Bukom is a small neighbourhood in the Ghanaian capital, Accra. Despite its limited size and resources, it has produced an exceptional number of world champion boxers. The sport dominates the community which has a long history of fighting – many cannot afford education, meaning career options often extend to fisherman, labourer or boxer. With upwards of 30 different boxing gyms in the community and huge ‘fame status’ associated with the sport – the moment someone becomes a champion boxer, they become a celebrity in Bukom.
Ray, an action and sports photographer who grew up boxing had always been drawn to Bukom: “I had heard about this neighbourhood a long time ago and there was such mystery surrounding it. How did somewhere so small and relatively isolated from the global boxing scene produce so many great fighters? I wanted to tell the story my way, to elevate these boxers to heroes, to do justice to how these athletes are seen by their local community and bring them the visibility they deserve.”