Kofi Jantuah

This skillful Welterweight lion from Kumasi, Ghana is making a name for himself in the world of Boxing. Where he came from in Ghana boxing is not as popular as it is in the capital of Accra. "Sir Jantuah" Kofi Jantuah Jr. is ranked No. 9 by World Boxing Coucil (WBC) with an unbeaten professional record of (19-0). Most will remember Jantuah for knocking out highly touted prospect David Santos on ESPN2 in a impressive performacne. Kofi Juantuah was born in Assanti Kumasi, Ghana June 16, 1974, he began boxing 1991 after a brief encouragement by Mr. Prempah, a friend of his father Kofi Juantuah Sr. who was said to be an excellent boxer in Ghana during the 1960's. Jantuah already is a force in the welterweight division who should be on his way to a title shot in 2000. See what "Sir Juantuah" has to say!

The Kofi Jantuah interview.

Ike: Hello "Sir Jantuah"! How ready were you to fight on the Wise-Chavez undercard 

Jantuah: I had just signed up with Don King, I was going to show him that I get 
         my work done but things didn't come out as expected after my opponent 
         for that bout pulled out a day before the fight.

Ike: Who insired you to start boxing?

Jantuah: I grew up in Kumasi, Ghana where boxing is not popular as in Accra Ghana 
         where people like Azumah Nelson came from. When I dropped out of High 
         school, third years in high school, I was home doing nothing, I was hanging 
         with the bad boys in town. I used to fight on the streets. One day, my 
         father's friend Mr. Prempah came by my house when my father was away. He 
         asked me if I was interested in Boxing! I told him that I knew nothing 
         about boxing and the man told me that I could have a chance in Boxing. Mr. 
         Prempah told me that my father was a boxer and he used to beat him up. I 
         went and thought about becoming a boxer. I was convinced by this man that 
         I can do well in Boxing. After this I started to go to the Kumasi National 
         Stadium which was about four miles away from home. I used to jog from my 
         home to the Stadium to train everyday. I did this daily untill I turned 
         pro in Kumasi, Ghana 1993.

Ike: Do you have brothers and sisters, are any of them in the Boxing business?

Jantuah: I've three brothers and four sister none are into Boxing.

Ike: What was your amateur record?

Jantuah: I fought 10 fights and I won all of them.

Ike: What do you want to accompish in Boxing?

Jantuah: I don't want to relax. I work hard and I want to be the undisputed world 

Ike: Why did you choose Boxing as a career?

Jantuah: I choose to do this and I have to do my best, I want to be the best in 
         the world. I'm credable to all the welterweight champions, but I need 
         the chance to prove it to the world. I'll fight any of them out there 
         and beat them too.

Ike: Who would you like meet next in the ring?

Jantuah: I want to fight James Page or Felix Trinidad. I like to fight aggressive 
         fighters like these guys. I like that kind of fight.

Ike: How well did you prepared for the October 2 fight on the Wise-Chavez undercard?

Jantuah: I was trainning for that fight for 5 weeks. It would have been my first 
         for Don King and I would have knock that guy out, he knew it, that's why 
         he pulled out of the fight. We did everything to pull on the fight but 
         the guy wasn't ready to fight. I don't know how much Don knows about me 
         but I was prepared to show him that I take care of business. But when I 
         got here things started getting messup

Ike: Why was your fight be cancelled?

Jantuah: I was told that I will be given a welterweight 10 rounds fight, during 
         weight-in I was 148 1/2. Non title fight go up to 149 or 150 but my 
         opponent, Servando Perales pulled out after he weighed-in at 142 pounds. 
         I don't know what the matchmaker told him or he doesn't know what a 
         welterweight is?

Ike: Who are your favorite fighters ?

Jantuah: I love Marvin Hagler, Azumah Nelson and somebody like Pernell Whitaker. 
         I learn a lot from Hagler's style and I like the way he fights. Azumah 
         is a role model to me, before I came to United States 1998, I used to 
         train in his boxing gym in Accra, Ghana. I like the way Pernell fights 
         he makes boxing look easy and he has a very good defense.

Ike: What do you like to do when not trainning for fight?

Jantuah: I like to play soccer, watch basketball and listen to music like R. Kelley, 
         "I believe I can fly".

Ike: What's your tips to those who might decide to become boxers?

Jantuah: Boxing is a hard job but, if you choose to do it you have to put in a 
         lot of efforts. You have to believe that what others can do, you can do 
         too with more determination. Hard work and believing in yourself.

Ike: What do you plan to do when you retire from Boxing?

Jantuah: It's all depends on the outcome of my Boxing career. I'll invest good 
         and I don't wish to stay too long in boxing, but I know I will give fans 
         a lot of exciting fights before I get old.

Ike: Who is your toughest opponent since your pro career?

Jantuah: ESPN compared him to David Reid and Fernando Vargas. It was Daniel 
         Santos, a 1996 Bronze medalist with an unbeaten pro record of (22-0)
         before I knocked him out in the 5th round. The media even ESPN didn't 
         think I could win with this guy because they thought he had much more 
         experience. I was the underdog at that fight they didn't know my ability. 
         I told ESPN that they didn't know about me and that I was going to knock 
         out Santos, which I did.

Ike: What's your impression of Santos?

Jantuah: Daniel Santos is a good fighter, he can punch and moves a lot. From the 
         first round of our bout he realised he had a match in front of him then 
         he started running. Untill I caught him in the fifth round.

Ike: What do you think is Shane Mosley's postion in the welterweight division 
     since he moved up?

Jantuah: Well, "Sugar" Shane Mosley at his bout with Wilfredo Rivera wasn't the
         same power puncher he used to be in the lightweight division. Rivera didn't 
         have punching power and could have finished Shane who got tried fast which
         is unlike him. Shane was complaining of Rivera height, then he can't deal 
         with the rest of us. I think Shane belongs at the 140 pounds. Shane thinks 
         147 is good for him, but I don't think so. He'll be beaten up by the big 
         boys. Welterweight is not for him because he can't beat any of the best 
         in the division. I never seen Shane holding like in his welterweight debut.

Ike: What's your impression of others in your welterweight class, where do you 
      position yourself?

Jantuah: I see Felix Trinidad as quality and good boxer, can box and fight, he's 
         ahead of other welterweights. Oscar De la Hoya though, had most of the 
         rounds and needed to fight more to win the fight. Ike Quartey is a very 
         good fighter but has been inactive lately. I see Vernon Forrest and James 
         Page as good fighters but I put myself around them because I can beat any 
         of them, I'm ready for any of them James Page especially.

Ike: Would you count Shane amoung you guys?

Jantuah: I don't count Shane as one of us yet unless he choose to fight me or 
         somebody like Vernon Forrest.

Ike: Who are the fighters you sparred with in the pass?

Jantuah: I sparred with David Reid preparing for his fight with Kevin Kelly, I 
         also sparred with Wilfrdo Rivera 2 weeks preparing for his Shane Mosley 
         fight. They thought I was too strong for Rivera so they got a smaller 
         guy, a Nigerian fighter named Moses James.

Ike: What's your impression of David Reid?

Jantuah: David has good hand speed, good jabs and a good right hand. They count 
         him as a first clas boxer, and he praised me a lot for the sparring I 
         gave to him. David told me that I can really punch hard and he was very 
         impressed by the sparring I gave him.

Ike: What did you think about Reid's performance with Kelly?

Jantuah: Many people expected a lot fom David but it was a close fight. Most 
         people didn't think Kevin Kelly was crediable and came to United States 
         to fight for the title. Reid is the new Golden boy so many people are 
         expecting a lot from him.

Ike: Your impression of Oscar De La Hoya?

Jantuah: Oscar has some boxing in him, his fight with Trinidad was a close fight, 
         and I think they should do it again. Though Oscar never gave Quartey a 
         rematch he also deserved!

Ike: Your thoughts of James Page?

Jantuah: I don't think he's the best he has about 3 or 4 losses.

Ike: Your best weapon in the ring?

Jantuah: Both hands! I think I have a big right but my left does the most damage.

Ike: Your impression of Nana Konadu?

Jantuah: Nana is a good fighter, very nice guy and he still have a lot to offer 

Ike: Any comments for your fans?

Jantuah: I love my fans! I'm doing my best, I want to fight the best, things are 
         getting better now and I wish you all to pray for me. If you can't make 
         it to the boxing arena just check on your TV Set for some action.