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Ike Quartey

Ike Quartey




Isufu "Ike" Quartey, born on November 27, 1969, is a former professional boxer from Ghana who competed from 1988 to 2006. Known for his exceptional boxing skills, Quartey held the WBA welterweight title from 1994 to 1998 and also challenged for the IBF junior-middleweight title in 2000. He hailed from Accra and was a member of the Ga tribe, the youngest of 27 children in a large family. His older brother Isaac Quartey was also an accomplished athlete, having won a silver medal in the 1960 Olympics. Growing up in Bukom, Quartey trained in the same gym as fellow Ghanaian boxing champion Azumah Nelson.

Quartey had an impressive amateur record of 50–4 and represented Ghana as a light welterweight at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. He transitioned to a professional career just before his nineteenth birthday, under the guidance of renowned Ghanaian boxing manager Yoofi Boham. Quartey's early professional fights took place in Ghana, but he later relocated to France.

In his 26th professional fight, Quartey earned a shot at the WBA welterweight title held by the undefeated Crisanto España of Venezuela. Quartey secured a victory by knockout in the 11th round, marking the beginning of his reign as WBA welterweight champion. He successfully defended his title seven times, facing notable opponents such as Alberto Cortes, Vince Phillips, and Oba Carr. In October 1997, Quartey fought José Luis López to a draw, although the decision was initially announced as a win for Quartey before being reversed.

Quartey's career faced setbacks due to personal, business, and health issues, leading to his inactivity and eventual stripping of his WBA title. In February 1999, he returned to challenge Lineal/WBC welterweight champion Oscar De La Hoya in a highly anticipated fight at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Quartey lost by a controversial split decision.

Following his defeat to De La Hoya, Quartey took another 14-month hiatus from the ring before challenging Fernando Vargas for the IBF light-middleweight championship in April 2000. He lost by unanimous decision, which led him to take an extended break from boxing for five years.

Quartey made a comeback in 2005, securing victories in his first three fights. However, his later matches, including a loss to former welterweight champion Vernon Forrest at Madison Square Garden in New York and a fight against former undisputed light-middleweight champion Ronald "Winky" Wright, did not yield favorable outcomes.

Throughout his career, Quartey's best weapon was his jab, widely regarded as one of the best in the sport during his prime. He relied on a "peek-a-boo" or "clam-shell" defense, which involved tightly guarding his cheeks and ribcage to absorb punches on his arms, elbows, and gloves. Despite his losses towards the end of his career, Quartey's exceptional skill and resilience made him a notable figure in the world of boxing.


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