IBF jr. middleweight champion Kassim Ouma will defend his title against IBF #12 ranked world contender Kofi Jantuah on Jan 29, 2005, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, it was announced today by Main Events CEO Kathy Duva. The 12 round title bout will serve as the co-feature to the WBC super lightweight championship showdown between champion Arturo Gatti and challenger Jesse James Leija. Both bouts will be broadcast live on HBO’s “World Championship Boxing” series, beginning at 9:45 pm ET/6:45 pm PT.
Ouma (20-1-1, 13 KO’s) has not lost a bout in five years and is ranked #1 by Ring magazine. The 26-year-old Ugandan native has won nine of his last 10 bouts. The sole blemish on his record during this time span was a no decision against Darrell Woods on October 4, 2002. On May 30, 2003, Ouma earned the vacant USBA light middleweight title, defeating Angel Hernandez by split decision in a bout that also served as the IBF light middleweight title-eliminator (W 12). In his last bout on October 2, 2004, Ouma captured a unanimous decision over Verno Phillips to win the IBF jr. middleweight crown (W 12).
Jantuah (28-1, 18 KO’s) has knocked out his last seven opponents and is ranked #8 by Ring magazine. On May 7, 1999, the 30-year-old Ghana native knocked out current WBO jr. middleweight champion Daniel Santos (TKO 5). In his last bout on September 18, 2004, as part of the televised portion of the Oscar de la Hoya-Bernard Hopkins PPV broadcast, Jantuah blitzed highly-touted prospect Marco Antonio Rubio, annihilating the undefeated Mexican in one round (KO 1).
“Two world championship bouts featuring four of the world’s most exciting fighters,” said Duva. “Jan 29 is virtually guaranteed to produce 2005’s ‘Fight of the Year.’ “
“This is the toughest first defense Ouma could have other than a mega-fight,” said Russell Peltz, President of Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc and promoter of Kassim Ouma. “But he [Ouma] has been doing that his whole career. He came up fighting all the best guys, so why change now?”
"When he knocked out Marco Antonio Rubio, Kofi proved that he is one of the most exciting Junior Middleweights in the world. On January 29th, he will prove that he is also the best," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment and promoter of Kofi Jantuah.
The Ouma-Jantuah bout is being presented by Main Events, Bally's Atlantic City, and Caesar's Atlantic City, in association with Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc and DiBella Entertainment.
Tickets, priced at $400, $200, $150, $100, and $50, can be purchased through Ticketmaster at 1-800-736-1420 or Bally's show & reservations desk.
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?