Showtime Championship Boxing: Ouma-Phillips, Lacy-Tsypko on June 5

12.05.04- In a rematch of an electrifying slugfest which had the fans on the edge of their seats from the opening bell, IBF No. 1 contender Kassim "The Dream" Ouma will take on IBF No. 2 contender Verno Phillips for the vacant IBF junior middleweight championship Saturday, June 5, on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING at 9 p.m. ET/PT*. Ouma and Phillips will be fighting in a scheduled 12-round bout for the title previously owned by Winky Wright, who was stripped of the belt. In the SHOWTIME co-feature from The Leggett & Platt Athletic Center at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Missouri, Jeff "Left Hook" Lacy will defend his WBC Continental Americas/NABA and USBA super middleweight crowns when he meets IBF/WBA International titleholder Vitali Tsypko. Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, in association with Tony Holden Productions, will promote the doubleheader.

Ouma (19-1-1, 12 KOs), of Palm Beach, Fla., is coming off of an scintillating 10th-round TKO over Juan Carlos Candelo in an IBF elimination bout Jan. 3, 2004, on SHOWTIME. A promising young star, Ouma is on a 10-fight winning streak since suffering his lone defeat on Sept. 7, 2001. Ouma recorded a 10-round unanimous decision over Phillips in a memorable slugfest in which neither fighter conceded an inch from start to finish. Possessing the faster hands, Ouma managed to stay slightly busier then the cagey Phillips, he rattled him on several occasions, got credit for a knockdown in the ninth and won the hard-fought slugfest by the scores of 95-94, 96-93 and 97-93. Ouma captured the vacant USBA junior middleweight crown and became the IBF's top 154-pound contender by winning a 12-round split decision over Angel Hernandez on May 30, 2003. Ouma previously won the vacant USBA junior middleweight crown on May 10, 2002, by scoring an eighth-round TKO over Jason Papillion. Ouma successfully defended the USBA title with an 11th-round TKO over Darrell Woods on Oct. 4, 2002. However, the outcome was changed to a no decision and Ouma was stripped of the title when he failed a post-fight test. After reclaiming the USBA title with the victory over Hernandez, Ouma stopped Carlos Bojorquez in the eighth round on Aug. 22, 2003. Ouma has not lost since Nov. 20, 1999, when he was defeated by underdog Agustin Rivera on a shocking first-round TKO.

Phillips (37-9-1, 19 KOs), of Troy, N.Y., has won six consecutive bouts since he fell short against Ouma more than two-and-one-half years ago. Phillips was coming off a 14-month layoff when they met the first time and that might have been the difference. Game throughout, Phillips landed the more explosive punches, including many hard left hooks and clubbing right hands that kept Ouma honest. But his recent inactivity took its toll and he tired late. Phillips will be much sharper for the highly-anticipated rematch and ring rust will not be a factor. In his most recent outing, the rejuvenated 16-year veteran scored an impressive first-round knockout over highly regarded Julio "The Cuban Lover" Garcia on March 5, 2004. The hard-working Phillips is a former World Boxing Organization (WBO) 154-pound champion. He captured the WBO belt by scoring a seventh-round TKO over Lupe Aquino on Oct. 30, 1993, and made three successful defenses. A seasoned boxer-puncher, who has been victorious in 11 out of his past 12 starts, Phillips owns victories over former world champions Julian Jackson, Gianfranco Rosi, Aquino and Julio Cesar Vazquez.

Lacy (16-0, 13 KOs), of St. Petersburg, Fl., will be making his ninth appearance on SHOWTIME. In his most recent start, the undefeated youngster retained his WBC/CA/USBA/NABA belts with a hard-fought eighth-round TKO over NABF light heavyweight champion Donnell Wiggins Dec. 3, 2003, on SHOWTIME. The talented Lacy retained his WBC/CA and USBA titles, and added the vacant NABA super middleweight crown with a 12-round decision over Richard Grant on July 15, 2003. Lacy, who steadily has ascended the super middleweight world rankings since turning pro, is ranked No. 4 by both the WBA and WBO, No. 5 by the WBC and No. 8 by the IBF. He earned the USBA belt with a third-round TKO on Feb. 22, 2003. Lacy won the WBC Continental Americas crown with a hard-fought decision over defending champion Ross Thompson Nov. 9, 2002, on SHOWTIME. Lacy went 209-12 in the amateurs, won numerous competitions and made it to the second round of the 2000 Olympics.

Tsypko (15-0, 8 KOs), of Dnyepropetrowsk, Ukraine, is a highly regarded 168-pounder who possesses the power to end a fight early and the stamina to go the distance. He captured the vacant WBA International super middleweight title by winning a unanimous 12-round decision over Charles Adamu on Feb. 28, 2004. He successfully defended the title in his most recent outing when he won a 12-round decision over Alexander Zaitsev on April 17, 2004. On Nov. 16, 2002, Tsypko earned the IBF Intercontinental super middleweight title with a seventh-round knockout over Vincenzo Imparato. Tsypko, who is making his United States debut, has fought all but one of his fights in his homeland and Germany since turning pro on Oct. 16, 1999.

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING's Steve Albert and Al Bernstein will call the action from ringside with Jim Gray serving as roving reporter. The executive producer of the SHOWTIME telecast is Jay Larkin, with David Dinkins, Jr. producing and Bob Dunphy directing.

For information on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecasts, including fighter bios and records, related stories and more, please go the SHOWTIME website at

Article posted on 12.05.2004

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