Ike Quartey is one of the greatest African boxers. He is a former professional Ghanaian boxer whose skills and expertise were revered across the globe. Isufu aka Ike was active in boxing from 1988 to 2006.
Needless to say, Ike was one of the greatest boxers of all time. His greatest achievements were in the 90s where he made a mark. Out of his 37 matches, he was able to knock out 31 of his contestants. Some of his defeats were also highly contested. He earned the WBA Welterweight Title in the 90s and was nicknamed 'Bazooka'.
His 1994 world title came through after a knock out which saw Crisanto Espana, the Belfast based Venezuelan lose for the first time after 30 streaks of winning. What followed were 7 defences by Quartey before he lost to Oscar de la Hoya in a WBC Title challenge that was marred with controversy.
Quartey went on to fight 6 more fights in which he won 3 and lost 3 by a margin of a few points, one of which was also highly debatable. After all, he went against high-end operators such as Fernando Vargas, Winky Wright and Vernon Forrest. His loss to Forrest was highly debatable too.
10 most notable fights by Quartey
The following are highlights of some of the best games by the former boxer during his active career life.
1. Oscar De La Hoya vs Ike Quartey
The game went down on February 13, 1999. It was held in the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The WBC welterweight champion, Oscar De La Hoya, who hailed from Los Angeles, California, was there to defend his title against Ike Quartey, who was from Bukom, Ghana. The two fighters were both undefeated at the time. De La Hoya was at 29-0 whereas Quartey was at 34-0-1. This was a 12 rounds schedule.
The match was a tough one for the first 11 rounds. It was in the 12th round that Oscar threw 69 punches within three minutes. This was enough to knock Ike down. The judges felt that De La Hoya deserved a 30-0 over Quartey 34-1-1, in a split decision.
The judges scored as follows:
- Larry O'Connell of Hartley, England, scored it 115-114 for Quartey;
- Ken Morita of Sapporo, Japan scored it 116-112 for De La Hoya;
- John Keane of Northants, England, scored it 116-113 for De La Hoya.
In the end, De La Hoya won the fight. He expressed his disinterest in the possibility of an Oscar De La Hoya vs Ike Quartey rematch. According to him, there were other bigger and better fights to focus on as opposed to re-matching with Ike.
2. Ike Quartey vs Vargas
Although he may have come in as the undermined opponent, Quartey was in for a rude shock when his opponent took the unexpected lead. Vargas had a point to prove and he did perfectly. The judges scored in his favour putting Vargas on the winning front with a 116-111 score, whereas Glen Hamada gave him a 114-113 score.
This was the second loss decision for Quartey and it was not a good show. Both of the fighters did well, with Vargas throwing more punches than Quartey in a 389 to 272. However, Quartey scored well with his left jab all through the fight.
3. Ike Quartey vs Andrew Murray
The fight took place in August 1995 at La Palestre, Le Cannet, Alpes-Maritimes, France. The fight was quite intense with both contestants bringing their 'A' game. The first round had Murray sprawling on the floor as Ike's bow caught him on the chin. Murray was quick to get up after 8 counts. However, by the 0:41 of Round 4, the referee called in the physician to observe Murray's left eye cut. It appeared as though a lot of damage had already been caused as the fight was called off. Overall, Quartey appeared to be the sharper of the two fighters.
4. Ike Quartey vs. Jose Luis Lopez
The famous 1997 fight took place at Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut in the USA. With both skilled fighters focusing on their strengths, the game ended in a draw. The Ike Quartey vs. Jose Luis Lopez scorecards shows a different revelation. Most fans seem to have thought that Ike should have gone home with the prize. One wonders why there was never rematch for the two.
5. Ike Quartey vs Vince Phillips
The 1996 fight took place in Atlantis Casino, Cupecoy Bay, Sint Maarten. Ike Quartey had to pull through an 11th-round knockdown which he won after a majority decision. The win against Jose Luis Lopez made it possible for him to retain his World Boxing Assn. welterweight title. Quartey dominated the fight after 8 rounds.
6. Vernon Forrest vs Ike Quartey
You did not need to be a boxing fan to see that Ike should have won this game. The game took place in 2006 at Madison Square Garden, New York. Unfortunately, despite his competitive game, Quartey ended up losing as judges ruled in favour of Forrest. While Forrest was the busier fighter, Ike maintained his stamina all through the fight. While this was a chance for both former winners to redeem themselves, Ike was handed the raw deal even as the arena filled with discontent.
7. Winky Wright vs Ike Quartey
The 2006 fight was a good one with both contestants being great defenders. Winky Wright, a skilled pro player, decided to take the fight back to Florida against veteran Ike Quartey. In the second round, Wright caught Quartey with his right hook knocking him off to his hands and knees for an official knockdown.
It was in the seventh round that, Wright buckled Quartey's knees using the left hand. This prompted the referee Frank Santore Jr. to mistakenly rule another knockdown. However, Quartey let his hands go in the championship rounds. But he was very far behind on points and could not catch up with Wright. The scores were as follows:
- Peter Trematerra 117 - 109;
- Dave Moretti 117 - 110;
- Don Trella 117 - 110.
8. Ike Quartey vs Ralph Jones
The 1997 fight took place in Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. While the two exchanged punches at each other, Jones was down 2 times in the first round. He also went down once during the 5th round. In the last one, the referee came in and stopped the bout even without having to count.
9. Ike Quartey vs. Oba Carr
The 1996 fight took place in the USA at Madison Square Garden Theater, New York. Quartey was down in round 11 although this should not have been counted since it was from a back blow. Both fighters had their points deducted for different reasons. Quartey's deduction happened in round 4 because of holding down Carr's head. On the other hand, Carr's point deduction in round 10 was because of throwing a low blow.
The scores were in Ike's favour as follows:
- Jose Lauriano 117 - 109;
- Luis Rivera 116 - 109;
- Gonzalo Rivera 112 - 112.
Fans seemed to agree with those ratings that placed Ike on the winning end.
10. Ike Quartey vs Crisanto Espana
The fight took place in 1994 at Palais Marcel Cerdan, Levallois-Perret, Hauts-de-Seine, France. Espana was hurt early in the fight. After forced 8 counts, Ike went out to finish him before Espana's side threw in the towel prompting the referee to stop the fight.
With all the great fights and results, one wonders how things would have turned out if there was an Ike Quartey vs Floyd Mayweather fight. Fans on Yahoo tried to make comparisons based on the strengths and weaknesses of the fighters. However, these are just assumptions as things tend to take a different shape when it comes to the real fight.
Ike Quartey made a mark in the boxing world during his years. He will always be remembered for his strong punch. Opponents knew well how much he enjoyed frustrating them with his skilled punches. Even though he is currently out of the game, he remains an inspiration to many upcoming Ghanaian boxers.