Accra, Jan. 12, GNA - Former WBA Welterweight Champion, Ike "Bazooka" Quartey says he ignored a three million-dollar offer to fight Felix Trinidad on February 24, this year, just to prove to Ghanaians that his great comeback with American Clint Scott McNeil this Friday at the Azumah Nelson Sports Stadium (Kaneshie Sports Complex) was not motivated by money.
The well-trimmed, clean-shaved 35 year-old Quartey wants to use the Friday's bout as a launch pad to give Ghana a world title shot by the close of the year.
Quartey told a pre-fight press conference at his Mascot Hotel in Accra that his refusal, to pitch his strength against one of the finest in the middleweight division Trinidad (Tito) initiated by the Home Box Office (HBO) and the BBC epitomises his love for the sport and a heed to several requests by boxing gurus to return to the ring after a four-year lay-off.
The only two fights Bazooka lost in his career were as results of long lay-offs but he assured the nation that: "this one has been well-calculated and I cannot afford to disappoint Ghanaians".
Quartey, 34-2-1 (29 KOs), whose promotion syndicate, Jumus, and Mascot Hotel in collaboration with Metropolitan Television are putting together the fight, will receive nothing by way of purse while his 26 year-old American opponent takes home an undisclosed amount. Stocky McNeil who breezed into the country on Tuesday night said he had not travelled over 1,000 miles to come and lose adding that he was here to win.
McNeil, 18-9 (9KOs) accompanied by his father said fighting Ike was a dream come true and an honour he would forever cherish. Also to blaze the trail on Friday night are eight contests including a Commonwealth middleweight eliminator to be staged between Ghana's Osumanu Adama and Ivorian Solo Issa.
George Ashie comes up against Tijani Salifu in a featherweight eight round contest; Ishmael Tetteh versus Thomas Awimbono in a welterweight contest, Lartekwei Hammond and Ken Moyanga from the DR Congo will battle in a welterweight challenge fight.
Also billed for the night is an eight round contest between Philip Kotey and Nigerian Ola Shakilu in a the welterweight division while another Nigerian Basel Ozikwe and Charles Adamu battle in a super middleweight contest.
Crowd puller Bukom Banku and lanky Ivorian Jean Marie complete the bill for the night in a light heavyweight contest.
Among those present at the press conference were former Secretary of Youth and Sports Amarkei Amarteifio, Moses Foh Amoaning, Acting Chairman of the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) and Ray Quarcoe, former Chairman of the Ghana Amateur Boxing Association.