Former welterweight titlist and Ghanan boxing star Ike "Bazooka" Quartey is coming back after a nearly two year lay-off. Quartey (37-4-1, 31 KOs), who defended the WBA crown seven times before losing a contested split decision to Oscar de la Hoya, had lost two straight going into his break: a lop-sided decision to Winky Wright after moving up in weight, preceded by an outright robbery against Vernon Forrest. He plans to fight between welterweight and junior middleweight, both divisions he is competitive in. Aside from his "should have been" against Vernon Forrest, he also holds a victory over current titlist Verno Phillips in 2005.
Most of Quartey's best wins were in the mid-1990s, and he is 39. But he has had many extended gaps of inactivity, and arguably is a "young" 39 as far as boxers go. Quartey has never been stopped and can punch. It will certainly be interesting to watch him come back on the scene, particular at 154 pounds, where there are a host of young prospects looking to break out into the big time.