Former Ghanaian World Boxing Organisation (WBO) champion, Alfred ‘Cobra’ Kotey was reported dead in the United States on Tuesday after bouts with sickness.
Kotey, 52, was born June 3, 1968 and represented Ghana at the 1988 Summer Olympics and became the WBO bantamweight champion on July 30, 1994 when he earned a Unanimous Decision victory over Rafael Del Valle.
He lost the title on his third defence on October 21, 1995 when he was outpointed by Daniel Jimenez but won the World Boxing Council International Super Bantamweight strap three months later.
His demise has come as a shock to members of the boxing fraternity in Ghana.
But close associates confirmed to the Times Sports yesterday that the former world champion’s fight for survival was hindered by a difficult health conditions that required him to be on life support.
He had a total fight record of 43, out of which he won 26 with 17 of the wins coming by knockouts; suffered 16 losses and a draw.
He left behind a wife and four children.
Derrick Kotey, the first son of Kotey confirmed to the Times Sports yesterday and thanked Ghanaians for the concern and sympathies shown, describing the departure as a big loss to the family.
“He was unwell for a while so the hospital authorities got in touch with the family because they wanted to take him off the life support system. The family will soon meet to decide on the funeral arrangement,” he said.
Meanwhile Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) Secretary General, Patrick Johnson has described Kotey death as a huge loss to the industry.
“Kotey was one of our boxing legends that put Ghana on the international scene. Although he did not reign for long, his exploits complimented what predecessors like DK Poison and Azumah Nelson did for Ghana boxing. We will miss him but may his gentle soul rest in peace.”
Mr Yoofi Boham, an international matchmaker described the late Ex WBO World Bantamweight Champion, Alfred Kotey as a boxing prodigy in his own class.
“He represented Ghana at the 1988 Olympics. He got into the medal zone alright but was unfortunate to continue the next contest because of a very bad injury. Team doctor, Dr. Agyepong and contingent officials persisted for Kotey to be permitted to continue but Games Officials stood their grounds, thus depriving Kotey and Ghana an Olympic medal with no loss. This ended Kotey’s Olympic medal dream,” he told the Times Sports.
Paired with Ike Quartey, Alfred entered the professional ranks under the nickname “The Cobra”.
“As an Olympian, he rose through the ranks with an unblemished record to win the Commonwealth and the WBO World Bantamweight titles with much delight, culminating in the formation of The Alfred Kotey Fan Club. May his soul Rest in Perfect Peace.”
BY ANDREW NORTEY