Boxing


Kassim the “Dream: Just Flawless

01.02.05 - By Izyaslav “Slava” Koza: I have personally always that fighters who go through adversity early in life, make the best fighters, champions, and legends. Just speaking in a current sense if you know the stories of Hopkins, Tsyzu, and Morales you know why these guys will never lose that focus or that determination and desire that has made them the very best examples of our sport..

One such fighter is Kassim Ouma. Although at first glance he may seem like a typical example of the classic “showboat,” taking into account the horrors he has been put through early in his life, the smile and dance he does are for another totally different reason. Whereas the smiles and gestures showboat fighters usually make, are done because of economical reasons (the cockier I am the more people will take notice), to me it seems Ouma is genuinely happy to be in the ring, and to be fighting and doing his very best. I think what drives him is the knowledge that, he out of everybody else that suffered in his native Uganda, got a chance at life. In training, and running, and competing the knowledge that he has been given a chance to do something great, and he will be hard pressed to give it up.

Tonight Ouma took apart a willing, but sloppily prepared fighter in Kofi Jantuah. Jantuah coming off a “highlight reel” KO victory over Marco Rubio, fell too much in love with his perception of his power, and decided that it is the only thing he will need against Ouma. Unfortunately for him as Roy Jones rightfully pointed out, with the things that Ouma has seen, Jantuah’s power seems less like a horror flick and more like a sappy romantic comedy (notice the Larry Merchant style comparison). After the first Round Jantuah had no answer for anything that Ouma threw at him. His punches were definitely harder, but not nearly half as hard as Ouma’s resolve to win decisively. Ouma danced the first round away as Jantuah foolishly wasted his energy in vain going in for the kill. Once the formality of him establishing he has the bigger punch were over, Ouma went to work, and didn’t look back. Time after time Ouma let his hands go, and time after time they found their mark in 4,5 punch succession. Jantuah was disoriented and went into “uno puncho” survival mode. It was such a clean and impressive dissection that even Jantuah was congratulating Ouma at the end of each round. I had the fight something like 119-111, giving Jantuah only 1 round because Ouma got on the bike for most of it.

We have to remember however that Jantuah is not exactly the “best of the best” in the division, but even so he was coming off impressive wins and was hungry and fit. Just about the only thing that I could criticize Ouma for is taking some clean, flush shots, even though he walked through them with ease. I would think that against an elite puncher like say Trinidad, Ouma would be more mindful, but again that is nit picking.

This was a very impressive win, from a very impressive fighter, who doesn’t seem like he will take his good fortune, nor his talent or ability for granted. The sign of a great fighter is his unwillingness to lose focus, and hunger to compete. Ouma has not shown signs of veering off the path to greatness, and if he happens to get there, I for one think he will deserve it.

Write to Novirasputin@hotmail.com

Article posted on 01.02.2005



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