In sad and quite shocking news, it has been reported by media in Ghana how former WBO bantamweight champion Alfred Kotey has died, aged just 52. Apparently, Kotey, who had a real roller-coaster career during the 1990s, passed away in The Bronx, New York, on Tuesday of this week, having battled some kind of illness for some time. Kotey, from that hotbed of boxing, Accra, is said to have suffered a stroke and was placed on life support.
ESB wishes to express condolences to Kotey’s family and friends.
An extremely tough, capable fighter with good skills, Kotey, nicknamed “Cobra,” represented Ghana at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. Turning pro in 1988, Kotey won the Commonwealth title at flyweight in just his sixth pro bout, aged just 21. After a split decision loss to Julio Cesar Borboa in November of 1992, Kotey came back strong to win the WBO bantamweight title with a unanimous decision win over Rafael Del Valle; this fight taking place in London, England in July of 1994. Two successful defences followed, with Kotey defeating Armando Castro and stopping Drew Docherty, before Kotey was beaten on points by Daniel Jimenez.
Kotey went on to face fine fighters such as Guty Espadas Jr, Juan Manuel Marquez, Acelino Freitas, Orlando Salido, and Anthony Peterson, Kotey dropping decisions to all of these big names. Stopped just once in his career, this in his final fight, against Fredrick Lawson in May of 2012, Kotey was a fighter unafraid of taking on the best again and again. Kotey may have become a high-class journeyman not long after losing the WBO title, yet he always gave a good account of himself.
Kotey’s final record reads 26-16-1(17).
Tributes have been coming in since the sad news of his death broke; with The WBO releasing the following statement:
“The WBO family is deeply saddened by the passing of the great Alfred Kotey, the organization’s first world champion from Ghana. Kotey defeated Rafael Del Valle to win the bantam crown on July 30th, 1994. May he rest in peace.”
Those fans who remember Kotey will know all too well how fine a fighter he was during his prime.