Ghana boxing has lost a national treasure. Former world champion Alfred Kotey was pronounced dead on Tuesday morning in the Bronx, New York. He was 52 years old.
Kotey was rushed to the hospital after suffering a stroke. He was on life support when doctors declared him brain dead.
Nicknamed “Cobra,” Kotey was arguably the most underrated boxer in Ghana boxing history. The oldest of five brothers and four sisters, he was born on June 3, 1968, in Bukom, Accra.
Like so many youth in Bukom, Kotey took to boxing at a young age. He compiled a 35-4 amateur record, representing Ghana at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, where he reached the quarterfinals as a flyweight.
On November 26, 1988, Kotey made his pro debut at Orion Cinema Hall in Accra. On the card was Olympic teammate and fellow debutant, Ike Quartey. Kotey rose quickly through the ranks. After defeating Danny Porter in July 1990, in the United Kingdom, Kotey relocated to the US, settling in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he became a regular at the famed Blue Horizon venue.
On July 30, 1994, Kotey traveled to the UK again, where he captured the WBO World Bantamweight belt with a 12-round unanimous decision over Rafael Del Valle at York Hall in Bethnal Green. Kotey would defend it twice before losing it in 1995. He hung up the gloves for good in 2012.
May he rest in peace.