Quartey turned professional in 1988, a day short of his nineteenth birthday. He started his boxing career under the guidance of Yoofi Boham, without doubt the most successful manager in Ghana, and also father-in-law of former World boxing champion Azumah Nelson.
WBA Welterweight Title
In Quartey's 26th fight he was given a shot at the WBA Welterweight title, held by the then undefeated Crisanto España of Venezuela. Quartey knocked out Espana in the 11th round.
Quartey defended his title successfully seven times. Among his foes were Alberto Cortes, Vince Phillips, and Oba Carr. In October 1997 he fought José Luis López to a draw. The decision was originally read as a win for Quartey but reversed when a flaw was found in the scoring. Although Quartey was down twice, most observers felt that he deserved the victory and his reputation suffered little damage.
Inactive in 1998
Personal business and health issues kept Quartey out of the ring in 1998. His inactivity led him to be stripped of his WBA Welterweight title.
Quartey vs. De La Hoya
Quartey returned from a 14 month absence to challenge WBC Welterweight champion Oscar De La Hoya on 13 February 1999. Quartey was floored in 6th and 12th rounds, with De La Hoya also down once in the fight. De La Hoya came away with a close, somewhat controversial, split decision.
Quartey vs Vargas
Following the defeat to De La Hoya, Quartey would take another 14 month hiatus from the ring. He returned in April 2000 to challenge Fernando Vargas for the IBF Light Middleweight championship. Quartey was defeated by a unanimous decision and would not fight for another five years.
Quartey returned to the ring in January 2005. He won the first three bouts of his comeback with victories over Clint McNeil, Verno Phillips and Carlos Bojorquez. On 5 August 2006, he lost a close unanimous decision to former Welterweight champion Vernon Forrest. The decision was deemed highly questionable controversial by HBO's ringside commentators and much of the crowd in attendance.
Quartey vs. Wright
On 2 December 2006, Quartey's fought former undisputed Light Middleweight champion Ronald "Winky" Wright. Quartey was down once in the fight and went on to lose a unanimous points decision.
Hard, quick accurate left jab
Imposed his will on oppostion
The Ring Magazine's Comeback Fighter of the Year - 2005
Ike was never stopped in 42 fights.
Quartey primarily relied on a "peek-a-boo" or "clam-shell" defense, which consisted of him allowing punches to land on his arms, elbows and gloves which he kept held tightly to his cheeks and ribcage.
Major World Titles
UD 10 Verno Phillips - 2005
MD 12 Oba Carr - 1996
TKO 3 Vince Phillips - 1996
TKO 11 Crisanto Espana - 1994
UD 12 Ronald Wright - 2006
UD 12 Fernando Vargas - 2000
SD 12 Oscar De La Hoya - 1999
Represented Ghana as a Light Welterweight at 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.