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Articles of 2006

Taylor-Ouma Fight Predictions



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.
David Berlin

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.
Ralph Gonzalez

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.
Amy Green

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
Patrick Kehoe

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.
George Kimball

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.
Taylor UD.
Evan Korn

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.
Joey Knish

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.
Scott Mallon

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.
Robert Mladinich

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.
David Payne

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.
Joe Rein

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.
Ed Schuyler

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.
Aaron Tallent

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.
Phil Woolever

Articles of 2006

Peter/Toney Ii: Peter Has The Brutal Punch



Samuel Peter claims he has dynamites in my two hands?

Heavyweight contenders Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter and James Lights Out? Toney get it on a second time this Saturday from the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fla. (Showtime).

The hard-slugging Peter, unlike Toney, is one of those strong, silent types notorious for letting their fists to the talking one the opening bell sounds, but the Nigeria Nightmare is as confident as ever and determined to turn Lights Out’s lights out for good.

I have got dynamites in my two hands,? said Peter, according the Lagos, Nigeria Vanguard, and I will crush James Toney once and for all. The Toney camp made the mistake of their lives by protesting and seeking a rematch. I am ready to teach him a bitter lesson.?

Sam Peter walked away with the W for Peter/Toney I at the Staples Center in LA last September, but it was by disputed split decision a verdict so disputed, there was even a dispute about the dispute which forced the WBC’s hand into mandating Saturday’s rematch.

Samuel Peter is the biggest thing to hit African boxing since Ghanaian superstar Azumah Nelson rocked the feather and junior welterweight divisions. The President of the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control, Prince Olaide Adeboye, admitted, according to, We are rooting for Samuel Peter, of course. He is one boy we believe in to bring back the country’s lost glory in professional boxing. I am personally making arrangement to be at the ringside to see him fight Toney again. I was at the first fight in Los Angeles in September.

Peter has the brutal punch, and to me he was the clear winner of the first fight. But the WBC Board of Governors, of which I am a member, voted 21-10 for a rematch. There was nothing those of us Africans on the board could do in the circumstances. But I believe Peter will confirm he is better than Toney and will then go ahead to meet the champion and claim the belt for Nigeria and Africa.?

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Articles of 2006

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings for Asia



There are claims that boxing is dying. Hogwash. The heavyweight division isn’t the only division in boxing and 2007 promises to be a banner year in boxing; especially for boxers hailing from Asia.

While Asia isn’t Vegas or Atlantic City, it is a region packed of diamonds in the rough; undiscovered gems and potential superstars who wait for their moment in the sun.

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Asia

1) Manny Pacquiao – There’s no way to dispute Pacquiao is the best fighter in Asia, if not all of boxing. He’s exciting, he wins with Je Ne Sais Quois and is definitely “the man” in boxing.

2) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam – Although his competition leaves much to be desired, his longevity and skills are undeniable. He is currently Thailand’s only world champion and is undefeated in ten years. Need I say more?

3) Chris John – A victory over Juan Manuel Marquez, however controversial, shows he belongs at the top of the heap. He easily outpointed Renan Acosta to close out 2006 and should have no trouble defending against Jose Rojas in February. A fight with Pacquiao would not be a good move on his part but a rematch with Marquez would not hurt – especially if he defeats the Mexican again.

4) Hozumi Hasegawa – Hidden away in Japan, Hasegawa is a sharp punching southpaw who put former champion Veeraphol Sahaprom to sleep. He recently bested Genaro Garcia and his herky-jerky style will give fits to any one who steps in the ring with him.

5) Masomori Tokuyama – Tokuyama has never shied away from a good fight and although he only fought once in 2006 (UD12 Jose Navarro), he ledger shows wins over Katsushige Kawashima (twice), Gerry Penalosa (twice) and In Jin Chi (twice). A fight with Hozumi Hasegawa is a distinct possibility in 2007.

6) Nobuo Nashiro – With only seven fights under his belt he took on WBA champion Martin Castillo – and defeated him. Although he’s only fought a total of nine fights, nearly all have been against quality opposition. A victory in a rematch with Castillo would cement his claim as the king of the 115-pound division.

7) Yukata Niida – This light-hitting minimumweight defended his title twice in 2006, winning a technical decision against unbeaten Eriberto Gejon (Tech Win 10) and the other on points over Ronald Barrera (W 12). Scheduled to meet Katsunari Takayama early next year – the best has yet to come for this WBA belt holder.

8) In Jin Chi – Won back the title he lost to Takashi Koshimoto in January from Rudolfo Lopez. While there’s little uncertainty to his skills, at thirty-three, 2007 may provide some insight as to just how much he has left.

9) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai –Sor Nonthachai is an exciting, top-shelf fighter with an iron chin. Has no trouble making mincemeat of mid-level opposition and deserves a title shot in 2007. Time is running out.

10) Rey Bautista – He’s young, relatively inexperienced in big-time boxing, but will continue to shine in 2007. One of the better prospects in boxing, he should snag a title in 2007.

Asian Fighters Ranked in Ring Magazine

Pound for Pound:

Manny Pacquiao (Philippines): #2

Jr. Lightweight

Manny Pacquiao (Philippines): #1
Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai: #9


Chris John (Indonesia) #1
In Jin Chi (Korea) #3
Takashi Koshimoto (Japan) #5
Hioyuki Enoki (Japan) #7

Jr. Featherweight

Somsak Sithchatchawal (Thailand) #4


Hozumi Hasegawa (Japan) #2
Veeraphol Sahaprom (Japan) #3
Ratanachai Sor Vorapin (Thailand) #6
Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (Thailand) #10

Jr. Bantamweight

Nobuo Nashiro (Japan) #1
Katsushige Kawashima (Japan) #7
Pramuansak Phosuwan (Thailand) #10


Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (Thailand) #1
Takefumi Sakata (Japan) #7
Daisuke Naito (Japan) #10

Jr. Flyweight

Koki Kameda (Japan) #1


Yukata Naiida (Japan) #2
Eagle Kyowa (Japan/Thai) #4
Katsunari Takayama (Japan) #5
Rodel Mayol (Philippines) #7

Boxing in Thailand

There’s no shortage of boxers in Thailand. With a huge pool of Muay Thai fighters to draw from and several talented amateur boxing prospects turning pro after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Thailand seems destined to remain a boxing powerhouse in Asia.

The country is known for having tough, determined and disciplined fighters who give their all whenever the step in to the ring. However, consistently losing while fighting abroad and padding their records with no-hopers has done nothing to enhance their reputation.

Whether because of a lack of marketability, a lack of funds or their unwillingness to travel abroad, the vast majority of boxers from Thailand remain a mystery to fans in the west. If anything though, the boxing scene involving Thai fighters will be active. In fact, it’s one of the most active in the world; since 2000, the number of fights has nearly doubled in the country.

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Thailand – August 2006

1) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam
2) Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym
3) Somsak Sithchatchawal
4) Wandee Singwancha
5) Sirimongkol Singwancha
6) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai
7) Veeraphol Sahaprom
8) Pramuansak Phosuwan
9) Terdsak Jandaeng
10) Oleydong Sithamerchai

Current Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Thailand

1) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (Flyweight) – Definitely the top dog in Thailand

2) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai (Super Lightweight) – He’s a seasoned fighter who has proven himself in the big-time. He’s one Thai who can fight outside of Asia. He has an abundance of skills and one-punch power. His overall ability and ease in dispatching anyone other than championship caliber get him the runners-up spot.

3) Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (Super Bantamweight) – After losing to Vladimir Sidorenko he’s bounced back. He’s young, he can punch, but the former interim champion needs to prove himself against a name fighter.

4) Somsak Sithchatchawal (Super Bantamweight) – Was his win over Monshipour a fluke or was Celestino Caballero just that good? Did Sithchatchawal catch Monshipour at the right time and can he rebound from the devastating loss? The jury is still out.

5) Wandee Singwancha (Flyweight) – He doesn’t have much of a punch which will be his downfall in the end. He can box, as was evidenced in his recent victory over Juanito Rubillar, but this won’t be enough. He can no longer make the Jr. Flyweight limit and with no punch he’ll have a hard time competing against the “big boys.” Although he’s now rated second by the WBC, he doesn’t deserve to be.

5) Sirimongkol Singwancha (Super Lightweight) – Get this guy a fight. He’s better than Jose Armando Santa Cruz and would have beat up Inada had the fight taken place. He’ll fight anyone but his biggest obstacle is staying motivated fighting tomato cans in Thailand. Like many Thais, he needs a fight against a name opponent.
6) Wandee Singwancha (Flyweight) – He doesn’t have much of a punch which will be his downfall in the end. He can box, as was evidenced in his recent victory over Juanito Rubillar, but this won’t be enough. He can no longer make the Jr. Flyweight limit and with no punch he’ll have a hard time competing against the “big boys.” Although he’s now rated second by the WBC, he doesn’t deserve to be.

7) Pramuansak Phosuwan (Super Flyweight) – A genuine tough guy. Always calm and focused no matter how heated the battle. But at thirty-eight, he’ll be in trouble should he fight one of the division’s elite.
8) Veeraphol Sahaprom (Bantamweight) – Will be lucky to get another crack at the title. Although he has a puncher’s chance of winning a belt, that’s about all he has left at this point. A third shot at Hasegawa is unlikely.

9) Oleydong Sithamerchai (Minimumweight) – He’s fought better than the usual opponents faced by Thais at his level and he moves up one spot with the departure of Terdsak Jandaeng. He lacks the punch and is in the wrong division to become a superstar. He’ll need to defeat a name opponent to convince me.

10) Saenghiran Lookbanyai / Napapol Kittisakchokchai (Super Bantamweight) – These two square-off in early March, supposedly to see who deserves a shot at Israel Vasquez. Kittisakchokchai has the edge in experience but some feel Lookbanyai has the edge in heart and is the favorite.

Neither has defeated a top twenty fighter and yet are ranked number one and two respectively in the WBC’s world.

In Kittisakchokchoi’s lone shot at the big-time, he was TKO’d in 10 by Oscar Larios. His dreadful performance against Larios and lack of quality opposition leads me to believe Saenghiran might have more of a shot at beating him than some suspect. Regardless, neither of them lasts longer than six rounds with Israel Vasquez.

Honorable Mention: Wethya Sakmuangklang, Denkaosan Kaovichit, Devid Lookmahanak, Nethra Sasiprapa, Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo, Pornsawan Kratingdaenggym

Thai Fighters Ranked in Ring Magazine

Pongsaklek Wonjongkam: #1 Flyweight
Pramuansak Phosuwan: #10 Jr. Bantamweight
Veeraphol Sahaprom: #3 Bantamweight
Ratanachai Sor Vorapin: #6 Bantamweight
Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym: #10 Bantamweight
Somsak Sithchatchawal: #3 Jr. Featherweight
Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai: #9 Lightweight

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Articles of 2006

Iceman Stops Tito Ortiz Win Streak



LAS VEGAS—UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck “Iceman” Liddell’s fists proved too much for Huntington Beach’s Tito Ortiz who was stopped in the third round before a sold out crowd at the MGM Garden Arena on Saturday.

The punching machine Liddell (20-3, 13 KOs) repeated his victory in UFC 66 over the much-improved grappler Ortiz who has improved his punching and blocking. Ortiz was trying to avenge his loss of April 2004.

Despite all the new weapons displayed by Ortiz it wasn’t enough as Liddell pummeled the former champion and retained his title with a technical knockout at 3:59 of the third round. Referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the bout.

“This was the most satisfying victory of my career,” said Liddell, 36, of Santa Barbara. “Tito came back real tough.”

Ortiz (15-5, 8 KOs), a former wrestler, worked on his boxing technique knowing he would need it against the former boxer Liddell. But Liddell’s experience allowed him to find the right moment to pounce on Ortiz.

“I had him hurt, I just kept throwing punches,” said Liddell who also knocked down Ortiz in the first round with a left hook.

Ortiz was gracious in defeat.

“Chuck is the best fighter Pound for Pound in the (mixed martial arts) world,” said Ortiz, 31, who suffered a gash on the side of his left eye from a punch. “I’m disgusted by myself. I let my fans down.”

Other bouts

Underdog Keith Jardine (12-3-1) knocked out Forrest Griffin (13-4) at 4:41 of the first round in their light heavyweight showdown. A right uppercut followed by a left hook wobbled Griffin who was sent to the floor by a barrage of punches. On the ground Jardine landed right after right until referee John McCarthy stopped the fight for a technical knockout.

“I couldn’t believe he was hurt,” said Jardine about Griffin who is known for his resiliency. “I was so nervous coming into this fight, but now I know I belong here.”

Canada’s Jason McDonald (18-7) choked out Chris Leben (15-3) in a middleweight bout that was up for grabs. Though Leben seemed to control the fight with stunning left hands, once the fight went to the ground McDonald managed a chokehold at 4:03 of the second round. Referee Steve Mazagatti saw Leben was unconscious and stopped the fight.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (12-5) caught Brazil’s Mario Cruz (2-2) with a sneak right hand while both were tangled on the ground. Then the Belarusian pummeled Cruz until referee Herb Dean stopped the fight at 3:15 of the first round.

Third season winner of the Ultimate Fighter television reality season Michael Bisping (12-0) of Great Britain won by technical knockout over Eric Shafer (9-2-2) at 4:29 of the first round. A knee knocked Shafer groggy then Bisping knocked him to the ground and pounded him. Referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the bludgeoning.

Thiago Alves (16-4) caught Peru’s Tony De Souza (15-5) with a knee as he attempted to dive for his legs in a welterweight contest. After that it was pretty much over as Alves pummeled De Souza at 1:10 of the second round forcing referee John McCarthy to halt the bout.

Gabriel Gonzago (7-1) proved too strong for Carmelo Marrero (6-1) in a heavyweight bout. At 3:22 of the first round Gonzago of Massachusetts manipulated his way into arm bar forcing Pennsylvania’s Marrero to tap out.

Japan’s Yushin Okami (19-3) pounded Georgia’s Rory Singer (11-6) into submission at 4:03 of the third round of a middleweight bout. Okami seemed the more-rounded fighter with effective kicks to the head and more accurate punching.

Christian Wellisch (8-2) jumped to a quick start with an accurate left hook that rattled Australia’s Anthony Perosh (5-3) in a heavyweight bout. During the first round it seemed the Sacramento fighter might end the fight but the Aussie hung tough. Wellisch won by unanimous decision.

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