Joshua Quartey to turn pro in lieu of Olympic glory
Amateur standout Joshua Quartey is bypassing the 2021 Tokyo Olympics to turn pro.
The Ring first broke the news on social media on Sunday.
The 24-year-old nephew of former welterweight titlist Ike Quartey wasn’t even nine months old when his famous uncle captured the WBA title on June 4, 1994. But now he wants to build his own legacy and restore the Quartey name at the pinnacle of boxing. If his amateur record is any indication, he is off to a great start. Quartey has an amateur record of 91-5 and is signed with renowned manager Peter Kahn of Fight Game Advisors.
Furthermore Quartey is the No.1-rated welterweight in Ghana but is thinking about starting his professional career at 140 pounds.
When we first spoke to Quartey last July, as part of our “Road to Tokyo” series, he revealed that “Bazooka” was no longer interested in boxing.
“I have mentioned it to him a few times and I have asked for advice but he hasn’t gotten back to me.”
After losing a controversial split decision to Oscar De La Hoya in a welterweight title bout, in February of 1999, Quartey (37-4-1, 32 knockouts), who captured a bronze medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, admitted that he felt “cheated.”
“He is still upset about the De La Hoya fight,” Quartey said. “He has discouraged his family from fighting, including his own son (Kpakpa) because he doesn’t want his loved ones to go through what he experienced in the sport.”
Quartey predicted that his uncle would eventually change his tune but he never expected him to change his mind so quickly. Once he learned how far along Joshua actually was, Ike was grinning from ear to ear like a child on Christmas morning.
“That was the happiest I have ever seen him,” Quartey said last August. “The old Ike is back, bro. He was so happy and now he’s in the process of switching his schedule around because he wants to help me train. I was blown away by his reaction.
“He’s such a great guy. He even gave me some extra money for my expenses.”
While Quartey won’t represent his native Ghana in the Olympics and have an opportunity to win a gold medal, he is setting himself up for something even more rewarding down the line – a world championship.
“[Ike] didn’t realize how far ahead I actually was,” he continued. “He was amazed and now to have him as part of my career, I can’t explain how much this means to me and my family. The Quartey family will soon reign over the boxing world again.”
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