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View Full Version : Taylor-Ouma Results & Discussion 12/9/06



GorDoom
12-09-2006, 08:31 PM
Dig has volunteered to cover tonight's fight. So ... Per usual please keep all discussion of this card to this thread. Redundant threads will be deleted.

thanks,

GorDoom

Crold1
12-09-2006, 11:54 PM
I don't see Dig online so I'll jump in. :)

diggity
12-09-2006, 11:56 PM
Sorry, I have been having cable outages for some reason.

Crold1
12-09-2006, 11:59 PM
ROUND ONE

Raucous crowd..good to hear. This is a great sports town so they know HOW to cheer.

Right uppercut wobbles Ouma after some sloppy opening flurries from both...Taylor looking stiff and wild...Ouma lands a couple on ropes...Little action to end round.

Taylor 10-9

diggity
12-09-2006, 11:59 PM
Cliff if you can report I'd appreciate it. For some reason my cable is not right.

Crold1
12-10-2006, 12:03 AM
ROUND TWO

Ouma landing the cleaner shots but gets caught with a couple stiff head jerking shots...Landing left well on ropes...sloppy grappling flurries end round. Even affair

Taylor 20-19

P.S. Got ya Dig. ;)

Crold1
12-10-2006, 12:07 AM
ROUND THREE

Hard left and right by Taylor...nice sneaky right slap by Jermain...Hard right through the guard...Hard 1-2 to end round for Taylor.

Taylor 30-28

Crold1
12-10-2006, 12:11 AM
ROUND FOUR

Taylor really starting to land hard shots. Hard round to note. Pretty-one sided.

Taylor 40-37

Crold1
12-10-2006, 12:15 AM
ROUND FIVE

Nice body combo by Taylor who is really starting to hold often...hard shots by Taylor but Ouma landing his own...Taylor cut above left eye.

Taylor 50-46

Crold1
12-10-2006, 12:19 AM
ROUND SIX

Referee is REALLY hawking the small cut from a butt...hmmm, open scoring influence in the home town...Ouma with a nice combo on the ropes but Taylor uses his legs and lands hard to end round.

Taylor 60-55

Crold1
12-10-2006, 12:23 AM
ROUND SEVEN

Right hand by Ouma...Ouma flat out-working Taylor...Taylor is nearly running...but then plants and lands a couple hard rights...Taylor lands hard in the last thrity second to steal round.

Taylor 70-64

Crold1
12-10-2006, 12:27 AM
ROUND EIGHT

Ouma's style not helping tonight...Taylor could have him out of there if he would start using his jab.

Taylor 80-73

Off The River
12-10-2006, 12:28 AM
Give all the credit in the world to Ouma. If he were a bigger stronger guy, Taylor would be in serious trouble.

Crold1
12-10-2006, 12:31 AM
ROUND NINE

NICE counter right by Taylor...Hard left hooks body and head for Taylor...Taylor left hook to body...I'm bored.

Taylor 90-82

Crold1
12-10-2006, 12:35 AM
ROUND TEN

Ouma outworking him though Taylor lands a nasty uppercut...another uppercut...short right by Taylor...Ouma raises his arms; is that a celebration of "I'm not knocked out?" at this point?

Taylor 100-91

Crold1
12-10-2006, 12:39 AM
ROUND ELEVEN

Rinse/repeat...Ouma comes forward...Taylor potshots...

Taylor 110-100

Crold1
12-10-2006, 12:43 AM
ROUND TWELVE

More of the same...easy win, but both guys fought hard all night...Joe Calzaghe will beat Taylor senseless if he fights him like this.

kikibalt
12-10-2006, 12:55 AM
Is this the best of the MWs ? an we wonder why boxing is in trouble.

taylor is one of the worse champion I ever seen.
For sure I'll never watch him again, I got better things to do with my time.

Frank

Chuck1052
12-10-2006, 03:03 AM
I noticed that Jermaine Taylor has a tendency to throw very
wide punches. Is that one reason why Taylor, a very large
middleweight, is being matched with natural jr. middleweights
much of the time?

- Chuck Johnston

diggity
12-10-2006, 03:28 AM
Luckily (or unluckily) I caught this down the road at a friends house.
Thanks a lot Cliff for backing me up.

As much as I find myself always expecting more from JT, I find it hard to penalize him too much when I think about it logically. JT did what he had to do against the better names in boxing. Sure, he didn't blow these other top level guys out but these are top level guys. Winky, BHop & Ouma are not where they are by accident or brilliant matchmaking.

Anyway...I was surprised how well Ouma took those shots. I think it was the 4th or 5th round where JT really teed off on Ouma with real solid right followed by left hook...and Ouma went nowhere. I think most any other fighter would have been dropped with their feet twitchin. I knew after that that this fight was a UD for Taylor. It has me questioning his power honestly...

I expected that fight to be a bit better than how it played out but I've been too much an optimist for my own good lately. The last few Ouma performances weren't all that compelling and once JT knew Ouma wasn't about to fall over & die when he got it, it only played into boredoms hands. Regardless of the size difference, kudos to JT for almost completely nullifying Ouma's attack...and not doing so all that cautiously either.

I am not crazy for JTs style but he is a tough young boxer for sure that is getting by on less than others do.

Off The River
12-10-2006, 03:38 AM
I am not as dissapointed in Taylor as Kikibalt, but I am slowly starting to lose my positive opinion of him. He landed some really good shots and I am impressed with the heart of Ouma. I was simply dissapointed in the fact that despite him being the bigger guy, he was constantly backing up.

It is quite evident that his inside game is almost nonexistent. Potential, size, strength are all qualities he has, but he really needs improvement. He is a nice fresh face and a gentleman as well. These are things he has outside the ring boxing needs. It's what he needs inside the ring that he has to make up for.

TKO Tom
12-10-2006, 09:14 AM
To me, Jermain Taylor looks like he may be regressing instead of progressing. As incredible as that may seem, it's just how I see it.

Here are the mistakes I saw last night: (1.) Taylor continually backed up in a straight line. He backed to the ropes and even into the corners. I just don't understand that. (2.) The man has no lateral movement whatsoever. (3.) He keeps his hands way too low and leaves himself open to right hands. (4.) Defense for him is basically non-existent. (5.) He's a 1-2 fighter. He just throws a jab and right hand and really doesn't finish his combinations with a left hook very often. (6.) He has no ability to pace himself. (7.) He rarely throws bodyshots. (8.) He telegraphs his right hand. (9.) He throws extremely wide right hand shots. (10.) He's a loose fighter. He really needs to tighten everything up. He fights like a cowboy in an old western bar brawl with his hands down and all of his shots being thrown from waist level.

I'll say this right now: Joe Calzaghe would eat him alive.

Taylor has gotten where he is on grit, youth and strength. He's gotten the most out of his body, but when it comes to real skills - I just don't see them. He's lucky that he was matched with a 40 year-old Bernard Hopkins and it's debatable whether he lost both of those fights and the Winky Wright fight. I thought he won all of them, but he makes his fights much more difficult than they have to be simply because he doesn't appear to be learning and progressing.

In my opinion, he looked better and fought better when Pat Burns was training him.

HE Grant
12-10-2006, 09:34 AM
I don't know what it is about Taylor but no one ever seems happy about anything that he does...here , as a still semi-inexperienced fighter he dethrones Hopkins and then beats him again, the same Hopkins that goes on to dice Tarver, he gets a draw against another of the best fighters in the world, Wright, who again has much more experience and then shuts out a young, very tough 154 pound champ.

I saw DiBella out a few weeks ago and said Lou, give this kid a few easy ones next to simply work out a few things. I just get the feeling that even Lou wants the straight line to the biggest money.

Taylor did not look look Ray Robinson last night or Marvin Hagler last night but he has no where near the experience they had as a champion. He needs some fights against against some softer opposition to keep working on his craft. God knows 75% of Hopkins title defenses were against stiffs.

Let's apprreciate Taylor for what he is, a very talented, well conditioned, proud champion in a sport that badly needs them. He will get better because he wants to do so and has the talent.

NOTE: Sorry Gor, I did not check that email until this morning...I'd always like to cover for the Board. Next time if I can be of help call me on my cell as I sometimes try and leave the business e-mail alone to have peace on the weekends...I'll also forward you my new, personal e-mail.

starlingstomp
12-10-2006, 09:48 AM
Taylor just reminds me of a less technically refined Frank Tate.


While there's still time for improvement, i don't see him ending up as more than a decent competent champion.

kikibalt
12-10-2006, 10:18 AM
He Grant
Fight sofler opposition? he is the champion, no? are you saying he is not ready to be champion?

Btw I agree with everything that TKO Tom said.


Frank

TKO Tom
12-10-2006, 10:27 AM
You know what? Sam Soliman would be a dangerous, dangerous, dangerous fight for Taylor based on what I saw last night. If Ouma could trouble him, imagine what a bigger, stronger Soliman might do.

Next up for Taylor, I hear, is Sergio Mora. That's a winnable fight for Taylor and another way for him to gain some experience fighting a lesser calibre opponent. I don't know how much more Taylor is capable of learning though.

Taylor now has 27 fights and still has a lot of flaws. At age 28 how much better will he get? I don't know if he will have the longevity of a Hopkins or a Wright because of the punishment he takes and the style that he has. Will he continue to really evolve as a fighter? Like I say, I think he has regressed and not progressed.

I'd like to see Taylor fight Kelly Pavlik or Soliman or a rematch with Wright. If he beats Wright or Pavlik or Soliman decisively I would then say he's the real deal.

The key word there is decisively.

Nixon
12-10-2006, 10:31 AM
Let's see how he reacts when he's in with a real puncher.

TKO Tom
12-10-2006, 10:48 AM
Pavlik is a real puncher.

That kid punches like no one's freakin' business.

Just because nobody is talking about Pavlik doesn't mean he can't fight or ain't dangerous.

My eyes have seen. I know what I'm lookin' at. Kelly Pavlik can thump and crack.

Problem is, he can't make 160 anymore unless he starves.

Nixon
12-10-2006, 11:42 AM
I think the question has been answered. The talk now is that Taylor will face Sergio Mora. Another light puncher. I now suspect a bigger chink in the armor. Taylor's team knows something, and it's not hidden very well any longer. He'll fight Mora, and then move on to 168 because of weight problems. Taylor will have to face bigger and stronger punchers at 168. He'll have no choice. I think he will be chin checked and on the downside by 2008.

Nixon
12-10-2006, 11:45 AM
delete

GorDoom
12-10-2006, 12:27 PM
Jermain Taylor Home for the Holidays, Decisions Ouma
By George Kimball from Sweet Science

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. --- For the better part of Saturday night, Jermain Taylor looked like a man being pursued by a swarm of pesky gnats.

And although the middleweight champion fought virtually all twelve rounds in full retreat, by the end of the night the gnats had suffered the heavier casualties. That's what happens when you try to chase a man around in his own house.

The old boxing saw about inevitability of the result in a fight between a good big man and a good little man played itself out in real-time at the Alltel Arena Saturday night, as Taylor captured a unanimous decision over a thoroughly game Kassim Ouma to retain his 160-pound belts in the main event of Lou DiBella's 'Home for the Holidays' card in Taylor's Arkansas hometown.


The disparate force of the two men's power was on display throughout the night, beginning with the first round, when Taylor rocked Ouma with a solid right uppercut that knocked him two steps backward.

Recognizing that an aggressive mode was not only his best chance, but his only one, Ouma played the aggressor's role, but Taylor patiently allowed him to charge in before countering with his heavier artillery.

Ouma performed well and he performed bravely, but he was simply overmatched.

The occasion also marked the American debut of the WBC's new system of Open Scoring in title fights, and when the judges' tallies were announced at the end of the fourth, Taylor was up 40-36 on all three cards.

By the fifth Ouma was beginning to swell on both cheekbones, but before that stanza was over, Taylor got his only real fright of the evening when he emerged from one exchange with what appeared to be a nasty cut along his left eyelid.

Between rounds, cutman Ray Rodgers was able to repair the wound, which didn't reopen significantly until the last couple of rounds, by which time the fight was well in hand.

Taylor claimed that the cut had been caused by a head-butt, but if so, we didn't see it, and neither did referee Frank Garza.

In the seventh, Taylor connected with a big right that lifted Ouma right up off the canvas, but the smaller man kept coming.

The second announcement of the judges' tallies demonstrated yet another unanticipated flaw in the Open Scoring system: What happens if the ring announcer screws up the total?

Precisely that transpired after the eighth, when Michael Buffer correctly announced scores of 80-72 and 78-74, but misread a third card (either Tom Kaczmarek's or Jack Woodburn's) and erroneously gave the judge's seven-round tally (70-63), omitting the eighth-round score.

Despite the oversight, it was clear enough that the fight was in danger of becoming a rout, which resulted in Ouma pressing forward with even more urgency, while Taylor pulled in the horns and, realizing at last that he wasn't going to knock Ouma out anyway, boxed more cautiously.

"I wanted to knock him out," said Taylor. "I was in great shape, but I kind of took out a loan the last couple of rounds."

"Jermain was kind of running on fumes toward the end, but I think the cut may have been bothering him, too," said DiBella.

Even though he lost the last three rounds on the cards of Kaczmarek and Italian judge Servio Silvi (and two of the last three on the Canadian Woodburn's), Taylor was handily ahead at the end. Woodburn had him up 118-110, Kaczmarek 117-111, and Silvi 115-113. (The Sweet Science scorecard was an even more emphatic 119-109 in the champion's favor.)

Taylor landed 244 punches to Ouma's 177, but the statistics could not register the wide gulf between the force of the blows delivered by the respective combatants. Most of Taylor's, in keeping with his nickname, were delivered with bad intentions, while, by backing up, he was able to smother most of Ouma's scattershot array.

And even though Ouma threw more punches (701 to 579 for Taylor) his average of 58 per round was just a little better than half the 104 per round he had averaged over his previous ten fights.

"Ouma came out and fought hard for all twelve rounds," said Taylor. "He's a little guy, but he's very tough."

Although Taylor had knocked out 16 of his first 20 professional opponents, the Ouma fight marked the fifth time in his last six outings that he has been extended the 12-round distance. Obviously, the level of competition may have something to do with that, since all five were against reigning or former world champions -- Ouma, Winky Wright, Bernard Hopkins (twice), and William Joppy.

Taylor retained his WBC and WBO titles with the win. He is also recognized by the WBA as its 'super champion.'

"Whoever wants to fight, come on!" Taylor threw down the challenge before departing for the hospital. "I'll fight the toughest guy out there."

Taylor was taken to a local hospital where a plastic surgeon stitched his wound, which should heal in time for his next HBO date, probably against 'Contender' first-year winner Sergio Mora in mid-April.

That would put it a week or two after Joe Calzaghe's Cardiff super-middleweight defense against Contender runner-up Peter Manfredo Jr., which has now been rolled back from March 3 to April 7. The tentative plan still calls for Taylor to move up to 168 to challenge the Welshman later in the summer, probably in the United States, but not, we can now safely predict, in Arkansas.

Everything about Saturday night's fight suggested that Ouma would be better served by going straight back to 154, a division in which he would be a force to be reckoned with against almost anyone, but, surprisingly, the beaten Ugandan had other ideas.

"You know me, I'm a small guy, but I'm here (as a middleweight) to stay," vowed Ouma.

Describing himself as "a guy who never gives up," Ouma was even asking for more of Taylor.

"I want to come back here again and fight you in Little Rock," Ouma told Taylor in the ring.

Taylor-Ouma was the first world title fight ever contested in Little Rock (unless one counts a trio of WAA bouts the late Pat O'Grady staged here in the 1980s, which we don't), and just the second in the state of Arkansas. In March of 1903, Joe Gans successfully defended his world lightweight title by stopping Steve Crosby in the 11th round of a scheduled 20-round fight in Hot Springs.

(An 1896 heavyweight title fight between Gentlemen Jim Corbett and Bob Fitzsimmons was originally scheduled to be held in Hot Springs, but Arkansas Governor James P. Clarke threatened to use the state militia to prevent the bout, which he ran right out of his state and all the way to Nevada, where Fitzsimmons won the title after felling Corbett with his "solar plexus punch.")

DiBella didn't have to contend with any hostile forces in the Arkansas state house, but his former employers at HBO didn't do him any favors when it came to Saturday's live gate. Although the free HBO feed is prohibited from being shown in public establishments, the network was allowed to peddle the closed-circuit sale. The result was that many saloons in Little Rock's popular River Market area were advertising the fight at cover charges ranging from $5 TO $10, while the paid attendance of 10,119 meant nearly 7,000 empty seats in the Alltel Arena.

"I'm guessing it probably cost us a couple of thousand fans," said DiBella. "They had the choice of buying a ticket to the fight or paying a small cover charge so they could get sh**-faced while they watched it in a bar, and a lot of people took that option.

"Next time we do one of these fights I'm going to argue that they shouldn't be allowed to sell closed-circuit rights in a small-town market, because it does have a significant impact on the gate," added the promoter.

DiBella also had to pander to local custom by interrupting the live show midway through the undercard to show the Heisman Trophy telecast on the overhead screen. Arkansas' Darren McFadden had even less chance of winning the Heisman than Ouma had of beating Taylor, but unless the Razorback crowd had a chance to see it with their own eyes, they might have opted to stay away from the fight.

Andre Berto, the talented Florida welterweight who boxed for Haiti in the 2004 Olympics after being disqualified in the US trials, ran his pro record to 16-0 in an impressive HBO debut as he overwhelmed his New Jersey opponent Miguel Figueroa (25-5-1) in posting a sixth-round TKO.

In the first round along Berto hit Figueroa with everything but the ring post, scoring a 10-8 round. With seconds left in the round he buckled Figueroa with a solid right uppercut, followed by a left that might have sent him down had the bell not intervened.

Berto piled up round after round, punishing his game opponent with an impressive arsenal of punches. By the end of the fifth, a stanza in which he landed 49 of 76 power shots, Berto was simply teeing off on his opponent, and while the sixth lasted he continued that dominance, landing 25 of the 44 power punches he sent Figueroa's way. A left to the body/left to the jaw combination wobbled Figueroa, and when Berto waded to thud a hard right to the head that snapped Figueroa's head sideways, referee Laurence Cole wisely intervened. The end came at 1:59 of the sixth.

Overall CompuBox stats showed Berto landing 64 jabs to Figueroa's 26 and 129 power punches to his opponent's 25.

Fighting as a pro for the 69th time, crowd-pleasing Texas junior welterweight Emanuel Augustus had was for him a rarity -- a comparatively easy fight. A longtime stalking horse for contenders and pretenders alike, Augustus coasted to a lopsided unanimous decision over Denver's Russell Stoner Jones in their ten-round undercard bout.

Since it was for one of those cockamamie WBC titles (the 'Continental Americas,' in this case), Open Scoring was also in effect for Augustus-Jones. Announcing the scores after the fourth and eighth turned out to be somewhat anticlimactic, since Augustus had won every round at both junctures to lead by 40-36 and then 80-71. (Kaczmarek, Silvi, and Woodburn even agreed on a 10-8 seventh round despite the absence of a knockdown.)

In the end Kaczmarek and Woodburn both had it a 100-89 shutout, with Silvi (who scored the last round even at 10-all) not far behind at 100-90. Augustus acquired the meaningless belt with the win, but more importantly, the victory provided him with his first three-fight win streak since 1998-99. The new Continental Americas champion is now 34-28-6, while Jones is 15-16.


Connecticut light-heavyweight Jaidon Codrington decked Thomas Reid with a short right hand in the second to score the only knockdown in their six-round prelim. All three judges -- Bill Morrison, Paul Fields, and Gale Van Hoy -- scored it 59-54 for Codrington, now 14-1 and 5-0 since his shocking first-round knockout by Allan Green 13 months ago. Reid dropped to 35-18-1 with the loss.


DiBella's latest recruit, former American University basketball star Ronald (Son of Tommy) Hearns, starched late substitute Robert Smallwood, dropping the Missouri super-middleweight three (and, probably, four) times in less than three minutes en route to a first-round TKO.

Hearns' performance was impressive enough, though how much of it was due to the ineptitude of his opponent remains open to question. Less than a minute into the fight, he hurt Smallwood with a right-hand body shot, and then put him down with a left-right combination. Another right to the body followed by a right to the head sent Smallwood down for the second time, after which Hearns knocked his opponent right through the ropes with yet another right.

Although Smallwood was completely outside the ring except for his lower legs, which were draped over the bottom rope strand, Garza declined to give him a count and in fact helped him back into the ring, but no sooner had the referee wiped off the gloves than a Hearns left knocked his foe right back from where he had come. This time, with Smallwood once again precariously perched on the apron with only his feet still in the ring, Garza halted the one-sided slaughter at 2:55 of the round. Hearns went to 9-0 in his DiBella debut, while Smallwood fell to 4-3-2

When Dominick Guinn dropped Zack Page with a left hook late in the first round, it appeared he might make an early night of it, but the Arkansas heavyweight quickly regressed into his all-too-familiar listless mode. Page not only clawed his way back into the fight, but won it on the card of one ringside judge (Fields; 76-75). That verdict was offset by the other two officials, as David Sutherland scored it 77-74 and Van Hoy an unconscionable 79-72, allowing Guinn to escape with a split decision. Guinn is now 27-4-1, Page 11-9-1.

It was also a pretty good night for the Fighting Smiths of Little Rock. Heavyweight Terry Smith had to work for it, but came up on the right end of a unanimous decision over his much larger opponent, 256-pound Georgian Ramon Hayes. Smith (29-2-1) won by scores of 79-73 on the cards of judges Fields and Bill Morrison, 78-74 on Sutherland's. Although there were no knockdowns, Hayes (15-22-1) made sure Smith knew he'd been in fight. The hometowner was puffy around both eyes from the third round on.

In another early Smith bout, light-heavyweight Ray Smith (6-0, and unrelated to Terry) won a unanimous decision over Pennsylvania journeyman Randy Pogue (8-6-1), with each of the three judges -- Fields, Morrison, and Sutherland -- scoring it 40-36 for Smith.

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
ALLTEL ARENA
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark.
December 9, 2006

MIDDLEWEIGHTS: Jermain Taylor, 159½, Little Rock, Ark. dec. Kassim Ouma, 158¾, Kampala, Uganda (12) (Retains WBC, WBO, and WBA 'super' titles)

HEAVYWEIGHTS: Dominick Guinn, 229, Hot Springs, Ark. dec. Zack Page, 203¼, Warren, Ohio (8)

Terry Smith, 225 ¾, Little Rock, Ark. dec. Ramon Hayes, 256¼, Athens, Ga. (8)

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS: Ray Smith, 175½, Little Rock, Ark. dec. Randy Pogue, 175¼, Norristown, Pa. (4)

Jaidon Codrington, 173½, Bridgeport, Conn. dec. Thomas Reid, 174, Jackson, Tenn. (6)

SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHTS: Ronald Hearns, 163½, Detroit, Mich. TKO'd Robert Smallwood, 164¼, St. Joseph, Mo. (1)

WELTERWEIGHTS: Andre Berto, 146¼, Winter Haven, Fla. TKO'd Miguel FIguereoa, 146¾, Camden, NJ (6)

JUNIOR WELTERS: Emanuel Augustus, 138 ½, Brownsville, Tex. dec. Russell Jones, 140, Denver, Colo. (10) (Wins vacant WBC Continental Americas title)

GorDoom
12-10-2006, 12:29 PM
Jermain Taylor Home for the Holidays, Decisions Ouma
By George Kimball from Sweet Science

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. --- For the better part of Saturday night, Jermain Taylor looked like a man being pursued by a swarm of pesky gnats.

And although the middleweight champion fought virtually all twelve rounds in full retreat, by the end of the night the gnats had suffered the heavier casualties. That's what happens when you try to chase a man around in his own house.

The old boxing saw about inevitability of the result in a fight between a good big man and a good little man played itself out in real-time at the Alltel Arena Saturday night, as Taylor captured a unanimous decision over a thoroughly game Kassim Ouma to retain his 160-pound belts in the main event of Lou DiBella's 'Home for the Holidays' card in Taylor's Arkansas hometown.


The disparate force of the two men's power was on display throughout the night, beginning with the first round, when Taylor rocked Ouma with a solid right uppercut that knocked him two steps backward.

Recognizing that an aggressive mode was not only his best chance, but his only one, Ouma played the aggressor's role, but Taylor patiently allowed him to charge in before countering with his heavier artillery.

Ouma performed well and he performed bravely, but he was simply overmatched.

The occasion also marked the American debut of the WBC's new system of Open Scoring in title fights, and when the judges' tallies were announced at the end of the fourth, Taylor was up 40-36 on all three cards.

By the fifth Ouma was beginning to swell on both cheekbones, but before that stanza was over, Taylor got his only real fright of the evening when he emerged from one exchange with what appeared to be a nasty cut along his left eyelid.

Between rounds, cutman Ray Rodgers was able to repair the wound, which didn't reopen significantly until the last couple of rounds, by which time the fight was well in hand.

Taylor claimed that the cut had been caused by a head-butt, but if so, we didn't see it, and neither did referee Frank Garza.

In the seventh, Taylor connected with a big right that lifted Ouma right up off the canvas, but the smaller man kept coming.

The second announcement of the judges' tallies demonstrated yet another unanticipated flaw in the Open Scoring system: What happens if the ring announcer screws up the total?

Precisely that transpired after the eighth, when Michael Buffer correctly announced scores of 80-72 and 78-74, but misread a third card (either Tom Kaczmarek's or Jack Woodburn's) and erroneously gave the judge's seven-round tally (70-63), omitting the eighth-round score.

Despite the oversight, it was clear enough that the fight was in danger of becoming a rout, which resulted in Ouma pressing forward with even more urgency, while Taylor pulled in the horns and, realizing at last that he wasn't going to knock Ouma out anyway, boxed more cautiously.

"I wanted to knock him out," said Taylor. "I was in great shape, but I kind of took out a loan the last couple of rounds."

"Jermain was kind of running on fumes toward the end, but I think the cut may have been bothering him, too," said DiBella.

Even though he lost the last three rounds on the cards of Kaczmarek and Italian judge Servio Silvi (and two of the last three on the Canadian Woodburn's), Taylor was handily ahead at the end. Woodburn had him up 118-110, Kaczmarek 117-111, and Silvi 115-113. (The Sweet Science scorecard was an even more emphatic 119-109 in the champion's favor.)

Taylor landed 244 punches to Ouma's 177, but the statistics could not register the wide gulf between the force of the blows delivered by the respective combatants. Most of Taylor's, in keeping with his nickname, were delivered with bad intentions, while, by backing up, he was able to smother most of Ouma's scattershot array.

And even though Ouma threw more punches (701 to 579 for Taylor) his average of 58 per round was just a little better than half the 104 per round he had averaged over his previous ten fights.

"Ouma came out and fought hard for all twelve rounds," said Taylor. "He's a little guy, but he's very tough."

Although Taylor had knocked out 16 of his first 20 professional opponents, the Ouma fight marked the fifth time in his last six outings that he has been extended the 12-round distance. Obviously, the level of competition may have something to do with that, since all five were against reigning or former world champions -- Ouma, Winky Wright, Bernard Hopkins (twice), and William Joppy.

Taylor retained his WBC and WBO titles with the win. He is also recognized by the WBA as its 'super champion.'

"Whoever wants to fight, come on!" Taylor threw down the challenge before departing for the hospital. "I'll fight the toughest guy out there."

Taylor was taken to a local hospital where a plastic surgeon stitched his wound, which should heal in time for his next HBO date, probably against 'Contender' first-year winner Sergio Mora in mid-April.

That would put it a week or two after Joe Calzaghe's Cardiff super-middleweight defense against Contender runner-up Peter Manfredo Jr., which has now been rolled back from March 3 to April 7. The tentative plan still calls for Taylor to move up to 168 to challenge the Welshman later in the summer, probably in the United States, but not, we can now safely predict, in Arkansas.

Everything about Saturday night's fight suggested that Ouma would be better served by going straight back to 154, a division in which he would be a force to be reckoned with against almost anyone, but, surprisingly, the beaten Ugandan had other ideas.

"You know me, I'm a small guy, but I'm here (as a middleweight) to stay," vowed Ouma.

Describing himself as "a guy who never gives up," Ouma was even asking for more of Taylor.

"I want to come back here again and fight you in Little Rock," Ouma told Taylor in the ring.

Taylor-Ouma was the first world title fight ever contested in Little Rock (unless one counts a trio of WAA bouts the late Pat O'Grady staged here in the 1980s, which we don't), and just the second in the state of Arkansas. In March of 1903, Joe Gans successfully defended his world lightweight title by stopping Steve Crosby in the 11th round of a scheduled 20-round fight in Hot Springs.

(An 1896 heavyweight title fight between Gentlemen Jim Corbett and Bob Fitzsimmons was originally scheduled to be held in Hot Springs, but Arkansas Governor James P. Clarke threatened to use the state militia to prevent the bout, which he ran right out of his state and all the way to Nevada, where Fitzsimmons won the title after felling Corbett with his "solar plexus punch.")

DiBella didn't have to contend with any hostile forces in the Arkansas state house, but his former employers at HBO didn't do him any favors when it came to Saturday's live gate. Although the free HBO feed is prohibited from being shown in public establishments, the network was allowed to peddle the closed-circuit sale. The result was that many saloons in Little Rock's popular River Market area were advertising the fight at cover charges ranging from $5 TO $10, while the paid attendance of 10,119 meant nearly 7,000 empty seats in the Alltel Arena.

"I'm guessing it probably cost us a couple of thousand fans," said DiBella. "They had the choice of buying a ticket to the fight or paying a small cover charge so they could get sh**-faced while they watched it in a bar, and a lot of people took that option.

"Next time we do one of these fights I'm going to argue that they shouldn't be allowed to sell closed-circuit rights in a small-town market, because it does have a significant impact on the gate," added the promoter.

DiBella also had to pander to local custom by interrupting the live show midway through the undercard to show the Heisman Trophy telecast on the overhead screen. Arkansas' Darren McFadden had even less chance of winning the Heisman than Ouma had of beating Taylor, but unless the Razorback crowd had a chance to see it with their own eyes, they might have opted to stay away from the fight.

Andre Berto, the talented Florida welterweight who boxed for Haiti in the 2004 Olympics after being disqualified in the US trials, ran his pro record to 16-0 in an impressive HBO debut as he overwhelmed his New Jersey opponent Miguel Figueroa (25-5-1) in posting a sixth-round TKO.

In the first round along Berto hit Figueroa with everything but the ring post, scoring a 10-8 round. With seconds left in the round he buckled Figueroa with a solid right uppercut, followed by a left that might have sent him down had the bell not intervened.

Berto piled up round after round, punishing his game opponent with an impressive arsenal of punches. By the end of the fifth, a stanza in which he landed 49 of 76 power shots, Berto was simply teeing off on his opponent, and while the sixth lasted he continued that dominance, landing 25 of the 44 power punches he sent Figueroa's way. A left to the body/left to the jaw combination wobbled Figueroa, and when Berto waded to thud a hard right to the head that snapped Figueroa's head sideways, referee Laurence Cole wisely intervened. The end came at 1:59 of the sixth.

Overall CompuBox stats showed Berto landing 64 jabs to Figueroa's 26 and 129 power punches to his opponent's 25.

Fighting as a pro for the 69th time, crowd-pleasing Texas junior welterweight Emanuel Augustus had was for him a rarity -- a comparatively easy fight. A longtime stalking horse for contenders and pretenders alike, Augustus coasted to a lopsided unanimous decision over Denver's Russell Stoner Jones in their ten-round undercard bout.

Since it was for one of those cockamamie WBC titles (the 'Continental Americas,' in this case), Open Scoring was also in effect for Augustus-Jones. Announcing the scores after the fourth and eighth turned out to be somewhat anticlimactic, since Augustus had won every round at both junctures to lead by 40-36 and then 80-71. (Kaczmarek, Silvi, and Woodburn even agreed on a 10-8 seventh round despite the absence of a knockdown.)

In the end Kaczmarek and Woodburn both had it a 100-89 shutout, with Silvi (who scored the last round even at 10-all) not far behind at 100-90. Augustus acquired the meaningless belt with the win, but more importantly, the victory provided him with his first three-fight win streak since 1998-99. The new Continental Americas champion is now 34-28-6, while Jones is 15-16.


Connecticut light-heavyweight Jaidon Codrington decked Thomas Reid with a short right hand in the second to score the only knockdown in their six-round prelim. All three judges -- Bill Morrison, Paul Fields, and Gale Van Hoy -- scored it 59-54 for Codrington, now 14-1 and 5-0 since his shocking first-round knockout by Allan Green 13 months ago. Reid dropped to 35-18-1 with the loss.


DiBella's latest recruit, former American University basketball star Ronald (Son of Tommy) Hearns, starched late substitute Robert Smallwood, dropping the Missouri super-middleweight three (and, probably, four) times in less than three minutes en route to a first-round TKO.

Hearns' performance was impressive enough, though how much of it was due to the ineptitude of his opponent remains open to question. Less than a minute into the fight, he hurt Smallwood with a right-hand body shot, and then put him down with a left-right combination. Another right to the body followed by a right to the head sent Smallwood down for the second time, after which Hearns knocked his opponent right through the ropes with yet another right.

Although Smallwood was completely outside the ring except for his lower legs, which were draped over the bottom rope strand, Garza declined to give him a count and in fact helped him back into the ring, but no sooner had the referee wiped off the gloves than a Hearns left knocked his foe right back from where he had come. This time, with Smallwood once again precariously perched on the apron with only his feet still in the ring, Garza halted the one-sided slaughter at 2:55 of the round. Hearns went to 9-0 in his DiBella debut, while Smallwood fell to 4-3-2

When Dominick Guinn dropped Zack Page with a left hook late in the first round, it appeared he might make an early night of it, but the Arkansas heavyweight quickly regressed into his all-too-familiar listless mode. Page not only clawed his way back into the fight, but won it on the card of one ringside judge (Fields; 76-75). That verdict was offset by the other two officials, as David Sutherland scored it 77-74 and Van Hoy an unconscionable 79-72, allowing Guinn to escape with a split decision. Guinn is now 27-4-1, Page 11-9-1.

It was also a pretty good night for the Fighting Smiths of Little Rock. Heavyweight Terry Smith had to work for it, but came up on the right end of a unanimous decision over his much larger opponent, 256-pound Georgian Ramon Hayes. Smith (29-2-1) won by scores of 79-73 on the cards of judges Fields and Bill Morrison, 78-74 on Sutherland's. Although there were no knockdowns, Hayes (15-22-1) made sure Smith knew he'd been in fight. The hometowner was puffy around both eyes from the third round on.

In another early Smith bout, light-heavyweight Ray Smith (6-0, and unrelated to Terry) won a unanimous decision over Pennsylvania journeyman Randy Pogue (8-6-1), with each of the three judges -- Fields, Morrison, and Sutherland -- scoring it 40-36 for Smith.

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
ALLTEL ARENA
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark.
December 9, 2006

MIDDLEWEIGHTS: Jermain Taylor, 159½, Little Rock, Ark. dec. Kassim Ouma, 158¾, Kampala, Uganda (12) (Retains WBC, WBO, and WBA 'super' titles)

HEAVYWEIGHTS: Dominick Guinn, 229, Hot Springs, Ark. dec. Zack Page, 203¼, Warren, Ohio (8)

Terry Smith, 225 ¾, Little Rock, Ark. dec. Ramon Hayes, 256¼, Athens, Ga. (8)

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS: Ray Smith, 175½, Little Rock, Ark. dec. Randy Pogue, 175¼, Norristown, Pa. (4)

Jaidon Codrington, 173½, Bridgeport, Conn. dec. Thomas Reid, 174, Jackson, Tenn. (6)

SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHTS: Ronald Hearns, 163½, Detroit, Mich. TKO'd Robert Smallwood, 164¼, St. Joseph, Mo. (1)

WELTERWEIGHTS: Andre Berto, 146¼, Winter Haven, Fla. TKO'd Miguel FIguereoa, 146¾, Camden, NJ (6)

JUNIOR WELTERS: Emanuel Augustus, 138 ½, Brownsville, Tex. dec. Russell Jones, 140, Denver, Colo. (10) (Wins vacant WBC Continental Americas title)

GorDoom
12-10-2006, 12:31 PM
Jermain Taylor Home for the Holidays, Decisions Ouma
By George Kimball from Sweet Science

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. --- For the better part of Saturday night, Jermain Taylor looked like a man being pursued by a swarm of pesky gnats.

And although the middleweight champion fought virtually all twelve rounds in full retreat, by the end of the night the gnats had suffered the heavier casualties. That's what happens when you try to chase a man around in his own house.

The old boxing saw about inevitability of the result in a fight between a good big man and a good little man played itself out in real-time at the Alltel Arena Saturday night, as Taylor captured a unanimous decision over a thoroughly game Kassim Ouma to retain his 160-pound belts in the main event of Lou DiBella's 'Home for the Holidays' card in Taylor's Arkansas hometown.


The disparate force of the two men's power was on display throughout the night, beginning with the first round, when Taylor rocked Ouma with a solid right uppercut that knocked him two steps backward.

Recognizing that an aggressive mode was not only his best chance, but his only one, Ouma played the aggressor's role, but Taylor patiently allowed him to charge in before countering with his heavier artillery.

Ouma performed well and he performed bravely, but he was simply overmatched.

The occasion also marked the American debut of the WBC's new system of Open Scoring in title fights, and when the judges' tallies were announced at the end of the fourth, Taylor was up 40-36 on all three cards.

By the fifth Ouma was beginning to swell on both cheekbones, but before that stanza was over, Taylor got his only real fright of the evening when he emerged from one exchange with what appeared to be a nasty cut along his left eyelid.

Between rounds, cutman Ray Rodgers was able to repair the wound, which didn't reopen significantly until the last couple of rounds, by which time the fight was well in hand.

Taylor claimed that the cut had been caused by a head-butt, but if so, we didn't see it, and neither did referee Frank Garza.

In the seventh, Taylor connected with a big right that lifted Ouma right up off the canvas, but the smaller man kept coming.

The second announcement of the judges' tallies demonstrated yet another unanticipated flaw in the Open Scoring system: What happens if the ring announcer screws up the total?

Precisely that transpired after the eighth, when Michael Buffer correctly announced scores of 80-72 and 78-74, but misread a third card (either Tom Kaczmarek's or Jack Woodburn's) and erroneously gave the judge's seven-round tally (70-63), omitting the eighth-round score.

Despite the oversight, it was clear enough that the fight was in danger of becoming a rout, which resulted in Ouma pressing forward with even more urgency, while Taylor pulled in the horns and, realizing at last that he wasn't going to knock Ouma out anyway, boxed more cautiously.

"I wanted to knock him out," said Taylor. "I was in great shape, but I kind of took out a loan the last couple of rounds."

"Jermain was kind of running on fumes toward the end, but I think the cut may have been bothering him, too," said DiBella.

Even though he lost the last three rounds on the cards of Kaczmarek and Italian judge Servio Silvi (and two of the last three on the Canadian Woodburn's), Taylor was handily ahead at the end. Woodburn had him up 118-110, Kaczmarek 117-111, and Silvi 115-113. (The Sweet Science scorecard was an even more emphatic 119-109 in the champion's favor.)

Taylor landed 244 punches to Ouma's 177, but the statistics could not register the wide gulf between the force of the blows delivered by the respective combatants. Most of Taylor's, in keeping with his nickname, were delivered with bad intentions, while, by backing up, he was able to smother most of Ouma's scattershot array.

And even though Ouma threw more punches (701 to 579 for Taylor) his average of 58 per round was just a little better than half the 104 per round he had averaged over his previous ten fights.

"Ouma came out and fought hard for all twelve rounds," said Taylor. "He's a little guy, but he's very tough."

Although Taylor had knocked out 16 of his first 20 professional opponents, the Ouma fight marked the fifth time in his last six outings that he has been extended the 12-round distance. Obviously, the level of competition may have something to do with that, since all five were against reigning or former world champions -- Ouma, Winky Wright, Bernard Hopkins (twice), and William Joppy.

Taylor retained his WBC and WBO titles with the win. He is also recognized by the WBA as its 'super champion.'

"Whoever wants to fight, come on!" Taylor threw down the challenge before departing for the hospital. "I'll fight the toughest guy out there."

Taylor was taken to a local hospital where a plastic surgeon stitched his wound, which should heal in time for his next HBO date, probably against 'Contender' first-year winner Sergio Mora in mid-April.

That would put it a week or two after Joe Calzaghe's Cardiff super-middleweight defense against Contender runner-up Peter Manfredo Jr., which has now been rolled back from March 3 to April 7. The tentative plan still calls for Taylor to move up to 168 to challenge the Welshman later in the summer, probably in the United States, but not, we can now safely predict, in Arkansas.

Everything about Saturday night's fight suggested that Ouma would be better served by going straight back to 154, a division in which he would be a force to be reckoned with against almost anyone, but, surprisingly, the beaten Ugandan had other ideas.

"You know me, I'm a small guy, but I'm here (as a middleweight) to stay," vowed Ouma.

Describing himself as "a guy who never gives up," Ouma was even asking for more of Taylor.

"I want to come back here again and fight you in Little Rock," Ouma told Taylor in the ring.

Taylor-Ouma was the first world title fight ever contested in Little Rock (unless one counts a trio of WAA bouts the late Pat O'Grady staged here in the 1980s, which we don't), and just the second in the state of Arkansas. In March of 1903, Joe Gans successfully defended his world lightweight title by stopping Steve Crosby in the 11th round of a scheduled 20-round fight in Hot Springs.

(An 1896 heavyweight title fight between Gentlemen Jim Corbett and Bob Fitzsimmons was originally scheduled to be held in Hot Springs, but Arkansas Governor James P. Clarke threatened to use the state militia to prevent the bout, which he ran right out of his state and all the way to Nevada, where Fitzsimmons won the title after felling Corbett with his "solar plexus punch.")

DiBella didn't have to contend with any hostile forces in the Arkansas state house, but his former employers at HBO didn't do him any favors when it came to Saturday's live gate. Although the free HBO feed is prohibited from being shown in public establishments, the network was allowed to peddle the closed-circuit sale. The result was that many saloons in Little Rock's popular River Market area were advertising the fight at cover charges ranging from $5 TO $10, while the paid attendance of 10,119 meant nearly 7,000 empty seats in the Alltel Arena.

"I'm guessing it probably cost us a couple of thousand fans," said DiBella. "They had the choice of buying a ticket to the fight or paying a small cover charge so they could get sh**-faced while they watched it in a bar, and a lot of people took that option.

"Next time we do one of these fights I'm going to argue that they shouldn't be allowed to sell closed-circuit rights in a small-town market, because it does have a significant impact on the gate," added the promoter.

DiBella also had to pander to local custom by interrupting the live show midway through the undercard to show the Heisman Trophy telecast on the overhead screen. Arkansas' Darren McFadden had even less chance of winning the Heisman than Ouma had of beating Taylor, but unless the Razorback crowd had a chance to see it with their own eyes, they might have opted to stay away from the fight.

Andre Berto, the talented Florida welterweight who boxed for Haiti in the 2004 Olympics after being disqualified in the US trials, ran his pro record to 16-0 in an impressive HBO debut as he overwhelmed his New Jersey opponent Miguel Figueroa (25-5-1) in posting a sixth-round TKO.

In the first round along Berto hit Figueroa with everything but the ring post, scoring a 10-8 round. With seconds left in the round he buckled Figueroa with a solid right uppercut, followed by a left that might have sent him down had the bell not intervened.

Berto piled up round after round, punishing his game opponent with an impressive arsenal of punches. By the end of the fifth, a stanza in which he landed 49 of 76 power shots, Berto was simply teeing off on his opponent, and while the sixth lasted he continued that dominance, landing 25 of the 44 power punches he sent Figueroa's way. A left to the body/left to the jaw combination wobbled Figueroa, and when Berto waded to thud a hard right to the head that snapped Figueroa's head sideways, referee Laurence Cole wisely intervened. The end came at 1:59 of the sixth.

Overall CompuBox stats showed Berto landing 64 jabs to Figueroa's 26 and 129 power punches to his opponent's 25.

Fighting as a pro for the 69th time, crowd-pleasing Texas junior welterweight Emanuel Augustus had was for him a rarity -- a comparatively easy fight. A longtime stalking horse for contenders and pretenders alike, Augustus coasted to a lopsided unanimous decision over Denver's Russell Stoner Jones in their ten-round undercard bout.

Since it was for one of those cockamamie WBC titles (the 'Continental Americas,' in this case), Open Scoring was also in effect for Augustus-Jones. Announcing the scores after the fourth and eighth turned out to be somewhat anticlimactic, since Augustus had won every round at both junctures to lead by 40-36 and then 80-71. (Kaczmarek, Silvi, and Woodburn even agreed on a 10-8 seventh round despite the absence of a knockdown.)

In the end Kaczmarek and Woodburn both had it a 100-89 shutout, with Silvi (who scored the last round even at 10-all) not far behind at 100-90. Augustus acquired the meaningless belt with the win, but more importantly, the victory provided him with his first three-fight win streak since 1998-99. The new Continental Americas champion is now 34-28-6, while Jones is 15-16.


Connecticut light-heavyweight Jaidon Codrington decked Thomas Reid with a short right hand in the second to score the only knockdown in their six-round prelim. All three judges -- Bill Morrison, Paul Fields, and Gale Van Hoy -- scored it 59-54 for Codrington, now 14-1 and 5-0 since his shocking first-round knockout by Allan Green 13 months ago. Reid dropped to 35-18-1 with the loss.


DiBella's latest recruit, former American University basketball star Ronald (Son of Tommy) Hearns, starched late substitute Robert Smallwood, dropping the Missouri super-middleweight three (and, probably, four) times in less than three minutes en route to a first-round TKO.

Hearns' performance was impressive enough, though how much of it was due to the ineptitude of his opponent remains open to question. Less than a minute into the fight, he hurt Smallwood with a right-hand body shot, and then put him down with a left-right combination. Another right to the body followed by a right to the head sent Smallwood down for the second time, after which Hearns knocked his opponent right through the ropes with yet another right.

Although Smallwood was completely outside the ring except for his lower legs, which were draped over the bottom rope strand, Garza declined to give him a count and in fact helped him back into the ring, but no sooner had the referee wiped off the gloves than a Hearns left knocked his foe right back from where he had come. This time, with Smallwood once again precariously perched on the apron with only his feet still in the ring, Garza halted the one-sided slaughter at 2:55 of the round. Hearns went to 9-0 in his DiBella debut, while Smallwood fell to 4-3-2

When Dominick Guinn dropped Zack Page with a left hook late in the first round, it appeared he might make an early night of it, but the Arkansas heavyweight quickly regressed into his all-too-familiar listless mode. Page not only clawed his way back into the fight, but won it on the card of one ringside judge (Fields; 76-75). That verdict was offset by the other two officials, as David Sutherland scored it 77-74 and Van Hoy an unconscionable 79-72, allowing Guinn to escape with a split decision. Guinn is now 27-4-1, Page 11-9-1.

It was also a pretty good night for the Fighting Smiths of Little Rock. Heavyweight Terry Smith had to work for it, but came up on the right end of a unanimous decision over his much larger opponent, 256-pound Georgian Ramon Hayes. Smith (29-2-1) won by scores of 79-73 on the cards of judges Fields and Bill Morrison, 78-74 on Sutherland's. Although there were no knockdowns, Hayes (15-22-1) made sure Smith knew he'd been in fight. The hometowner was puffy around both eyes from the third round on.

In another early Smith bout, light-heavyweight Ray Smith (6-0, and unrelated to Terry) won a unanimous decision over Pennsylvania journeyman Randy Pogue (8-6-1), with each of the three judges -- Fields, Morrison, and Sutherland -- scoring it 40-36 for Smith.

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
ALLTEL ARENA
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark.
December 9, 2006

MIDDLEWEIGHTS: Jermain Taylor, 159½, Little Rock, Ark. dec. Kassim Ouma, 158¾, Kampala, Uganda (12) (Retains WBC, WBO, and WBA 'super' titles)

HEAVYWEIGHTS: Dominick Guinn, 229, Hot Springs, Ark. dec. Zack Page, 203¼, Warren, Ohio (8)

Terry Smith, 225 ¾, Little Rock, Ark. dec. Ramon Hayes, 256¼, Athens, Ga. (8)

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS: Ray Smith, 175½, Little Rock, Ark. dec. Randy Pogue, 175¼, Norristown, Pa. (4)

Jaidon Codrington, 173½, Bridgeport, Conn. dec. Thomas Reid, 174, Jackson, Tenn. (6)

SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHTS: Ronald Hearns, 163½, Detroit, Mich. TKO'd Robert Smallwood, 164¼, St. Joseph, Mo. (1)

WELTERWEIGHTS: Andre Berto, 146¼, Winter Haven, Fla. TKO'd Miguel FIguereoa, 146¾, Camden, NJ (6)

JUNIOR WELTERS: Emanuel Augustus, 138 ½, Brownsville, Tex. dec. Russell Jones, 140, Denver, Colo. (10) (Wins vacant WBC Continental Americas title)

GorDoom
12-10-2006, 12:34 PM
Jermain Taylor Home for the Holidays, Decisions Ouma
By George Kimball from Sweet Science

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. --- For the better part of Saturday night, Jermain Taylor looked like a man being pursued by a swarm of pesky gnats.

And although the middleweight champion fought virtually all twelve rounds in full retreat, by the end of the night the gnats had suffered the heavier casualties. That's what happens when you try to chase a man around in his own house.

The old boxing saw about inevitability of the result in a fight between a good big man and a good little man played itself out in real-time at the Alltel Arena Saturday night, as Taylor captured a unanimous decision over a thoroughly game Kassim Ouma to retain his 160-pound belts in the main event of Lou DiBella's 'Home for the Holidays' card in Taylor's Arkansas hometown.


The disparate force of the two men's power was on display throughout the night, beginning with the first round, when Taylor rocked Ouma with a solid right uppercut that knocked him two steps backward.

Recognizing that an aggressive mode was not only his best chance, but his only one, Ouma played the aggressor's role, but Taylor patiently allowed him to charge in before countering with his heavier artillery.

Ouma performed well and he performed bravely, but he was simply overmatched.

The occasion also marked the American debut of the WBC's new system of Open Scoring in title fights, and when the judges' tallies were announced at the end of the fourth, Taylor was up 40-36 on all three cards.

By the fifth Ouma was beginning to swell on both cheekbones, but before that stanza was over, Taylor got his only real fright of the evening when he emerged from one exchange with what appeared to be a nasty cut along his left eyelid.

Between rounds, cutman Ray Rodgers was able to repair the wound, which didn't reopen significantly until the last couple of rounds, by which time the fight was well in hand.

Taylor claimed that the cut had been caused by a head-butt, but if so, we didn't see it, and neither did referee Frank Garza.

In the seventh, Taylor connected with a big right that lifted Ouma right up off the canvas, but the smaller man kept coming.

The second announcement of the judges' tallies demonstrated yet another unanticipated flaw in the Open Scoring system: What happens if the ring announcer screws up the total?

Precisely that transpired after the eighth, when Michael Buffer correctly announced scores of 80-72 and 78-74, but misread a third card (either Tom Kaczmarek's or Jack Woodburn's) and erroneously gave the judge's seven-round tally (70-63), omitting the eighth-round score.

Despite the oversight, it was clear enough that the fight was in danger of becoming a rout, which resulted in Ouma pressing forward with even more urgency, while Taylor pulled in the horns and, realizing at last that he wasn't going to knock Ouma out anyway, boxed more cautiously.

"I wanted to knock him out," said Taylor. "I was in great shape, but I kind of took out a loan the last couple of rounds."

"Jermain was kind of running on fumes toward the end, but I think the cut may have been bothering him, too," said DiBella.

Even though he lost the last three rounds on the cards of Kaczmarek and Italian judge Servio Silvi (and two of the last three on the Canadian Woodburn's), Taylor was handily ahead at the end. Woodburn had him up 118-110, Kaczmarek 117-111, and Silvi 115-113. (The Sweet Science scorecard was an even more emphatic 119-109 in the champion's favor.)

Taylor landed 244 punches to Ouma's 177, but the statistics could not register the wide gulf between the force of the blows delivered by the respective combatants. Most of Taylor's, in keeping with his nickname, were delivered with bad intentions, while, by backing up, he was able to smother most of Ouma's scattershot array.

And even though Ouma threw more punches (701 to 579 for Taylor) his average of 58 per round was just a little better than half the 104 per round he had averaged over his previous ten fights.

"Ouma came out and fought hard for all twelve rounds," said Taylor. "He's a little guy, but he's very tough."

Although Taylor had knocked out 16 of his first 20 professional opponents, the Ouma fight marked the fifth time in his last six outings that he has been extended the 12-round distance. Obviously, the level of competition may have something to do with that, since all five were against reigning or former world champions -- Ouma, Winky Wright, Bernard Hopkins (twice), and William Joppy.

Taylor retained his WBC and WBO titles with the win. He is also recognized by the WBA as its 'super champion.'

"Whoever wants to fight, come on!" Taylor threw down the challenge before departing for the hospital. "I'll fight the toughest guy out there."

Taylor was taken to a local hospital where a plastic surgeon stitched his wound, which should heal in time for his next HBO date, probably against 'Contender' first-year winner Sergio Mora in mid-April.

That would put it a week or two after Joe Calzaghe's Cardiff super-middleweight defense against Contender runner-up Peter Manfredo Jr., which has now been rolled back from March 3 to April 7. The tentative plan still calls for Taylor to move up to 168 to challenge the Welshman later in the summer, probably in the United States, but not, we can now safely predict, in Arkansas.

Everything about Saturday night's fight suggested that Ouma would be better served by going straight back to 154, a division in which he would be a force to be reckoned with against almost anyone, but, surprisingly, the beaten Ugandan had other ideas.

"You know me, I'm a small guy, but I'm here (as a middleweight) to stay," vowed Ouma.

Describing himself as "a guy who never gives up," Ouma was even asking for more of Taylor.

"I want to come back here again and fight you in Little Rock," Ouma told Taylor in the ring.

Taylor-Ouma was the first world title fight ever contested in Little Rock (unless one counts a trio of WAA bouts the late Pat O'Grady staged here in the 1980s, which we don't), and just the second in the state of Arkansas. In March of 1903, Joe Gans successfully defended his world lightweight title by stopping Steve Crosby in the 11th round of a scheduled 20-round fight in Hot Springs.

(An 1896 heavyweight title fight between Gentlemen Jim Corbett and Bob Fitzsimmons was originally scheduled to be held in Hot Springs, but Arkansas Governor James P. Clarke threatened to use the state militia to prevent the bout, which he ran right out of his state and all the way to Nevada, where Fitzsimmons won the title after felling Corbett with his "solar plexus punch.")

DiBella didn't have to contend with any hostile forces in the Arkansas state house, but his former employers at HBO didn't do him any favors when it came to Saturday's live gate. Although the free HBO feed is prohibited from being shown in public establishments, the network was allowed to peddle the closed-circuit sale. The result was that many saloons in Little Rock's popular River Market area were advertising the fight at cover charges ranging from $5 TO $10, while the paid attendance of 10,119 meant nearly 7,000 empty seats in the Alltel Arena.

"I'm guessing it probably cost us a couple of thousand fans," said DiBella. "They had the choice of buying a ticket to the fight or paying a small cover charge so they could get sh**-faced while they watched it in a bar, and a lot of people took that option.

"Next time we do one of these fights I'm going to argue that they shouldn't be allowed to sell closed-circuit rights in a small-town market, because it does have a significant impact on the gate," added the promoter.

DiBella also had to pander to local custom by interrupting the live show midway through the undercard to show the Heisman Trophy telecast on the overhead screen. Arkansas' Darren McFadden had even less chance of winning the Heisman than Ouma had of beating Taylor, but unless the Razorback crowd had a chance to see it with their own eyes, they might have opted to stay away from the fight.

Andre Berto, the talented Florida welterweight who boxed for Haiti in the 2004 Olympics after being disqualified in the US trials, ran his pro record to 16-0 in an impressive HBO debut as he overwhelmed his New Jersey opponent Miguel Figueroa (25-5-1) in posting a sixth-round TKO.

In the first round along Berto hit Figueroa with everything but the ring post, scoring a 10-8 round. With seconds left in the round he buckled Figueroa with a solid right uppercut, followed by a left that might have sent him down had the bell not intervened.

Berto piled up round after round, punishing his game opponent with an impressive arsenal of punches. By the end of the fifth, a stanza in which he landed 49 of 76 power shots, Berto was simply teeing off on his opponent, and while the sixth lasted he continued that dominance, landing 25 of the 44 power punches he sent Figueroa's way. A left to the body/left to the jaw combination wobbled Figueroa, and when Berto waded to thud a hard right to the head that snapped Figueroa's head sideways, referee Laurence Cole wisely intervened. The end came at 1:59 of the sixth.

Overall CompuBox stats showed Berto landing 64 jabs to Figueroa's 26 and 129 power punches to his opponent's 25.

Fighting as a pro for the 69th time, crowd-pleasing Texas junior welterweight Emanuel Augustus had was for him a rarity -- a comparatively easy fight. A longtime stalking horse for contenders and pretenders alike, Augustus coasted to a lopsided unanimous decision over Denver's Russell Stoner Jones in their ten-round undercard bout.

Since it was for one of those cockamamie WBC titles (the 'Continental Americas,' in this case), Open Scoring was also in effect for Augustus-Jones. Announcing the scores after the fourth and eighth turned out to be somewhat anticlimactic, since Augustus had won every round at both junctures to lead by 40-36 and then 80-71. (Kaczmarek, Silvi, and Woodburn even agreed on a 10-8 seventh round despite the absence of a knockdown.)

In the end Kaczmarek and Woodburn both had it a 100-89 shutout, with Silvi (who scored the last round even at 10-all) not far behind at 100-90. Augustus acquired the meaningless belt with the win, but more importantly, the victory provided him with his first three-fight win streak since 1998-99. The new Continental Americas champion is now 34-28-6, while Jones is 15-16.


Connecticut light-heavyweight Jaidon Codrington decked Thomas Reid with a short right hand in the second to score the only knockdown in their six-round prelim. All three judges -- Bill Morrison, Paul Fields, and Gale Van Hoy -- scored it 59-54 for Codrington, now 14-1 and 5-0 since his shocking first-round knockout by Allan Green 13 months ago. Reid dropped to 35-18-1 with the loss.


DiBella's latest recruit, former American University basketball star Ronald (Son of Tommy) Hearns, starched late substitute Robert Smallwood, dropping the Missouri super-middleweight three (and, probably, four) times in less than three minutes en route to a first-round TKO.

Hearns' performance was impressive enough, though how much of it was due to the ineptitude of his opponent remains open to question. Less than a minute into the fight, he hurt Smallwood with a right-hand body shot, and then put him down with a left-right combination. Another right to the body followed by a right to the head sent Smallwood down for the second time, after which Hearns knocked his opponent right through the ropes with yet another right.

Although Smallwood was completely outside the ring except for his lower legs, which were draped over the bottom rope strand, Garza declined to give him a count and in fact helped him back into the ring, but no sooner had the referee wiped off the gloves than a Hearns left knocked his foe right back from where he had come. This time, with Smallwood once again precariously perched on the apron with only his feet still in the ring, Garza halted the one-sided slaughter at 2:55 of the round. Hearns went to 9-0 in his DiBella debut, while Smallwood fell to 4-3-2

When Dominick Guinn dropped Zack Page with a left hook late in the first round, it appeared he might make an early night of it, but the Arkansas heavyweight quickly regressed into his all-too-familiar listless mode. Page not only clawed his way back into the fight, but won it on the card of one ringside judge (Fields; 76-75). That verdict was offset by the other two officials, as David Sutherland scored it 77-74 and Van Hoy an unconscionable 79-72, allowing Guinn to escape with a split decision. Guinn is now 27-4-1, Page 11-9-1.

It was also a pretty good night for the Fighting Smiths of Little Rock. Heavyweight Terry Smith had to work for it, but came up on the right end of a unanimous decision over his much larger opponent, 256-pound Georgian Ramon Hayes. Smith (29-2-1) won by scores of 79-73 on the cards of judges Fields and Bill Morrison, 78-74 on Sutherland's. Although there were no knockdowns, Hayes (15-22-1) made sure Smith knew he'd been in fight. The hometowner was puffy around both eyes from the third round on.

In another early Smith bout, light-heavyweight Ray Smith (6-0, and unrelated to Terry) won a unanimous decision over Pennsylvania journeyman Randy Pogue (8-6-1), with each of the three judges -- Fields, Morrison, and Sutherland -- scoring it 40-36 for Smith.

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
ALLTEL ARENA
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark.
December 9, 2006

MIDDLEWEIGHTS: Jermain Taylor, 159½, Little Rock, Ark. dec. Kassim Ouma, 158¾, Kampala, Uganda (12) (Retains WBC, WBO, and WBA 'super' titles)

HEAVYWEIGHTS: Dominick Guinn, 229, Hot Springs, Ark. dec. Zack Page, 203¼, Warren, Ohio (8)

Terry Smith, 225 ¾, Little Rock, Ark. dec. Ramon Hayes, 256¼, Athens, Ga. (8)

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS: Ray Smith, 175½, Little Rock, Ark. dec. Randy Pogue, 175¼, Norristown, Pa. (4)

Jaidon Codrington, 173½, Bridgeport, Conn. dec. Thomas Reid, 174, Jackson, Tenn. (6)

SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHTS: Ronald Hearns, 163½, Detroit, Mich. TKO'd Robert Smallwood, 164¼, St. Joseph, Mo. (1)

WELTERWEIGHTS: Andre Berto, 146¼, Winter Haven, Fla. TKO'd Miguel FIguereoa, 146¾, Camden, NJ (6)

JUNIOR WELTERS: Emanuel Augustus, 138 ½, Brownsville, Tex. dec. Russell Jones, 140, Denver, Colo. (10) (Wins vacant WBC Continental Americas title)

Roberto Aqui
12-10-2006, 01:19 PM
Here are the mistakes I saw last night: (1.) Taylor continually backed up in a straight line. He backed to the ropes and even into the corners. I just don't understand that. (2.) The man has no lateral movement whatsoever. (3.) He keeps his hands way too low and leaves himself open to right hands. (4.) Defense for him is basically non-existent. (5.) He's a 1-2 fighter. He just throws a jab and right hand and really doesn't finish his combinations with a left hook very often. (6.) He has no ability to pace himself. (7.) He rarely throws bodyshots.

Gee, all but (3) is what Wlad is always criticized for. You'd think they'd be the crudest clubfighters with all those perceived flaws.

Didn't see the fight, but I am a big Taylor fan and think he's really challenged himself against top shelf comp with 3 fights against 2 HOFers and another fight against current championship material.

Yeah, Soliman is hell for anyone, but let Taylor put up a Wright performance and this board might be wanting to march him up to the guillotine. It seems like double standards sometimes apply. As far as criticisms that Taylor is not a great and therefore not worthy of any praise, well, boxing is known for eating it's own and Americans are generally known to disparage anything that is not considered the best save their personal lives.

I'm proud of Taylor and hopes he keeps his wits and finds a soft place to land in this business. Maybe he ain't the best, but few ever touted Hopkins either until the Tito fight. In the meantime, "Let's get ready to rumble." and "Quien es mas macho?" and pray for competant judges and refs to complement the fighters.

HE Grant
12-10-2006, 02:07 PM
I think that fighting Hopkins, Wright and Ouma is damn good opposition in his first three defenses and he is entitled to pace it out a bit as most others do. As far as his chin goes, who knows?

rocky111
12-10-2006, 03:25 PM
Taylor was in good shape and he answered the call to Oumas rushes. But Ouma had no power whatsoever to hurt Taylor, and he threw terrible punches, very flawed for a top contender. I suppose the size and strength difference told the story. Oumas a tough guy, but I was surprised by Taylors lack of power to hurt the guy at all. Maybe he should move up and is weakened by trying to make this weight. I honestly think hed have hell with either Abraham or Miranda. He comes to fight and has plenty of heart, but he didnt look strong enough at 160 to mess with any of the real good ones in this divisons history. Give him credit for handling the pressure abit no real offense other than that from Ouma, and for being in shape. Hes beatable at 160 and moving up to fight Calzaghe you might see a better fighter.

HE Grant
12-10-2006, 07:45 PM
Calzaghe would be a very interesting fight as he is no major puncher either. I would like to see him fight a fighter as talented as Taylor. It would be very interesting.

diggity
12-10-2006, 07:54 PM
Calzaghe gets up for big fights. I think he would rip him to shreds, he is a much more complete fighter.

Dan Gunter
12-10-2006, 08:05 PM
I think that it was TKO Tom who noted that Soliman might pose a difficult fight for Taylor. I agree. I don't think that much of Taylor's power, and he can get hit. Soliman isn't a huge puncher, but he has some power, and he's very awkward.

Or maybe Taylor has more power than I think, and Ouma has a chin of reinforced concrete. But I've been watching Taylor for a few years now, and I haven't felt like he has significant power.

mrbig1
12-10-2006, 10:32 PM
I think if Taylor had any real weakness Hopkins and Wright would have found it big time.

Crold1
12-10-2006, 11:45 PM
WHY IS CALZAGHE DUCKING KESSLER BUT CALLING OUT TAYLOR?

10 December, 2006 by Cliff Rold

MIDDLEWEIGHT KING WINS ACROSS THE BOARD

Alexandria, VA–Jermain Taylor (27-0-1, 17 KOs) won a fight without controversy and he won without really losing a round. The World middleweight champion did it against a solid contender in former junior middleweight titlist Kasim Ouma (25-3-1, 15 KOs). This should be enough to drive rave reviews but it’s unlikely that anyone will read such reviews anywhere (including here). For all of the dominance on the scorecards, this was not a performance that will build the former Olympian’s fan base or inspire skeptical fans who didn’t think he deserved the nods he got against Bernard Hopkins and Winky Wright (and for the record I had him 1-1-1 in those three affairs with the win coming against Wright).

TAYLOR’S SOUL IMPOSSIBLE TO QUESTION!

The fact that he faced those two giants in 36 consecutive rounds says all one needs to know about the character of Taylor. Add to that his plan to move up and challenge World 168 lb. king Joe Calzaghe (42-0, 31 KOs) and this latest uneven performance is overshadowed by his gumption. Taylor and his team are making the fights that a great fighter would want to make and combined with his gentleman demeanor, Taylor is a credit to a rough game. Unfortunately for Taylor, and HBO’s inept lack of foresight, the Taylor we’ve seen lately may be setting up for a big fall that will not only hurt his own career but also Boxing in the U.S.

[url=http://ringtalk.com/index.php?action=fullnews&showcomments=1&id=1006

Kid Achilles
12-11-2006, 11:27 AM
I think Taylor is a strong guy but doesn't punch his weight very well. I think moving up to 168 would actually diminish his power even more. In fact, I believe a natural puncher like Jeff Lacy would demolish Taylor at 168. Taylor has great size and strength but I think he relies on it quite a bit. His strength and heavy handedness is impressive but he is no great puncher. Let's see him in with someone who can really, really hit. Let's give Edison Miranda a chance at that jaw, assuming he beats Abraham again (should have won by TKO after the beaten man shook his head and said he didn't want to fight).

Taylor is a nightmare for a guy with modest power like Hopkins or Wright or a smaller Ouma but for a real middleweight puncher I don't think he'll have such an easy time.

Overhand_Right
12-11-2006, 01:07 PM
How come Taylor and his camp make no mention of fights with Abraham, Miranda, Soliman, or even Eastman (holds a win over Soliman, among other solid fighters).

Any of these guys would be better than a light-middle.

GorDoom
12-11-2006, 02:41 PM
TAYLOR TO MEET TV STAR from USA Today

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Middleweight champ Jermain Taylor, after retaining his title Saturday with a unanimous decision against Kassim Ouma, won't be fighting just any contender in his next fight. He'll be fighting The Contender.

Lou DiBella, Taylor's promoter, said the Little Rock native will make his fourth title defense in April against Sergio Mora, the East Los Angeles fighter who has built a cult following since winning the first season of TV's reality boxing show The Contender.

"Mora is very popular with boxing fans and is capable of giving Jermain a good fight," DiBella said. "If all goes well, we're looking to fight (unbeaten super middleweight champion) Joe Calzaghe in the fall."

Calzaghe, boxing's longest reigning current champion, is set to fight another star of The Contender, Peter Manfredo Jr. The bout vs. Manfredo is set for March, televised on HBO.

Team Taylor's choice of Mora, who is 19-0 with four knockouts, came after negotiations for a rematch with Ronald "Winky" Wright broke off.

Wright, the former undisputed junior middleweight champion, fought Taylor to a draw in June and felt he was robbed. He continues to insist there won't be a rematch without a 50-50 split of the purse.

"Unless Winky Wright comes to his senses, that rematch is not going to happen," DiBella said. "Jermain will never agree to a 50-50 split because he's the champion."

By Chuck Johnson


Taylor still middleweight champ after 12 rounds with Ouma
By Chuck Johnson, USA TODAY
NORTH LITTLE ROCK — Middleweight champion Jermain Taylor was looking to celebrate his homecoming with a resounding victory Saturday night at Alltel Arena. He won by unanimous decision, but not before Kassim Ouma threatened to turn the affair into his own surprise party.
With a cut above his left eye streaming blood and affecting his vision, Taylor had to muster up the guts expected of a champion to turn back Ouma, a former junior middleweight champion who was impressive in making his 160-pound debut.

A crowd of 10,119 fans and a worldwide HBO audience saw a much more competitive fight than many came expecting. Among the surprised was Taylor, who had predicted a win by knockout but gave Ouma credit for his toughness and relentlessness.

"He deserves everything that he's thinking (about himself) right now," Taylor said. "He came in and fought all 12 rounds. I give it to him. For a little guy, he's a tough guy."

Taylor (26-0-1, 17 KOs) admittedly was too concerned about getting the knockout after telling his fans that's he would do.

"I came into the first couple of rounds wanting the knockout really bad," he said. "I was in great shape, but I took out a loan (pulling up reserve energy from somewhere) the last couple of rounds."

The fight was Taylor's first in his home area of Little Rock since he became champion in July, 2005 by dethroning longtime middleweight king Bernard Hopkins. The arena wasn't sold out but the atmosphere was electric.

"Coming home to Little Rock in front of a packed crowd is amazing," he said. "Arkansas really came out and supported me."

In the first round, Taylor scored with an right uppercut that lifted Ouma off his feet. He also scored big with a looping right hand that snapped his opponent's head backward. Still, Ouma made a fight of it by being the busier of the two. While Taylor continued to rely on power shots, Ouma got in his licks on aggression and sheer non-stop volume.

Taylor wore the evidence of being hit with a puffy left eye that became even more problematic in the fifth round when an accidental headbutt opened the cut and blood began obscuring his vision.

Nonetheless, Taylor won each of the first four rounds. The crowd was informed of the judges' scoring after the fourth and the eighth rounds under an experimental open-scoring system mandated by the WBC and approved by the Arkansas boxing commission.

With the crowd imploring their hometown favorite with chants of "JT, JT, JT," Taylor continued to land the harder blows. But Ouma showed incredible conditioning by taking the shots and continuing to come forward with combinations.

After eight rounds, Taylor was ahead 80-72 on two judges scorecards and 78-74 on the third. The final score was unanimous for Taylor. But Ouma lost by only two points on judge Sergio Silva's card 115-113 while Jack While scored it 118-110 and Tommy Kaczmarek had it 117-111.

"You guys know me, I'll never back down," said Ouma (25-3). "I want to come back here and fight Jermain again."

In a preliminary bout, up and coming welterweight Andre Berto (16-0, 14 KOs) made an impressive HBO debut by stopping Miguel Figueroa (24-6-1) on a technical knockout at 1:59 of the sixth round. Berto, who fights out of Winter Haven, Fla., used a punishing right hand to set up the finishing flurry. Figueroa, of Camden, N.J., was game but clearly overmatched against the unbeaten 2004 Olympian from Haiti.

"It was fun. I had a great time," Berto said. "I wanted to prove to the public and the fighters that I'm here to fight in the welterweight division. 2007 is going to be a big year. I'm going to get ready and see what happens."

Also on the undercard, Emanuel Augustus won a unanimous decision against Russell Stoner Jones for the WBC Continental Americas super lightweight championship.

Middleweight Ronald Hearns of Detroit, son of famed fighter Thomas Hearns, improved to 11-0 by stopping Robert Smallwood (4-3-2) of St. Joseph, Mo., in the first round.

Three other fighters from Arkansas won.

Heavyweight Dominick Guinn (27-4-1) of Hot Springs outpointed Zack Page (12-9-1) of Warren, Ohio, in an eight-round fight; Terry Smith (29-2-1) of Little Rock outpointed Ramon Hayes (15-22-1) of Athens, Ga., in another eight-round heavyweight fight; and Ray Smith (6-0) of Little Rock outpointed Randy Pogue (8-6-1) of Norristown, Pa., in a four-round light heavyweight bout.

Also, super middleweight Jaidon Codrington (14-1) of Bridgeport, Conn., outpointed Thomas Reid (35-18-1) of Jackson, Tenn., in a six-round fight.

***

GorDoom
12-11-2006, 03:24 PM
Cliff:

Thanks you so much for stepping in & covering the fight when Dig's cable went out. You're a stand up guy, Mucho Apreciado!

GorDoom

GorDoom
12-11-2006, 03:41 PM
Taylor Convincing in 12 Round Win over Ouma
By Calvin Watkins from Max Boxing

It’s very difficult to win a fight when backing up, but Jermain Taylor did it Saturday night at Alltel Arena in North Little Rock, Arkansas, retaining his WBC and WBO middleweight titles with a convincing 12-round unanimous decision over Kassim Ouma.

Tom Kaczmarek scored the fight 117-111 and Jack Woodburn had it 118-110. Sergio Silvi scored it 115-113 for Taylor.

Ouma’s (25-3-1, 15 knockouts) charging style and the fact he was throwing multiple punches made it seem he was busier than Taylor. In reality, Taylor was landing punches on the outside that allowed him to win the bout.

The WBC sanctioned the three judges to have their scorecards read to the crowd after the fourth and eighth rounds. After four rounds, Taylor held a 40-36 edge. Following the eighth, Taylor remained in control with two judges scoring it 80-72 and Woodburn giving Taylor a four-point lead.

Taylor (26-2-1, 15 knockouts) landed a variety of shots - uppercuts, hooks to body and the old 1-2. Ouma, with a five-inch height disadvantage, moved forward the entire fight to limit Taylor’s ability to land long lean punches. It was Ouma’s first bout at middleweight.

“He came in and fought all 12 rounds,” Taylor said of Ouma. “I give it to him; for a little guy, he’s tough.”

Ouma’s strategy hampered him. It limited his opportunities to land punches inside. Ouma spent more time on the receiving end of clean shots, especially at the end of rounds, than landing them.

Taylor suffered a cut in the corner of his left eye in the fifth round the result of an accidental head butt, as ruled by referee Frank Garza.

At the end of the night, Taylor, an Arkansas native, had some slight swelling on his left eye, but his corner controlled the bleeding from being a major problem.

In the first round, Taylor was off balance as he tried to land punches. Instead, he looked awkward and barely won the first round.

Taylor said before the fight he was trying to knockout Ouma because he was tired of several close decisions, all going in his direction for the exception of his draw with Winky Wright last June.

After the first round, Taylor’s trainer, Emanuel Steward told him: “Settle down, you’re too wild.”

“That’s exactly what happened,” Taylor said. “I came in the first couple of rounds trying to knock him out I had it in my head I wanted to knock him out so bad, I [punched] myself out, but I was in such good shape I stayed in there.”

Despite Ouma’s charges, Taylor went to the body with good hooks and he landed strong 1-2 punches inside. Taylor threw his jab from time-to-time and pretty much was in control.

It was Taylor’s best performance since winning the middleweight titles over Bernard Hopkins in 2005.

In his previous three fights, it appeared Taylor was just going through the motions and not trying to take the titles from Hopkins, or retain them from Wright. This time, Taylor was in charge and it showed as Ouma wore a weathered look on his face when the bout was over.

Taylor can now rest until the spring, where fights with Wright or possibly Joe Calzaghe at 168 pounds await.

“Whoever wants to fight,” Taylor said. “I’m in this to feed my family. I’m not backing down from nobody. That little guy came to fight and came to win.”

On the main undercard, rising welterweight Andre Berto was fantastic in scoring a sixth round technical knockout over Miguel Figueroa in a scheduled 10 round bout.

Berto landed four hard shots to Figueroa’s chin in the corner, forcing referee Laurence Cole to step in and stop the bout.

GorDoom
12-11-2006, 03:44 PM
Taylor Raw But Powerful in First Hometown Defense
by Gabriel Montoya at ringside from Dog House Boxing

Following his draw with Winky Wright, Jermaine Taylor’s promoter Lou DiBella made it clear that Taylor next defense of his Middleweight title would 1) be in Taylor’s hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas and 2) that the opponent would be one that would come forward and not be the kind of defensive puzzles that both Wright and former middleweight titlist Bernard Hopkins were. It would essentially be a title defense that would make Taylor look good. After a potential match-up with Contender: Season One champion Sergio Mora was tabled, a match with rugged Ugandan

Southpaw Kasim Ouma was made. Their fight this past Saturday was indeed in Little Rock, Arkansas. Ouma did come forward. The fight however was far from a showcase affair for Taylor.

Since Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward has taken over the reigns for Taylor, much has been made of his progress in the gym. That progress however has not entirely manifested itself in the ring. Standing 6’1”, with fast, heavy hands, Taylor is at once athletically gifted but unrefined as a boxer.

Ouma, for his part, is a tough customer with quick, light hitting hands and endless stamina. In this particular fight, he would display a chin that would belie his previous visits to the canvas.

The fight started at a rapid clip as Taylor, a 5-1 favorite who had spoken throughout much of the media coverage leading up to the fight of winning by knockout, came out his corner looking to do just that. Hard jabs followed by booming right hands rained down and around Ouma as a wild and aggressive Taylor looked to end things early. Ouma took the shots well but it seemed a matter of time, as the Ugandan was unable to get his normally nonstop offense going. Taylor missed nearly as much as he landed but rocked the Ugandan around the ring with his powerful shots. Taylor would land more power punches in this round than ever before.

A bad habit of Taylor’s is his insistence on moving straight back from his opponent as he looks to counter. While he does this he nearly abandons the jab completely and find himself on the ropes or in a corner for long periods of time.

Saturday night proved no different as Taylor allowed the 5’8” Ouma to pressure him back to the ropes late in the round in what would turn out to be the beginnings of a trend that would last throughout the fight.

In between rounds, Steward told Taylor to settle down and get behind his jab while Ouma’s implored him not to trade with the bigger Taylor.

Round two began and it was clear that Ouma was not going to change his come forward style no matter how many times Taylor battered him with rights and lefts. Taylor’s strength edge was apparent every time he landed on Ouma or Ouma’s gloved guard. As neither fighter is big on lateral movement, the fight would take on a straight line of Taylor moving backward from Ouma’s pressure. Another big right got the pro-Taylor crowd cheering but Ouma seemed to take it well and moved forward. A right from Taylor in the corner as Ouma jumped inside seemed to stun the Ugandan for a moment but he hid in a clinch preventing Taylor from following up. Ouma at this point started to look a little weary and was completely out his rhythm but towards the end of the round he began to let his hands go a bit and raised a little hope for survival.

Taylor landed a left hook jab right cross combo early in round 3 but his jab would disappear as Ouma began to slip and duck his way back into the fight. While he picked his spots, Ouma was still not doing nearly enough at this point to win a round. After a clinch, Taylor snuck in a jab right hand at the bell.

According to the open scoring rules for this WBC sanctioned bout, the official judges scores were announced with Taylor ahead by a shutout on all cards. This saved referee Lawrence Cole the trouble of doing it himself during the course of the fight.

The middle to late rounds would see Ouma moving forward and Taylor’s punch output begin to dip as he moved backwards and took shots from Ouma as “The Dream” looked to smother Taylor and land shots inside. Ouma took tremendous shots from Taylor as “Bad Intentions” stepped back and made Ouma pay often with jab right combos and lefts to the body followed by uppercuts. Taylor seemed content to let Ouma be the aggressor while he countered and landed some impressive shots. A cut over Taylor’s left eye from an accidental head butt would add some drama to a good scrap in no danger of ending with a sudden knockout. Taylor’s corner kept the cut from being a huge factor in the fight but the constant bleeding did seem to take Taylor out his game for the remainder of the fight as he landed big shots in spots while tying up Ouma whenever he came inside. While it was a clear-cut win for Taylor and entertaining with a steady flow of action, it was not the type of dominating or devastating performance Taylor was looking for in his first hometown title defense.

Afterwards, Taylor would admit to being overanxious in looking for a knockout. While there was more fluidity and accuracy in his punches, a relaxed quality under fire from Ouma, and diversity in his punches not seen before, Taylor still faded a bit down the stretch as he has in previous championship fights. With a two-fight plan of Sergio Mora followed by a super fight with 168 lb. Champion Joe Calzaghe, Taylor does not have long to polish up before taking on the Welsh warrior who gave fellow Olympian Jeff Lacy his first loss. Fortunately for boxing fans, while Taylor has yet to have a career defining performance, his desire to fight boxing’s best in his search for that perfect performance burns as bright as any great champion in recent memory.

On the under card, welterweight Andre Berto (16-0 14 KO’s) took apart Miguel Figueroa 24-5-2,14 KO’s) to take his knockout streak to eleven. Berto has yet to see round 7, which may change in ’07 as steps up from prospect to contender status. Berto, a puncher boxer from a fighting family was aggressive from the outset, landing at will against the outgunned Figueroa. Berto dropped Figueroa in round six ( a round he did not seem to want to come out for but was implored by corner to not quit on his stool) with a combination off the jab followed by a body left ,body right, left uppercut and a right hand that stunned Figueroa and set up the finishing shots. Referee Lawrence Cole waived it off at 1:59 of round 6. Berto has quick feet and hands, loves to throw with power in combination but lacks head movement. It will interesting to see if he can keep moving up the ladder in what is quickly becoming the sport’s most talent laden division.

Juan C Ayllon
12-14-2006, 12:11 AM
I recently found out that one of my fellow teachers at the high school I teach at, Mr. Jacks, used to do freelance reports on boxing for the Chicago Sun Times and other newspapers a number of years ago. Prior to teaching social science, he was a full-time technical writer.

Anyways, he told me today that he saw Taylor's fight versus Ouma and was impressed. Sure, he said, he punches going backwards. But that jab is particularly damaging. And the right hand!

In the context of today's boxing scene, he's not all that bad, really.

Jacks also added that Taylor seemed like a good guy. His only real criticism was that Taylor's not as articulate as, say, a Sugar Ray Leonard was. In his mind, that's something we need to swing boxing back around in the mainstream.

For what it's worth,


Juan C. Ayllon