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10.10.2008 Boxing

Ike Quartey Fights Dec. 5

Former WBA welterweight champion Ike 'Bazooka' Quartey, will make yet another return to the ring on December 5 in South Africa after a two-year absence.

Quartey, 37, will face a yet-to-be-named opponent on a bill which is currently being discussed between his promoter, Lou DiBella, and Branco Milenkovic, a South African promoter.

In his last fight, which was a middleweight contest staged in Tampa, Florida, USA in December 2006, Quartey lost by a unanimous decision to Ronald 'Winky' Right.

Three boxers are being considered by the two promoters to stand up to Ike on the December 5 bill, and the final name will be confirmed soon.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily Graphic, Quartey said he never told anyone that he had quit the sport. “At this point in my life I fight when I want to, and that is it. I am not a hungry boxer so I just move according to my own rhythm. Right now my whole person just wants to get back into the boxing ring to do my thing.”

The Grand Medal of Ghana recipient who is now sporting dreadlocks and looking relatively trim says he has done a lot in terms of keeping in shape. “This fight is likely to be a middleweight contest and I know what to do when I am going to fight, and it is no different in this South Africa bout,” he said.

The former welterweight king said unlike previous fights where he started training in Ghana for some weeks before leaving for the fight location, he would pitch camp in South Africa.

Indeed this will be Quartey's first fight in South Africa in a 20-year professional career that has seen him fight mostly in Europe and America. “I don't know my opponent yet but everybody knows how I always do it. I will definitely deliver on December 5,” he said.

Quartey (37-4-1, 31KOs) stunned the boxing world when he returned from an almost five-year retirement to record three successive victories against Clint McNeil, Vernos Philips and Carlos Bojorquez.

In August, 2006, however, he lost controversially to current WBC light middleweight champion, Vernon 'The Viper' Forrest at the Madison Square Garden in New York, USA.

World acclaimed boxing journal, The Ring Magazine eventually named him Comeback Boxer of the year 2005. The Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) also conferred a special honour on him at the 2006 edition of the awards for the achievement.

Quartey's promoter, Lou DiBella, is also reported to be in talks with Oscar De La Hoya's Promotional company, as well as Bob Arum's Top Rank. According to sources, DiBella could land Ike a big fight if he records a victory on December 5.

Story by Nathaniel Attoh