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BASN Boxing Roundup
NEW YORK — Jermain Taylor has to be considered the world middleweight champion. After all, he beat Bernard Hopkins, the first boxer in history to unify the WBC, WBC, IBF, and WBO titles at 160 pounds – not once, but twice in 2005.
Taylor (25-0-1, 17 KOs) returns to his hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas to challenge another worthy contender, Kassim Ouma (25-2-1, 1 5 KOs) in December.
At 27, Ouma, Kampala, Uganda, is a young and strong boxer, much like Taylor, 28. Ouma throws a lot of punches. His punch rate and accuracy during a 12-round, 36 minute span does command attention.
In his last bout against previously unbeaten Sechew Powell in August, Ouma proved why he was the better fighter. Ouma’s jabs were effective from the outside. While fighting inside, Ouma hit Powell with fast body punches. Ouma pressured Powell to fight backwards for 12 rounds by keeping the jab in Powell’s face.
Ouma’s unanimous decision win against Powell was perhaps the most impressive performance off his career, since wining the IBF junior middleweight title against Verno Phillips in October 2004.
Ouma lost the 154-pound title in his third defense to Roman Karmarzin, who recently lost it to Cory Spinks. Ouma has won his last four fights and has earned a title shot against Taylor, a fighting middleweight champion.
A pair of former world champions will collide when former world junior middleweight champion Winky Wright (50-3-1, 25 KOs) meets former welterweight champion Ike Quartey (37-3-1, 31 KOs) in December. The fight could take place in Wright’s hometown of St. Petersburg, FL.
Wright has made a career fighting in South Africa, England, France, Germany, Monaco, Argentina, and of course the United States. A homecoming for Wright will be his first in his home state since July 30, 1992.
Wright has had a stellar career having beaten Felix Trinidad, Shane Mosley twice, and once-highly regarded Bronco McKart three times.
In June, Wright needed to win the final round of his world middleweight title challenge of Taylor, but the bout was ruled a draw.
Quartey is coming fresh off a controversial 10-round decision loss to former welterweight champion Vernon Forrest in August. Quartey appeared to have easily out-boxed Forrest, who has had two surgeries on his arms. Three ringside judges scored the bout 95-94 (twice) and 96-93 for Forrest.
Quartey was highly regarded as one of the very best welterweight champions in the mid-1990s. Quartey won the WBA welterweight title in 1994. He defended the 147-pound championship 8 times in nearly six years. Quartey lost his title to Oscar De La Hoya in early 1999.
Jeff Lacy To Return Soon
Previously undefeated and former IBF super middleweight champion Jeff Lacy (21-1, 17 KOs) could make his long-awaited return on the Wright-Quartey undercard. Lacy, a native of St. Petersburg, FL, has not fought since losing his 168-poud crown to WBO champion, Joe Calzaghe in March.
The 29-year-old Lacy took a one-sided beating in the most important fight of his career. Lacy’s face was swollen, badly bloodied, and was almost knocked out in the final round.
Lacy is an action-packed fighter with two-fisted power, hand speed, and counterpunches with fierce intensity. Lacy likes to pressure his opponents against the ropes and pummel them into submission.
Although he was outclassed by Calzaghe, it will be interesting to see if Lacy can comeback and regain the momentum that led him to a world championship.