By Scott Shaffer
Kassim Ouma retained his IBF junior middleweight title with a unanimous decision over fellow African Kofi Jantuah. The bout was well-fought but not the fight of the year candidate many hoped it would be. Officially, Ouma won by scores of 118-110 (Steve Weisfeld), 116-112 (Shafeeq Rashada) and 117-111 (Joseph Pasquale). According to Punchstats, Ouma threw 1088 punches and outlanded Jantuah 502-254, only the fifth time Compubox has credited a boxer with 500+ punches landed. Jantuah was cut over his right eye and reportedly needed stitches to close the wound. Boxingtalk's panel also scored it unanimously for Ouma: Scott Shaffer 116-112, Ray Campbell 118-112, and Kirk Lang 119-109.
Although he outweighed the Ugandan Ouma just 153-152, Jantuah looked significantly bigger and stronger. Both boxers entered the ring clothed in Boxingtalk shirts. In the first round, Jantuah, from Ghana, landed a nice hook that sent Ouma back to the ropes, where he worked the champion over for a few seconds. The second round, which was fought at very close quarters, was a tough one to score, with Ouma doing well early and Jantuah coming on later in the session. Ouma adjusted well in the third, fighting at a distance that allowed him to land his jab frequently. In the fourth, it was back to head-to-head fighting, which should have favored Jantuah, but Ouma's punching was so accurate, he beat the Ghanaian at his own game. Jantuah landed the two best punches of the fifth, which was another tough one to score. Jantuah seemed to tire a bit in the sixth, perhaps from missing too many big hooks. By the seventh, the momentum had swung clearly in Ouma's favor, as the champion enjoyed his best round so far. Ouma seemed to pace himself in the eight and ninth, content to outbox Jantuah, but not pressing for a knockout. Jantuah came back in the tenth, but again, it was a tough round to score. Ouma began trading less often during the eleventh and twelfth, but when he did stop and exchange punches, he was still more effective than the aggressive Jantuah.
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