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16.06.2005 Sports News

Analysis on Phillips vs. Quartey


Former IBF 154-lb champ Verno Phillips, 7-2 in his last 9 fights (only losses to Kassim Ouma) vs. comebacking Ike Quartey, who returned to the ring in January (KO 8 Clint McNeil) after laying off nearly five years following his one-sided loss to Fernando Vargas in April of 2000.

The 35-year old Phillips, 38-10-1, 20 KOs, has been fighting for pay for over 17 years. A former WBO title holder, Phillips won the Winky Wright-vacated IBF title vs. Carlos Bojorquez last June (KO 6). He made his first defense vs. Ouma, in a rematch of their 9/7/01 fight, won by Ouma, who landed a CompuBox record (for a 10 round fight) 460 total punches- in just 10 rounds!!! Phillips averaged 76 punches per round vs. Ouma, landing 25%.

The rematch was a different story, as Phillips actually was ahead on 2 cards going into the 11th round. Then fatigue set in, as Ouma outlanded Phillips 51-13 in the 11th, resulting in a 10-8 score on 2 judges cards. Phillips managed just 14 punches in the 12th, won by Ouma, who threw just 49 total punches-half his usual output, but enough to win the rounds and secure a 114-113; 114-113 & 117-110 decision win. Phillips averaged 52 punches per round in the rematch,landing 32%. He averaged just 7 jabs per round in both fights.

What Quartey has left in the tank is anyones guess. He kayoed a Clint McNeil, 15-7 last January in Ghana. Fifty-seven months earlier, he was easily decisioned by Fernando Vargas, who outlanded Ike 389-272. Vargas landed 43% of his total punches and actually outjabbed Quartey, throwing 305 to Ikes 290.

Fourteen months prior to Vargas, Quartey lost a razor-thin decision to Oscar dela Hoya. Both fighters were down in the 6th round, Ike again in the 12th. Quartey was outlanded only 206-201 by Oscar, who also had a 115-84 edge in power connects. Ike averaged 33 jabs per round, landing 29%.

Speaking of jabs, Quarteys bread and butter, he landed a CompuBox record (for all weight classes) 313 jabs in his draw with Jose Luis Lopez in October of 97. Thats an average of 26 jabs landed per round-the welterweight average is 6 landed per round. Thats also 51 jabs thrown per round-double the welterweight average. He also landed 52%, again more than double the welterweight average. However, he also threw just 10 power shots per round vs. Lopez, landing 6 per round. Maybe it was Lopez' sneaky right hand that dropped Ike in rounds two and eleven.

Obviously Quartey's the fresher fighter, but at age 35, with one fight in the past five years, what's left and how much rust has accumulated? Phillips has fought 10 times during that same period, including grueling losses to Ouma and decision wins over Michael Lerma, Bronco McKart and Jose Flores, bringing his total rounds fought to 347 professionally. He's got just 20 kayoes in 49 fights. Can he keep Quartey away? Remember, Phillips threw just seven jabs per round in his two losses to Ouma. This one's too close to call. Too many question marks regarding Ikes current status. One thing is for certain, he'll outjab Phillips.