|Will Jermain Taylor's 'Bad Intentions' crush Kassim Ouma's Dream?
By DJ Carter, BraggingRightsCorner (Dec 8, 2006)
When I first heard this match was going to take place, I must admit I was surprised. Everyone was expecting a Taylor-Wright rematch, or a tune up bout for the champ. While many may think this is a walk in the park for JT, it is a pretty damn risky walk in the park! It's been two years since JT fought in front of his home crowd and his day will come again on December 9th. But will his homecoming be spoiled?
Everyone has come to know the touching story of Kassim "The Dream" Ouma. Kassim will be moving up in weight, pursuing his dream of a title shot. Kassim may not be known for his power, but he does throw punches in bunches,
breaking records for most punches thrown in rounds and bouts. He's beaten the likes of Verno Phillips, Kofi Jantuah, Marco Antonio Rubio and the young southpaw Sechew Powell.
The majority of Ouma's wins do come by way of KO. Kassim never tires, he just keeps coming forward, bringing on the pressure. He only has two losses, back in '99 to Agustin Silva in a 3 knockdown rule and last year to Roman Karmazin (many said the former Champ was ill that night). Ouma's toughness can't be questioned, he's been knocked down and has always gotten back up. But as shown in the Karmazin bout, Ouma had difficulty dealing with the height advantage. Karmazin stood at 5' 11" and Ouma at 5' 8"; now he will face the Champ Taylor, who towers at 6' 1".
Though he has shown he can weather the storm of punches, he's going against his strongest opponent to date. Jermain packs a lot of power behind his blows; how will his power and height advantage affect the outcome of the fight? One thing Ouma has on his side is endurance, something that has been a problem for JT, and he has yet to overcome it. Ouma will need to be defensively smart, knowing when and when not to apply his pressure. Last but not least, punches in bunches definitely impress the judges.
Jermain Taylor surprised everyone with his lackluster defeat over Bernard Hopkins back to back last year. In both bouts he out pointed The Executioner. He defeated a pre-disposed William Joppy who had suffered a beat down at the hands of Felix 'Tito' Trinidad years earlier; no boxer has ever been the same after a Trinidad beating.
Jermain retained his title in a controversial draw decision to Winky Wright in June of this year. Many boxing fans have been yearning to see Jermain beat a credible opponent convincingly and not by close decisions. Despite the outcome of this fight, Taylor will still be criticized. Should he win, as expected, many will say he took on an opponent that is not evenly matched with him. Should he lose, they will probably say he is an overrated Champ, that defeated an old Bernard Hopkins, who has problems when faced with someone of his caliber, as was the case against Roy Jones, Jr.
Jermain will not get the respect he feels he deserves until he defeats Winky Wright, clearly. Jermain Taylor has nothing to gain and everything to lose for taking this match against Ouma. Why take the risk? Is it possible JT is overlooking Kassim as just a mere tune-up bout for a possible Wright rematch? How far will Taylor's power carry him through his match with Ouma? Will he be able to keep up with Ouma, who like the Energizer bunny just keeps going and going?
Not to take anything away from Kassim, but I am a little disappointed in Team Taylor for not making the most important match of his career happen. Whether or not Taylor was called out by Ouma, he will never gain the respect of the fans by picking fighters that are not at his level.
Though Jermain Taylor has the power to KO Kassim, win or lose Kassim's stock will not be hurt, while Taylor's will if he loses and it won't grow if he wins. So Kassim stands to gain even if he is beaten. This would truly be a dream come true for Kassim. I admire his heart greatly. Though he is the underdog coming into this bout, I'd like to see him accomplish his dream. Boxing fans need a huge upset. And while I think Jermain Taylor is a very good fighter, I will be pulling for Ouma to win.
I feel Jermain kind of let his fans down, and while I want to see him succeed I personally want to see him oppose boxers equal in caliber or better. If Taylor wins, I'd be the first to say congratulations, now go and KO Winky Wright!
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