Ouma set for big bout at Silver Star
By By Will Bardwell / staff writer
Aug. 22, 2003
CHOCTAW Given another hour or two, Kassim Ouma could have made weight as a flyweight.
The quick-witted junior middleweight, ranked number one by the International Boxing Federation, had not eaten in two days before his weigh-in Thursday at the SilverStar Resort and Casino, where tonight he will face Carlos Bojorquez in a tune-up for a possible title shot.
Cracking jokes on reporters and fellow fighters during the press conference, Ouma (17-1-2, 11 KO) said his active lips were burning calories to get in under the 155-pound limit.
After tipping the scales at 153 pounds, the southpaw smiled and said, "I told you."
Ouma and Bojorquez highlight an eight-bout card, a portion of which will be televised live by ESPN2. The card also features area fighters Julian Childress of Philadelphia and Antonio Young of Meridian.
Young (6-7-2, 3 KO), whose soft-spoken nature is a stark contrast from the attention-loving Ouma, will face off against Mario Lacey (6-2-3, 5 KO) in a junior lightweight match.
"I've just been training hard and I'll do my best," said Young, who weighed in one pound above the 135-pound limit for his division. His manager, Clark Bowen, said Young would spend some time in a sauna to try to sweat enough water to make his weight.
The 6-foot-3 Childress (2-0, 1 KO), who weighed in at 286 pounds, will face the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Jeremy Brooks (1-1, 1 KO) in a heavyweight rematch of Childress' first professional fight.
The first time they fought, Childress won by decision. He said he does not expect tomorrow's match to go the distance.
"I'm a power puncher," Childress said. "As soon as I see chin, I'm going to see if I can do something with it."
Childress is also excited about fighting in his native Philadelphia.
"It's a tremendous opportunity," Childress said. "Most fighters fight 50 fights in their career and never get to fight in their hometown."
For all the focus demonstrated by Young, Childress and other fighters at the weigh-in, the show was Ouma's. Just before fighters began stepping to the scale, a promoter described the Choctaw Reservation as a "sovereign nation" and warned boxers to observe its laws.
Ouma spoke up. "A sovereign what?" he asked, unaware that the reservation on which SilverStar sits is not technically under the jurisdiction of the United States government.
After being told by a friend that he was actually in another nation the Choctaw Nation Ouma asked, "Well, how am I supposed to get home?"
However he gets there, boxing fans will recognize some of the faces of the men trying to help him do it with a win. Johnny Bumphus, a former junior welterweight world champion, and legendary boxing trainer Lou Duva will both be in Ouma's corner.
Bumphus said Ouma will likely face one more tune-up fight after Friday before challenging Ronald Wright for his IBF junior middleweight title.