Skip To Content
    Posted on Mar 16, 2016

    15 Incredible Photos Of Ghanaian Amateur Boxers

    Patrick Sinkel's photographs have been shortlisted for a Sony World Photography Award.

    Bukom is a suburb in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. This small, largely poor area has produced some of the best African boxers on record.

    Patrick Sinkel

    Five world champions came from Bukom including Azumah "The Professor" Nelson, who won three world titles in the '80s and '90s.

    Patrick Sinkel

    German photographer Patrick Sinkel travelled to Bukom in 2014 and found the Attoh Quarshie boxing gym just by asking around. Everyone knows where the gyms are.

    Patrick Sinkel

    He told BuzzFeed: “As soon as I realised what boxing for the people of Bukom really means I was totally fascinated by it.”

    Patrick Sinkel

    “Boxing isn’t just a sport, it's their second nature.”

    Patrick Sinkel

    Fighting in general has a long tradition here, but boxing came with the British colonisation.

    Patrick Sinkel

    It’s become a way to escape poverty and everyday Bukom life – they worship their champions as national heroes, and the local kids want to be pro fighters in the US or Europe.

    Patrick Sinkel

    Some make it, some don’t.

    Patrick Sinkel

    “Most boxing gyms survive by private donations," says Sinkel. "The Ghanaian government doesn’t really support the gyms.”

    Patrick Sinkel

    Some boxers pay to be there, but it depends on their social background.

    Patrick Sinkel

    If a boxer can’t afford to pay, he doesn't have to pay.

    Patrick Sinkel

    Sinkel says that boxing in Bukom is improving lives. The boxers who turn pro can support their family and friends back home.

    Patrick Sinkel

    For the amateurs, like in these photographs, it gives them a greater sense of self-respect.

    Patrick Sinkel

    Sinkel says his favourite photograph is not of the boxers themselves, but the kids by the ringside, cheering the fighters on.

    Patrick Sinkel

    “To me, this picture symbolises not only the passion for boxing but it expresses the Ghanaian joy of life, pretty much.”

    Patrick Sinkel

    Patrick Sinkel's Fight for Your DreamsThe Boxers of Buxom has been shortlisted for the Sony World Photography Awards.



    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form