At the height of his professional career, David Kotey, aka D. K Poison, the first Ghanaian to win a world boxing title, was cherished and loved by Ghanaians but since his fortunes plummeted, the one- time hero has been totally forgotten.
The Adabraka-born boxer attended the Government Boys School, now Kinbu JSS. D. K Poison became Ghana’s featherweight champion in 1966. He then proceeded to win the African Boxing Union (ABU) featherweight title after stopping Taher Hassan in the first round of their bout to annex the ABU featherweight title in Tunisia. This was after then Head of State; Gen Acheampong, also an avowed sports man, felt there was the need to put Ghana on the world map through sports, particularly boxing.
The world title then became the next target for D. K after winning the ABU featherweight title but the authorities thought it was wise to give him a shot at the Commonwealth title which he executed to perfection by stopping Scottish David Armstrong in the 10th round at the El-Wak Stadium. This paved the way for the young energetic D. K Poison to take a shot at the world title, which he won on 20 September 1975 and became the first Ghanaian boxer in history to win a world title.
Unfortunately, he only held the title for a year before losing it to Danny Lopez.
When The Globe visited him at his Teshie residence, a very lively D. K Poison not looking at all like he’s lost any of the spark that made him a world champion some years back, appeared at the door bare-chested with a ready to fight smile on his face.
D.K. Poison ruled the world in the ’70s
When asked what he had been doing since he retired from boxing, he just smiled and replied I just love boxing.
“I love boxing that’s why I got into it he said. I didn’t go into boxing because of the money like we have now all over the world. Back in the days, boxing was taken a lot more serious than it is now. I remember making the trip from Nima where I resided, to Kotobabi for training every day.
“People thought I was crazy then but I loved the sport but now it’s gotten to the stage and period where boxing has become a money making machine. I will advise anyone who is boxing or who wishes to be a boxer to train seriously. Ghana has come far in boxing and that has to be maintained I may not have been fortunate like most of these guys and as a former boxer I can only give them words of encouragement,” he said.
On the issue of some outstanding debt owed him by the state, the former world champion refused to comment. He only said, “I think this is my destiny and I feel hurt when I think about it. ”
History indeed remains forever, otherwise some of us wouldn’t have known that D. K once single-handedly played the role of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to boost the economy of Ghana by providing hard currency (in US dollars) from proceeds of his fights to partially boost the economy of Ghana during the Acheampong era. He retired from active boxing in 1989.
Source: The Globe Ghana