One morning I was browsing on YouTube when I came across an Oscar De La Hoya interview via Fight Hub (Click here). He was discussing some of his greatest opponents. The beginning of the interview, he immediately states Ike Quartey was the toughest opponent he had ever faced. He said “It was like he had bricks in his hand. His jab was strong and good enough to knock you down.”
Immediately! Minutes into the interview I had to see what he was referring too.
I have a relatively good knowledge about boxing. But I would be described probably as a causal fan. But very similar to football. Where I have knowledge and experience. Seconds into the fight I could see he was talented, and what Oscar was referring too. Great fight with a few knock downs, where Oscar De La Hoya was the victor.
In further research and via Wikipedia. I went on to find Quartey’s best weapon was his jab, which was considered to be one of the best in boxing while he was in his prime. He primarily relied on a “peek-a-boo” or “clam-shell” defence, which consisted of him allowing punches to land on his arms, elbows and gloves, which he kept held tightly to his cheeks and ribcage.
Why didn’t I know of Ike Quartey?
via www.graphic.com.gh I found –
Knicknamed the Bazooka. The Former WBA welterweight champion Ike Quartey, lost interest in boxing after his controversial defeat to legendary Oscar De La Hoya in 1999.
The hard-hitting Ghanaian was in pole position to win the clash until a knockdown and flurry of punches in the final round gifted De La Hoya the verdict on the scorecards.
Quartey lost on a split points decision but proved himself as one of the best welterweights at the time with his performance against boxing’s ‘Golden Boy’.
Quartey described the split decision loss to the American as “unbelievable,” considering how he dominated the fight
“He didn’t win the fight but he was only given the win on boxing politics at the time,” an emotional Quartey said
After the fight. Quartey took a break from boxing for 14 months, and later 5 years due to personal, business and health issues. In reading and recounting his story, he was a highly rated fighter by his peers and the boxing fraternity. But due to issues beyond his control, he was unable to turn out consistently and perform at the highest level for several years.
I drew immediate comparison with football. In having a wide range of talent. And sometimes these players been unable to perform consistently at the highest level due to issues beyond their control.
During and following our interview with Alex Daley. A former Montserrat International (Click here). I drew some of these same comparisons and conclusions where players have been unable to perform consistently at the highest level due to issues beyond their control.
To give more context to an incredible story. Alex Daley left Montserrat at aged 10. But with regular visits back Montserrat. Despite playing Sunday League Football, Alex Daley up until the age of 21 was a full International and played in a World Cup Qualifier. He later worked with the federation. Montserrat is a country/island which has 5,000 inhabitants. With there being more Montserratians outside of Montserrat.
Alex and I off the air the air discussed the conflict of the home nationals (in general) and the Diaspora.
Not included. I immediately drew parallels with Ghana and other footballing nations. Those with potential and those which lack resources. The topic about resources is always a minefield, with recent or past indiscretions of the mishandling of funds. The wider public don’t know what resources are available! But from experience, conversations and history. We all have to contribute and build towards change and legacy.
SE DONS from London, and like others in the UK have broken the mould of what is known as Sunday League Football. In developing a brand which is changing the face of football, they have worldwide following that is recognisable for their personalities and message #ANYTHING. BBC Interview ‘The world’s greatest sunday league team’ (Click here). Sky Sports ‘The biggest Sunday League team in the country’ Interview (Click here).
And on a grand scale. We have examples with the investment in Manchester City, Chelsea, Qatar, and Paris Saint Germain. I didn’t failed to include the USMNT. And why would I? Set to host the World Cup in 2026, just like Qatar. The investment in their game has been incredible.
Roman Abromaovich, Nasser Al-Khelaifi and The Qatar Sports Investment group have to be admired for their bravery. Walking down a path never walked on before. Having achieved so much – on and off the field with their incredible branding, It must be acknowledged and recognised, that (further) success is only a step away.
Success will develop an ecosystem of financial wealth and opportunity as seen in Ghana with independent academies like Right to Dream. Who not only develop football players, but educate and provide scholarships to children and young adults. With history, experience, and our podcast with Alex Daley. It’s evident now more than ever to improve the success of football in Africa and our country. Our federation. We need to personally invest, create structures and systems, and be the change we want to see.
Congratulations SE DONS, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, The Qatar Sports Investment Group and Paris Saint Germain
Written by Andrew Mensah-Twumasi @andrewmensahjr (IG/Twitter)
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