributions to Ghanaian sports. In 2014, his biography, "The Professor: The Life Story of Azumah Nelson," was published by Ashley Morrison.

Nelson's personal life includes a close-knit family, with six children and a strong bond with his mother, siblings, and wife Priscilla Boakye Nelson. He also trains his son Dalvin Azumah Nelson Junior in boxing. In 2018, Nelson celebrated his 60th birthday by hosting a fight night event at the Bukom Boxing Arena, bringing together fighters from various gyms in the country.

Azumah Nelson's legacy as a two-weight world champion and his impact on the sport of boxing in Ghana and beyond are undeniable. His skill, resilience, and passion for the sport have made him an iconic figure in the history of African boxing.


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