Oscar De La Hoya, who squared things up with Ike Quartey in 1999, has recently revealed that the Ghanaian boxer was the toughest hitter he has ever encountered.
This admission comes despite De La Hoya having faced legendary fighters such as Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao and even being knocked out by Bernard Hopkins. When asked to name the most formidable puncher he has faced, De La Hoya unequivocally named Quartey, with whom he had a memorable bout in 1999.
“His punches were like bricks,” De La Hoya told The Ring in a recent interview.
“He hit me and it would sting me. Every punch he would hit me with would rattle me.”
De La Hoya also admitted Quartey had the best jab of anyone he had faced, saying: “Not only was it powerful, it was very consistent.”
During their intense bout, Quartey managed to knock down De La Hoya in the third round with a powerful pair of left hooks. However, ‘The Golden Boy’ quickly regained his composure and retaliated, sending Quartey to the canvas in the sixth round.
Despite this setback, De La Hoya found himself knocked down once again moments later. In the climactic final round, De La Hoya delivered another devastating blow, causing Quartey to fall for the second time.
Although it seemed like the end was near for ‘The Bazooka’, he managed to survive until the final bell. When the judges’ scorecards were announced, De La Hoya emerged as the victor through a split decision, successfully defending his WBC welterweight world title.
Unfortunately, his reign as champion was short-lived, as he was defeated by Felix Trinidad later that same year. From that point forward, De La Hoya’s career experienced a series of highs and lows, including victories over formidable opponents such as Arturo Gatti, Fernando Vargas, and Ricardo Mayorga.
Ike Quatey is a former professional boxer who competed from 1988 to 2006. He held the WBA welterweight title from 1994 to 1998 and was challenged once for IBF junior-middleweight title in 2000.
In 1988, Quartey embarked on his professional boxing journey, just a day shy of his nineteenth birthday. Under the expert guidance of Yoofi Boham, an esteemed manager in Ghana and the father-in-law of former World boxing champion Azumah Nelson, Quartey commenced his boxing career.
Boham’s astute management skills propelled Quartey into the international spotlight, alongside his fellow boxer Alfred “The Cobra” Kotey. Bestowing the monikers Bazooka and Cobra upon Quartey and Kotey respectively, Boham solidified their presence in the boxing realm.
The bond between Quartey and Kotey was so strong that many mistook them for brothers. Quartey’s professional debut saw him deliver a resounding 2nd-round knockout against Mama Mohamed. Initially, Quartey’s fights predominantly took place in Ghana, until he eventually relocated to France.