Abubakari Quartey, publicly known as Joshua Quartey, is leading change removing barriers and discrimination for the LGBTQIA+ community in boxing, sport, and society. Joshua calls himself the "Champion of Equality" and recently took up the voluntary role of the World Gay Boxing Championships' (WGBC) African Ambassador.
Hailing from Accra, Ghana, West Africa 26-year-old Joshua is a welterweight and sometimes middleweight amateur boxer. He is a 5-times amateur National Champion, All African Games Quarter Finalist and represented Ghana at both the 2018 Gold Coast and 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games. Joshua describes competing at the Gold Coast Games as a "career opener" as it was his first major international amateur boxing tournament. Joshua says, "The welcoming and hospital attitude of the Australian people at the Gold Coast Games made a positive impact on my personality."
Joshua was raised in a boxing family and was introduced to the sport by his older brothers. He is a proud student of the sweet science and the path he has taken as a boxer. Joshua says, "Boxing has given me the opportunity to make the world know of me, meet outstanding people and take me places I never thought possible." Joshua believes the responsibilities of captaining the Ghana Boxing Team at the recent Birmingham Games enhanced his leadership qualities. The team performed beyond expectations winning two silver medals and one bronze medal.
Joshua’s courage and leadership extend far beyond the ring. Joshua decided to be the WGBC African Ambassador due to his firm belief everyone must be treated equally and wanting to disrupt hatred. Inclusion and supporting the community are important to Joshua providing hope and a sense of belonging. Joshua is a staunch visible ally to the LGBTQIA+ community. He says, " I come from a society where there is so much hatred towards the LGBTQIA+ people with the enormous stigma of just being who you are." Joshua wants members of the LGBQIA+ community, particularly in Africa, to know they are not alone and should feel proud of themselves.
Joshua intends to bring an African team to the World Gay Boxing Championships taking place from 18-22 February 2023 in 2023 in Sydney. Joshua wants to entertain the crowd and demonstrate his boxing skills at the Championships in an Exhibition (non-competition) bout. Joshua advises members of the African team wanting to participate in the Championships will be represented in most of the competition age groups: Elite (19-40 years) and Masters (41-50, 51-60, or 61-70 years).
Joshua explains members of the team have faced homophobia and abuse. He says, "The Championships will provide an environment where they can feel special, confident and proud of who they are." He adds, "The team will be great and awesome people!" Joshua is excited about experiencing Mardi Gras and Sydney WorldPride. When asked for his best boxing tip, Joshua replied, "The best way to defend is attack, and the best form of defence is the JAB!"