Before a packed crowd which included Ghana’s Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia at Bukom Boxing Arena, George ‘Red Tiger Ashie delivered to hand first-time defeat to Robert ‘The Stopper’ Quaye.
The bout which has been a domestic grudge subject for some months now saw Ashie flooring Quaye twice in the eighth – the second which spelt his doom. And the reward was getting decorated with the IBF Intercontinental Africa super lightweight title by the Vice President.
Indeed the charged crowd was a beauty to behold as only 24 hours earlier another set of fans have had filled every available space to watch the second fight night of the Ghana Professional Boxing League. And the pomp and pageantry were apt for a night as big as the Rumble to Freedom put together by Box Office Promotions and Probellum. Robert Stopper Quaye staged his ring walk on a white horse and adorned in an ancient roman king’s apparel while Ashie was carried shoulder high in his all black sweat jacket with a black Mexican sombrero.
Starting off the action, both boxers stood at a distance clearly doing a lot of measurement and calculation but it was Quaye who showed more aggression. The then undefeated boxer from The Gym in Accra, struck Ashie with some clean headshots while the latter was caught with some wild punches as he tried to connect.
After getting it right in the first Quaye came in more confident and resorted to a lot of swerving and movement around the ring in round 2. He was successful for the better part of the round and this once again forced a set of wild punches on Ashie. But the latter finally connected one big body shot which hardly did any damage. It however gave an indication of what was to happen in the subsequent rounds.
Ashie’s output from the start of round three put an electric spark through the filled arena. After connecting a few well-calculated body shots, Ashie stepped closer and delivered his trademark right which sent Quaye staggering backwards onto the ropes. The round had to be held briefly after Quaye sustained a big swelling below his left eye and had to receive attention from the ringside doctor. Upon noticing his painstaking attack had started taking effect George Ashie switched into a fiercer mode and directed his stiff trademark right jabs to Quaye’s left eye. The swelling got bigger and the previously undefeated boxer got a cut and started bleeding.
Quaye ‘The Stopper’ eager to live up to his ring name resumed the fourth with his left eye partially closed but landed some straight jabs. That was the best he put up in the round because Ashie responded with a combination of body shots and jabs to draw a spontaneous wild roar from the fans.
In round five, George Ashie of the Attoh Quarshie gym in Accra got a scare midway through. Quaye replied his attack with a sharp left hook that sent him staggering backwards to the ropes. He recovered quickly and finished the round.
Unlike the first two rounds, both boxers resorted to standing toe-to-toe in the sixth round with some exchanges. Ashie enjoyed the better of it.
Both fighters resumed the next round exchanging some combinations. Once again Ashie was more calculated and hardly looked like he was in a rush to punch. He kept his eye on his opponent and threw when he was convinced he could land through the guard.
But Ashie was to be stunned with one of Quaye’s stiff left jabs above his right eye. That did not seem a challenge at all for the former WBO Africa, Commonwealth and African champion. An attempt to swing a quick right hook into Quaye’s midsection was not successful as he slipped and knelt with a glove touching the canvas on the sound of the bell.
Ashie assumed full control of this round and struck punch by punch. Two shots in succession after connecting to his body sent him crashing onto the canvas. The experienced Referee Roger Barnor stepped in and administered the count. ‘The Stopper’ beat the count and struggled to take a few steps to his corner. The look on his face was that of disagreement for the count administered by the referee but there was even bigger trouble to come. When the Referee Barnor signalled the fight to resume, Ashie who clearly looked hungry to end it stepped towards Quaye and pinned him to the corner. It was punch after punch to the latter’s head and each punch further weakened him.
The continuous punishment sent him down a second time – this time he couldn’t beat a count and the bout had to be signalled to an end.
Interestingly Quaye corner mounted their corner in a bid to protest to the Referee. The reason for this was unclear from the ringside position. The opposite corner also ran back and forth from the ring in a bid to celebrate.
Quaye and his corner angrily walked out of the arena immediately after some exchanges with Ref Roger Barnor.
This result handed Robert Quaye his first loss in 21 fights with Ashie improving his to 33 wins five losses and a draw.
The fight night was put together by Box Office Promotions and Probellum and sponsored by Boxer Motorcycles with support from the Ghana at 65 OrganizingCommittee.
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