Kassim Ouma – No Excuses Necessary
By Rob Scott (July 22, 2005) 
Photo © German Villasenor
How many times have you heard a fighter say how he is in the best shape of his life for a fight? Different fighters have often said how they’ve never been more mentally and physically prepared for a bout in their whole career. On the flipside, how many times do we hear these same fighters say in a post fight press conference or interview, something totally contradictory after they lose? Some will say with a straight face of how they were injured in training, had personal issues, an incompetent trainer, etc; anything but they just lost to the better man. 

Kassim ‘The Dream’ Ouma made his Golden Boy Promotion debut last week on Oscar De La Hoya’s Boxeo Deoro telecast on HBO from the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. In defense of his IBF junior middleweight championship, Ouma took on the mandatory challenge of tough Russian Roman ‘Made in Hell’ Karmazin. When the smoke all cleared, Ouma was a former champion, as ‘Made in Hell’ gave Ouma hell en route to a 12 round unanimous decision.    

I penned two articles for Doghouse Boxing titled ‘Introducing Kassim Ouma’ and ‘Now you know Kassim Ouma’. After his defeat Thursday I received a few calls and e-mails reminding me of those articles. Even though I always have felt a journalist should maintain certain impartiality when talking about fighters, I admitted in these pieces that with the talents and the tale of this fighter, I had grown into an Ouma fan. When I returned contact with these people, it amazed me how many of them assumed that I would become like those many fighters that come up with an excuse as to why the Ugandan native was now a former champion. Without question, these people don’t know me very well.

From my standpoint – there are no excuses. There really should be none from Ouma himself. On this night the best man won. If anything, there should be a stressing in Ouma’s mind that indeed Karmazin was the better man on ‘this night’; but ‘This night’ doesn’t have to represent ‘Every night’.  The best have lost. The best have lost and it’s in there return we found out the inner workings of those fighters.

From my vantage point, for any fighter to make excuses it only adds to their legacy; the only thing is it’s an addition that isn’t flattering.  Remember when Julio Caesar Chavez lost his fights? The moniker ‘Cry Baby’ could have easily been added to his name. His legendary status is one that is cemented and can never be taken away, but he has given away a piece of it by making unwarranted complaints.   

Ouma has reached that fork in the road that has sent many fighters on a detour. It is up to him to get on the right path. Any excuse has to make way for explanations; and those explanations will give way to solutions.

I once asked if you knew Kassim Ouma; no doubt we all now do. The bad part is some just may have received their introduction from this loss.  If Ouma is what was expected of him, like the very best, he can and will be back. He is only 26 years old – he has time to rebuild and erase the negative image. 

As for Roman Karmazin, who may not hold all the belts, he is undisputedly the new IBF junior middleweight champion; and for that he deserves a huge congratulation. For anyone to think any differently wouldn’t be doing Ouma a favor or put him in a better light. Ouma’s light bulb has been dimmed, but he can’t lose his mental/physical filament. It’s up to him to see just how bright it will shine again; or for that matter, if it shines at all. No excuses from me; no excuses from Ouma; no excuses necessary.
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