Ambassador Amarkai Amarteifio, a former Minister for Youth and Sports, wants to see Ghanaian boxing ring officials emulate the legendary Col George Slater who will be buried today in Accra.
In a tribute to Col. Slater who passed on some months back, the former Sports Minister described the departed referee judge as a great gentleman whose contributions to the sport provided great foundations which have led to the major strides made in the sport today.
Ambassador Amarkai Amarteifio who also previously served as Chairman of the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) remembered fondly the days when Col Slater set very high standards as boxing Referee.
“He was a reference point for fair officiating. He brought a professional touch and made the sport attractive to patronize,” he said.
The Late Col. George Slater was also part of major milestones in world boxing history.
Earlier 1974 he was present at the very famous ‘Rumble in the Jungle heavyweight title fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire (now DR Congo).
Also in 1964 when Muhammad Ali visited Ghana, Col Slater was part of the entourage that welcomed the legendary boxer.
Due to his industriousness and devotion to the sport, he was elevated to the helm of the administration of the sport in Ghana as it head succeeding Air Commodore de Graft-Hayford a.k.a chocolate kid.
Ambassador Amarkai Amarteifio, who is also the board chairmain of Great Olympics recalled how the late Col Slater’s tenure saw the establishment of high end boxing patronage. “It was during his days that we saw the introduction of the mandatory black tie dress code at ringside. Boxing was put in its right place as a premium sport that also celebrated the achievers of society at ringside during big fight nights,” he recalled.
It was Col. George Herbert Slater’s tenure as GBA Chairman that the Accra Stadium recorded the historic attendance of 120 fans at the D.K. Poison-Danny ‘Little Red’ Lopez title fight on November 6, 1976.
“That classy and elaborate set up had been put in place at the Rivera Hotel for a post-fight celebration since the assumption was that D.K. Poison would successfully retain his WBC featherweight title against the Mexican.
“Unfortunately, D.K. lost the fight and had to be rushed to the 37 Military Hospital after that. We all visited D.K. Poison and Col told the boxer to take it easy after he had asked how he was doing,” he recounted.
According to Ambassador Amarteifio, Col Slater who was also drained in disappointment told his colleague senior army officers who accompanied him to the hospital to go the Rivera for Dinner if they still had appetite.
“A handful of people (excluding the senior army officers and Col Slater himself) turned up at the even,” he revealed.
The former Sports Minister also recalled one of the stories Col Slater shared with his friends. “When Floyd Klutei Robertson fought Sugar Ramos, the Ghanaian did not win on the cards of the judges but eventually the people felt their local boxer should win the fight. Therefore Osaagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah the President in unusual fashion declared Floyd Robertson the winner of the fight and the champion.”
Col. George Hebert Slater was also actively played cricket. “He made a big mark on the sport of boxing with his sterling qualities and will forever be remembered,” Ambassador Amarkai Amarteifio told Joy Sports.