Legendary Gold Coast Ghanaian boxer who won the British Empire featherweight title in April 1951


Legendary Gold Coast Ghanaian boxer who won the British Empire featherweight title in April 1951
John Theophilus Oti Ankrah aka Roy “The Black Flash” Ankrah (25 December 1925 — 28 May 1995) was a Ghanaian professional feather/super feather/lightweight boxer of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s who won the Gold Coast flyweight title, Gold Coast bantamweight title, Gold Coast featherweight title, Gold Coast lightweight title, Gold Coast welterweight title, and British Empire super featherweight title. , Roy was also a veteran who fought in the Second World War at Burma as a soldier of the British Empire. His professional fighting weight varied from 121 1⁄2 lb (55.1 kg; 8 st 9.5 lb), i.e. featherweight to 128 3⁄4 lb (58.4 kg; 9 st 2.8 lb), i.e. lightweight. Ankrah turned professional in the Gold Coast in 1941 recording 110 undefeated wins, he then made his début in Great Britain in 1950 on the recommendation of Freddie Mills, he recorded 10 further wins before losing to Jimmy Murray on a foul, he later helped his Ghana’s boxing squads for the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games

James Barnor
James Barnor was born in Accra, Ghana in 1929 and started his photographic career with a makeshift studio in Jamestown. From the early 1950s he operated ‘Ever Young’ studio in Accra and worked as a photographer for the Daily Graphic newspaper, as well as Drum, Africa’s foremost lifestyle and politics magazine. He left Ghana for the UK in 1959 and studied photography at Medway College of Art in Kent. He returned to Ghana in 1969 as a representative for Agfa Gevaert to introduce colour processing facilities in Accra. He is currently retired and lives in Brentford, London. Since Autograph ABP’s archival intervention in 2010, Barnor’s work has been shown internationally at venues including Havard University, Boston; South African National Gallery, Cape Town; Rivington Place, London; Tate Britain, London; and Paris Photo 2012. His photographs are represented in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate and Government Art Collection in Britain, as well as in numerous international private collections.
In the early 1950s, Barnor’s photographic studio Ever Young in Jamestown, Accra was visited by civil servants and dignitaries, performance artists and newly-weds. During this period, Barnor captured intimate moments of luminaries and key political figures such as Ghana’s first Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah as he pushed for pan-African unity, and commonwealth boxing champion Roy Ankrah. In 1960s London, Barnor photographed Muhammad Ali training for a fight at Earl’s Court, BBC Africa Service reporter Mike Eghan posing at Piccadilly Circus and a multinational cohort of fashionable Drum cover girls.

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