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15.02.2005 Sports News

Bazooka Ranked No. 8 By WBC

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Ike'Bazooka'Quartey is now ranked number 8 by the World Boxing Council(WBC)in the middleweight division. This comes in the wake of his impressive comeback against Clint McNeil last month.

This was contained in the latest ratings on the WBC official web site last Friday. This ranking places Quartey among the cream of the world's boxers where he once belonged.

Between the first and seventh positions are Felix Trinidad, Howard Eastman, Jermain Taylor, Felix Sturm, Kinsley Ikeke, Sam Soliman and Aaron Mitchel.

One of the biggest spectacles on the WBC middleweight calendar will be the clash between Howard Eastman and undisputed champion, Bernard 'Executioner'Hopkins, on February 18. This bout has been dubbed 'the execution day'. The result of this bout will, to a large extent, determine where the Bazookaman will target his 'nuzzle'.

In 10th position is Ghana's James Obedi Toney who is the International Middleweight champion and also the WBC's number one contender.

The next bout for the former WBA welterweight champion will be staged in the USA on June 4.Quartey will be up against a middle class boxer.This decision by his promoters,DiBella Entertainment,gives him four months to prepare, with preparation already under way at his gym at Kokrobite.

Speaking to Graphic Sports, Coach Dan Oko Odamtten said he was concentrating on conditioning his boxer's body for now, considering the amount of time between now and June.

He has therefore suspended sparring until Ike hits optimal physique.For now, Quartey does an hour of jogging on the beach at Kokrobite in addition to some fitness drills in the gym.

When sparring resumes, however, Philip 'Sweet Pea' Kotey will join the two other sparring partners, Charles 'The Crusader' Adamu and Agoe Ashong a.k.a Odokor Tyson.

Meanwhile, Ike Quartey has expressed his profound gratitude to all those who in various ways supported him to launch his comeback bout in an exclusive interview with Graphic Sports on Sunday.

“Training is going on smoothly for me and I want Ghanaians to keep their fingers crossed and support me with prayers because I will bring them the title very soon”, he said.

He admitted that he couldn't have performed so creditably on January 14 without the support and prayers of his fans and all Ghanaians.The date June 4 brings nostalgic memories of Quartey's historic eleventh round defeat of the then WBA welterweight champion, Crisanto Espania, in 1994 in France.

Probably that reminiscence will spur the Bazookaman on to another victory to put him in contention for the world middleweight title.

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