Live Saturday night from the Alltel Arena in Little Rock, Arkansas (HBO), hometown hero Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor defends his middleweight titles against the challenge of Uganda’s Kassim “The Dream” Ouma. With three questionable wins in his last three fights, Taylor needs to make a big statement about his dominance and superiority, and by fighting the smaller Ouma Saturday this is a perfect chance to do just that. Ouma will swarm Taylor, throwing shots from the opening bell, but Jermain’s size, strength and age will likely prevail. This is how The Sweet Science writers see Jermain Taylor vs. Kassim Ouma.
Jermain Taylor has a lot of practice beating smaller opponents. A naturally big middleweight, Taylor’s physical advantages over Kassim Ouma will be enhanced by the misguided decision of the WBC to hold the weigh-in for their title fight at 1 p.m. on Friday. According to the WBC rules, "[t]he weigh-in ceremony shall be held from 24 to 30 hours prior to the start of the boxing event." Taylor-Ouma, the second fight on HBO’s telecast Saturday night, should begin at around 11 p.m., a full 34 hours after the scheduled weigh-in. The Arkansas State Athletic Commission apparently has no quarrel with its hometown hero having extra hours to replenish his body. Ouma, a natural junior middleweight who will give away 5 inches and many pounds to the WBC champion, will work relentlessly to apply pressure on the inside, but in the end it won’t be enough to break down the bigger man. Taylor retains his title by decision.
Ouma is a VERY small middleweight who's spent a career at light-middle. Couple this with the fact that his chin doesn't appear very solid; he was flattened in one round by Agustin Silva who's currently 12-24-2 (5) -- Ouma was knocked down three times. He's also been shot (twice, once recently) and it was alleged in the shooter's trial that Ouma was renown for heavy drinking. In the other corner, he's facing Jermain Taylor, a huge middleweight with power to match who's looking at the big fights. Ouma may have been a champion but he's been handpicked to make Taylor look good. Think Ali-Williams except that this time the big fella is going to win.
Peter M. Carvill
I like Jermain Taylor in this one. Too big and too strong for Ouma who usually fights at 154. Taylor by 7th round TKO.
Jermain Taylor will not find victory so easy over Ouma. Ouma has faced harder battles in just getting to this point in his life than fighting Jermain Taylor. If Taylor wins, it will be a narrow victory.
Jermain Taylor will have had Manny Steward telling him over and over to keep up the jab and let the power flow FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE RING and stay off the ropes. Had he followed that advice, Steward's plea over the last 6 rounds against Winky, he'd have secured that win already. Look for Ouma to go from busy to brave after about round six and frankly the fight may not go six. Taylor must be on a mission; one can only hope he understands that the dimming light of his stardom is about to cast shadows of doubt. Against a guy who will be there to hit and hurt all night, Taylor must prove he's not just nodding respectively and ignoring the legendary trainer from the Kronk... so… let's say Taylor by a knockout in 8 and it will come via a good night's body attack, should it come, as a major relief to Team Taylor. Talk about a guy with a title who needs a knockout!"
Taylor KO8 Ouma
The 155 he weighed for Sechew Powell last summer matched Ouma’s career high. Jermain appears headed to super-middleweight next year, and with a 30-hour head start provided by the convenient weigh-in time, Kassim could be spotting him a dozen pounds or more when they get into the ring. Taylor would be favored even if they were having this fight in Kampala, and the champion has so many advantages (the hometown crowd; the US debut of the WBC’s new open scoring system) that it’s difficult to give Ouma a chance, and we don’t. Ouma will keep getting up until the referee stops it, but we like Taylor in a mid-round stoppage.
Just like the HBO main event last week, this fight is mismatch in terms of sheer size differential. Taylor is too big for Ouma, but expect Kassim, much like Quartey, to keep coming forward for 12 rounds. With the fight being in Taylor's hometown of Little Rock, Ouma has no chance to pull out a decision even if he makes the fight competitive.
Ouma is tough as nails and a true warrior, but picking Jermain Taylor as his first bout at middleweight seems ill-advised. Ouma is good, Taylor is better, and the odds of -900 on Taylor reflect that. In addition to being the more skilled fighter, Taylor will be fighting in his own backyard, and good big man beats a good littler man. Look for Ouma to do what he does in terms of trying to apply pressure to his taller foe while JT will pepper Ouma with jabs and searing right crosses. The only true question is whether Ouma lasts the distance or not... I think he does.
Taylor is there for the taking but I don’t think Ouma is the one to beat him. Fighting Winky and Bernard will pay dividends in this fight and Taylor will bring it on in the home stretch. Taylor via unanimous decision.
Ouma will fight strategically, but is far too small and light-hitting to be very competitive. Taylor will look to impress the hometown crowd and will stop Ouma around the seventh round after dispensing a prolonged beating. Taylor TKO 7.
Presumably, this fight represents the quiet before the storm. Both Taylor and Wright have been offered fights as close to 'gimmes' as Joe Public would tolerate ahead of their presumed rematch and shared pursuit of fellow attractions in 2007. It's hard not to like Taylor in this fight, I'd like to find a cute, sophisticated and considered reason for a Ouma victory and the subsequent fulfillment there of providing a much needed injection of kudos for this ailing tipster, but I simply cannot. Taylor will win and in a break from the recent trend within the middleweight division, I venture it will be entertaining viewing with the champion finally released from his overcautious shackles sufficiently to overwhelm the game challenger around the 8th or 9th.
This should be a replay of the Karmazian fight, except Taylor will stop Ouma – probably in the 10th. Taylor’s bigger, faster -- with an even longer reach than Karmazian – and a more versatile offense. Ouma will try to keep leather on Taylor – pressure pressure pressure -- but squares-up too much when he punches and will walk into a straight right, and Taylor will clean up.
Although Taylor might have lost his last three fights, he is too big, strong and powerful for Ouma to knock him out, and there is no way Ouman wins a decision in Arkansas.
Kassim Ouma has certainly been a force in the junior middleweight division. However, I cannot see him having the same type of impact in the middleweight ranks, especially with Jermain Taylor and Winky Wright at the top. Taylor by TKO.
Connect the dots. Taylor has been fighting head to head with the very best at a higher weight. Ouma has never beaten (or even met) a truly elite foe. Anything might happen, and while it would be nice to see Ouma (a very unknown commodity in many ways) make the journey from Hell to tranquil glory, by most realistic standards the hard working and humble champ should have his first relatively outing in many moons. Taylor TKO 8.