Today In Sports History: Ike “Bazooka” Quartey knocks out Jung Oh Park

On this day 4 March 1995 (Exactly 24 years ago) Former WBA World Welterweight Champion Ike “Bazooka ” Quartey TKOs Jung Oh Park of Korea Republic in round four at the Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA; retained his World Boxing Association World Welterweight Title (2nd defense by Quartey)

Quartey pumped out his formidable jab in the opening round occasionally snapping back the head of Park, who too worked with a jab and looked to jump in quickly and land before moving back out of range. Park did some decent work in the round to the body with Quartey against the ropes but often caught with Quartey punching inside the wider shots of his opponent. Park too was tagged with some clean right hands upstairs in the opener. By the end of the first round, Park already had developed some redness and swelling to his right eye. Park continued to press forward in Round 2 but had little defense against Quartey’s jab, which repeatedly split his guard. Quartey poured it on in Round 3 and punished Park with a controlled and precise attack of repeated jabs and power shots to the head. Park, to his credit, walked through some good shots and kept throwing and pressing forward, but struggled to land against Quartey’s quickness and sound defense. Quartey battered Park in Round 4 with jab after jab and clean counter shots. Park continued to give effort but was unable to defend himself against repeated head shots. At 2:35 of Round 4, the referee, Earl Morton stepped in and waved an end to the bout. By the end of the bout, Park was bleeding from the nose and had developed noticeable facial swelling that had partially closed both of his eyes.

On this day 4 March1968 (Exactly 51 years ago) Joe Frazier connected with a short, thunderous left hook in the closing minute of the 11th round to stop king-sized Buster Mathis and win a four-state piece of the world heavyweight title at Madison Square Garden. The punch sent the bloodied giant on his back over the bottom strand of the ropes. Mathis barely staggered to his feet at nine but referee Arthur Mercante immediately halted the fight. Frazier’s mighty blow brought a huge roar from the near-capacity crowd in the 20,000-seat arena.

Mathis gave his smaller rival a stiff battle for the first six rounds, but Frazier, putting on the pressure with thudding body punches that seemed to dig deep into Buster’s body, wore the mammoth fighter down and then set him up for the staggering blow that ended the fight. It was the only knockdown of the fight and the first time Mathis was put down as a professional.

On this day 4 March 1995 (Exactly 24 years ago) George Foreman, the world’s oldest heavyweight champion at 46, was stripped of his World Boxing Association title after refusing to fight Tony Tucker. The WBA executive committee, meeting in Atlantic City , rejected Foreman’s appeal to have his bout against the German, Axel Schulz, scheduled for 22 April in Las Vegas, sanctioned.

On this day 4 March 2018 (Exactly a year ago) Fiorentina captain Davide Astori was found dead in his hotel room at the age of 31 after a suspected cardiac arrest , just hours before he was due to lead his side out against Udinese.

Astori was reported to have died suddenly in a Udine hotel, where La Viola were basing themselves ahead of the day’s Serie A match.

All of the day’s Serie A games were postponed as a show of respect for the player.

A club statement read: “Fiorentina is deeply saddened to announce that our captain Davide Astori has passed away, after suffering a sudden illness.

“For this terrible and delicate situation, and above all out of respect for his family, we appeal to the sensitivity of the media.”

The central defender began his career with AC Milan, but after failing to break into the first team he moved to Cagliari in 2008 and made 174 appearances for the Italian side during a six-year spell.

Following loan stints with Roma and Fiorentina, Astori made his move to Florence permanent in 2016 – scoring three goals in 58 games.
Astori was capped for Italy 14 times, making his debut in a 2-0 friendly win over Ukraine in 2011.

By George ‘Alan Green’ Mahamah