All African Rivalry Heating Up!

By Ray O. Campbell Jr.


All African Rivalry Heating Up!

JANTUAH: "Ouma won’t finish on his feet; he’ll leave on a stretcher!"

Over the weekend spoke to Ghana’s “Sir” Kofi Jantuah as he was preparing for his highly anticipated match up in which he will challenge Ugandan IBF Light Middleweight champion Kassim “The Dream” Ouma live on HBO World championship boxing January 29th at the Broadway Hall in Atlantic City, NJ. Representing West Africa, Jantuah, who has won his last seven fights by way of knock out makes it clear he plans on keeping his streak alive against Ouma, boldly stating “I am going there to knock him out.”

RC: What’s been going on? How are you feeling?

KJ: I am feeling great, training and everything is going fine. Everything is looking good.

RC: We know you two are cool with one another but why don’t you give us your thoughts on Ouma as a fighter, as well as your overall thoughts on his talents?

KJ: Kassim Ouma is a good fighter, he is a good guy, good fighter beating all of these guys, but he is in for a great deal. Everybody has his time until you meat your match. He can beat all of those guys, but fighting me is a different level and he knows that.

RC:  I spoke to Kassim Earlier today and he seems to have a great deal of respect for you, and makes it clear that he feels you are one tough cookie, would you say that he is probably the best that you have faced in your career thus far?

KJ: I don’t know, I don’t know if he is the best that I have faced. Records doesn’t mean nothing to me. It is what you bring in the ring, so it is what is going to happen in the ring will decide whether he is the best that I have faced. Right now I can’t look at his background and say ooh he is the best that I am going to fight. I don’t know. But the main thing is, it doesn’t matter to me. Whether he is the best or what, I am going in there to do what I am supposed to do. I am going there to knock him out.

RC: Seems like you mean business Kofi...

KJ: Ooh yeah… I mean he is going to go in there and try and fight, but the bottom line is he is going to go out; I have to put him away. I am not going to go in there and fight his fight. He likes walking guys down, if you look at his fights, he walks guys down and beat them in the distance. That is not what is going to happen, he is going to come and fight but he is going to go home on a stretch.

RC: Are you telling me that Kassim Ouma will not be walking out of the ring? And that he’ll be leaving on a stretcher?

KJ: I am telling you, I am putting him away. He is not finishing the fight on his feet, that is what is going to happen. With all due respect...I mean I don’t care about anything, I am telling you what I am going to do.

RC: Your sounding really confident right now going into this match up...

KJ: (Cutting in) I am telling you I am going to beat all of these guys one at a time, one at a time. I am going to beat all of these guys, I am going to knock all of them out,. Starting from Ouma, I am going to beat him and knock him out. He is a good fighter, and a good guy, but that is not what boxing is about. Boxing is about fighting, we go there to fight, go in there to beat him and knock him out, then you go from there. I am very excited about this fight. I think it is a good opportunity for African fighters. And I don’t know if you have ever had two top African fighters at a top level like this fighting each other. But I think this will be good for Africa and for boxing in general. We are going to give a good fight, and it will help the other African fighters to get exposure.

RC: Going into this fight you seem to be a bit confident, can you be a little bit overconfident and over looking...

KJ: (Cutting in) Nah nah nah….I believe in my ability, so when I get up for a fight I know what is going to happen.

RC: Knowing how tough he is, has that made you more motivated for this fight than normal?

KJ:  Exactly, yeah. I am working harder. This is a title fight, this is a tough guy, and he is coming to defend his title, he has everything on the line. So it is up to me for me to go out there and prove something, I have to take it to him, it is not like it is a just a fight, this is history, and I think it is going to be one of the best fights of the year. And the bottom line is, it is going to be the same thing like the rest of my fights, a knockout.

RC: Going into the Rubio fight you mentioned to me that African fighters have a lot of pride and a lot to fight for, because every time they step into the ring they have 20 million people from African watching with high expectations. Ouma feels that Africa will divide that night, because the East will be rooting for him, and the West for you, do you agree?

KJ: Like I said it has never happened before, I am thinking everybody is going to root for him side, he is from the East and I am from the West, so they are going to root for him. He is a hero in the East, like I am a hero in the West so they are going to look up to me. When you get into the ring, you feel their chants and you feel the whole country behind you so you can’t let them down. It is about pride and everything.

RC: In other words, its more than just for the belt, it is for the pride and for the history and loosing is not an option?

KJ: Exactly, that is the main thing. This is something that you look forward to, this is a good thing, and this is history that is going to happen. I want to be in the center of the history and the people saying going to say “He did it his way” and that is how I plan to do it like that.

RC: To the best of your knowledge has there been any type of rivalries like this in Africa amongst Ghana and Uganda?

KJ: As far as fighting for a world title, but they have been fights for African championship and stuff like that, but at the world level like this, I don’t know about the record or anything like that.

RC: So I guess your prediction for this fight is this isn’t going the distance and at the end of the night he’ll call you “Sir”?

KJ: Oh yeah, this is not going to go the distance. This fight is going to be a knockout, believe me. I am going to take the title home.

RC: How early are you looking to end things with 5, 6, 7?

KJ: I will let you know in the ring. I’m going to show you how I do this.

RC: Kofi, I think your prediction is definitely stir something up inside of Kassim that might add a little more intrigue to this fight.

KJ: The fight has already been started already; this isn’t going to start the fight. The fight is already one. As soon as this fight was announced, the fight was on. So this is just the begging.


Send questions and comments to: