Et Tu, Saul? Kassim Ouma: More Trouble With The Roman's

kassim ouma03.11.07 - Brian McDonald: Kassim Ouma, a one time title holder and fan favorite, disappoints once again in a relatively uneventful fight against future journeyman-at-best Saul Roman. Early in the bout Roman was able to pop Kassim rather effectively with his jab. By the third round, unfortunately, the fight had settled into abject mediocrity.

With the exception Kassim dropping Roman in the 8th round with a scurrilous low-blow that was mis-called by referee James Jen-Kin as a clean knockdown, the fight simply never really got going. The slick defense and superb footwork Ouma is capable of would occasionally surface, but it was far a few between sightings. More importantly, the high-output offensive attack we've come to expect from Ouma wasn't there. Kassim simply didn't have the swagger and command he once showed. Of course, this is not the first time Kassim showed up seemingly out of shape and unfocused.

The story of Kassim Ouma being kidnapped at the age of six by a Uganda guerilla war outfit is well known. While I don't think it's necessary to dwell on his history prior to his boxing career, I think we can agree that given his history and the struggles he's not only faced, but survived, there is just no doubting his heart and character. Additionally, beyond his tragic youth, with his ever present smile and positive demeanor he's a very likable guy. What is questionable, however, is his dedication to the sweet science.

Following his surprising loss to Roman Karamazin in 2005, rumors of his attraction to night life began to emerge. The word was that he had been out on the Vegas strip partying all night prior to the fight. That was no real shocker as just three years prior to the loss to Karmazin, he'd been stripped of a TKO victory over Darrell Woods for failing the post-fight urinalysis for having used marijuana. His four losses come from fighters with a combined 95-21-3 record - pull Jermain Taylor out of the equation and it's 70-21-2. The competitive advantage to being psychologically prepared for a bout is well known. Therefore, underestimating opponents, while common (Zab Judah comes to mind), is not something you expect for a gifted fighter trying to establish his place in a division replete with exciting championship caliber fighters. Kassim, while still young at 28, is on the verge of becoming a mere footnote which is no small accomplishment, it's just that he's still capable of much more.

I'm not sure when Kassim stopped dreaming about being the best light middleweight fighter in the world, but it's time for him to stop dreaming and start training again. Bring back the Pat Tillman trunks and the explosive offense. The wins over the likes of Verno Phillips (twice), Kofi Jantuah, and Sechew Powell weren't just a dream, were they?

Article posted on 03.11.2007

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