In what promises to be one of most hotly contested weight categories during the London 2012 Olympic Games, look out for Ghana's Duke Akueteh Micah in the Flyweights, one of the biggest talents to emerge from the African continent. As a fighter he has matured a lot in the past year and could be ready to make a name for himself on the biggest stage of all this summer.
The elegant fighter is one of four Ghanaians boxers that will be competing at the Olympic Games, alongside Light Flyweight Tetteh Sulemanu, UK-based Bantamweight Isaac Zion Dogboe and Heavyweight Maxwell Amponsah, and despite his young age is already talked about as one of the leaders in his team's delegation. Micah will surely be looking to celebrate his 21st birthday with a win in the British capital.
He won his first major tournament at the Accra Championships in 2006, at the tender age of 15, which set down a marker early on. Already then most coaches predicted a bright future for him. He went on to earn his first national elite title in 2008 before getting involved with the national squad just after the Beijing Olympic Games.
Micah was selected to take part in the 2009 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Milan; however he was unable to participate in that tournament and would have to wait another year to make his international debut. However that year, the diminutive orthodox fighter put in some quality performances in African Zonal and Continental events whilst he was crowned again at national level.
Following international training camps in India and Australia, his first major international competition was the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, where he opened up his account with a great victory over the experienced South African Lebogang Pilane. In the end, he was eliminated by Pakistan's Muhammad Waseem in the quarter-finals, but his credentials were clear for all to see.
The precocious young talent moved up a weight class in 2011 and announced his arrival in style by winning the African Zonal Championships in Lome, Togo. With that title under his belt, he was part of the Ghanaian team that competed that year at the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Baku, however in his first contest in the Azeri capital; the young Micah came up against the experienced Japanese Katsuaki Susa, a two-time Asian Games bronze medallist, was overpowered and lost.
The AIBA African Olympic Qualifying Event in Casablanca, Morocco, saw Micah achieve a quota place for London 2012 after making it to the semi-finals, claiming a valuable bronze medal after suffering defeat to Kenya's Commonwealth Games silver medallist Benson Gicharu.
In preparation for his debut at the Olympic Games, Duke Micah took part in the Economic Community of West African States Games in Ghana, where he showcased his power to defeat Senegal's Mustapha Mbaike in the semis before outscoring Benin's Jesugnon Adande to secure a confidence boosting gold medal.
Micah has since then been training extra hard at the Fit Square Boxing Gym in Accra, in order to be ready for his assault on the Olympic Flyweight gold medal. Most of his rivals in the ring will be taller than he is, so he has been studying how best to move inside, working his way to the body to stamp his authority on bouts with an aggressive style.
The rising star of Ghanaian boxing is currently with his three other teamates honing their skills to be ready for the big show at the AIBA Road to London Program in in the Welsh capital Cardiff. One thing is for sure, the fledgling star is extremely focused on not only putting a good show at the upcoming London 2012 Olympic Games but to be amongst the medal contenders at the ExCeL London.
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