Super lightweight Robert ‘Stopper’ Quaye is undefeated in 18 pro fights yet is hardly known outside Ghana boxing circles.
That could change this Saturday, March 6, when Quaye faces late substitute Richard Amenfi at Bukom Boxing Arena in Accra.
Quaye was originally slated to fight South Africa’s Prince Dlomo for the IBF Africa super lightweight championship. That fight was cancelled when Dlomo could not travel due to pandemic restrictions.
It’s been a long road back for Quaye, a former WBO Africa titlist who ended a two-year layoff last December with a third-round TKO over Mouibi Serouna (20-15, 11 KOs) in Accra.
Having lost so much time before, Quaye (18-0, 15 KOs) is thankful for the quick turnaround as he prepares for Saturday’s bout versus Amenfi.
“I have had a very good training camp and that makes me confident ahead of the fight,” Quaye told BoxingAfrica.com. “My opponent is a very good fighter but I don’t think he has a chance against me on Saturday.
“I am not going to focus on a knockout win but will be prepared to take it when the opportunity avails itself in the ring.”
Quaye was once considered one of Ghana’s best hopes for another world titlist. Like so many of the country’s finest, he was born and raised in the rich boxing community of Bukom in Accra. A young Quaye recalls being surrounded by names like Ike Quartey, Joshua Clottey, Joseph Agbeko and Malik Jabir and others who influenced him to lace the leather.
“Growing up, I lived in Bukom and that alone motivates every youth within that vicinity to take up boxing,” Quaye said. “I was no exception but my first fight was a significant one because I just opted to challenge a known boxer without any training and even though I lost, I was motivated to learn.”
Quaye then went to Wisdom Boxing Gym in his neighbourhood and told head trainer Kwasi Ofori Asare to teach him the sport. After years of training, he made his pro debut in 2013 and has been undefeated since.
Their union, however, didn’t have a happy ending.
“Coach Ofori Asare is a very good trainer but I left him because he mostly doesn’t get time for the professional fighters in the gym due to his work with the national amateur team,” said Quaye.
“I was not ready to waste my time under Coach Asare so I left the gym and went two years without a fight. It was a very difficult moment which nearly got me out of boxing.”
Until childhood friend Nii Ayi Quaye took him to The Gym Boxing Club and introduced him to coach Adama Addy. Addy, one of Ghana’s finest trainers, most notably trained two-time world bantamweight champion Joseph Agbeko at a point in his career.
Since moving to The Gym, Quaye has fallen in love with the sport again. In his first fight with Addy, Quaye blasted out the aforementioned Serouna last December.
Now he looks to do the same against Amenfi..
“I want to fight the WBO super lightweight champion [Jose Ramirez]. He is my target and I believe I can beat him when given the nod,” said Quaye.
Ramirez, a unified champion who also holds the WBC strap, is slated to fight WBA and IBF world 140-pound champion Josh Taylor May 22 in a battle for the undisputed crown. It’s a fight Quaye will be watching with keen interest. But after his own ups and downs in the sport, the man called ‘Stopper’ for his KO power has learned never to look too far ahead.
“This Amenfi fight will be very crucial to my career so I see it as a world championship. I am going to tackle the bout as one.”