Ghana’s fourth world boxing champion Isufu Quartelai Quartey was born on November 27, 1969 in Accra to6th Robert Quartey a court bailiff and Sarah Akua Allotey as the youngest of twenty-seven siblings.
He developed a passion for pugilism was nicknamed Bazooka by Emmanuel Seth Yofi Boham trained at the Akotoku Boxing Academy established by Francis Attuquaye Clottey which unearthed Samuel Azumah Nelson,David “Poison'” Kotei and Alfred Amon Kotey.
Trained by Daniel Oko Odamtten, he lost on points to Laszlo Szocs at the 1987 World Junior Championships held in Cuba and finished third.
He represented Ghana alongside Alfred Kotey, Emmanuel Quaye and Alfred Addo Ankamah as a Light welterweight at the 1988 Olympiad held in Seoul, South Korea.
After a glittering amateur career, he debuted and defeated Mama Mohammed on November 26, 1988 in his first professional bout.
By dint of consistency and diligence, he challenged Crisanto Espana of Venezuela who held the WBA welterweight crown on June 4, 1994 and brutally knocked him out before a sparse crowd in France to become Ghana’s fourth world boxing champion.
He successfully defended the title on seven occasions against some notable boxing greats such as Alberto Cortes, Jung Oh Park, Andrew Murray, Ralph Jones, Vince Phillips, Oba Carr and Jose Luis Lopez.
After battling managerial and promotional problems, he was stripped of the title in 1998 and failed to dethrone Oscar De La Hoya who held the WBC version in an intriguing bout on February 13, 1999.
Quartey whose older brother Clement Isaac Quartey won silver at the 1960 Olympiad also has iconic boxer Rafael Abrompah Mensah alias Sweet Pea as his nephew.
Regarded by boxing pundits as the sports’ greatest ever jabber, he lost to Fernando Vargas in an IBF light-midddleweight bout on April 15, 2000 and announced his retirement.
After a five-year hiatus, he staged a comeback and outpointed Clint McNeil on January 15, 2005.
Two victories over Verno Phillips and Carlos Bojorquez followed but his aggression and stamina looked weak as a result of age.
After losses to Vernon Forrest and Ronald “Winky” Wright, he retired from the sport which brought him limitless fame and fortune.
BY REUBEN ADDO