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Kassim Living the Dream

July 14, 2011 by  


By Parvez Fatteh, TMO, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

KassimOuma4Kassim Ouma is a Ugandan boxer who is the current North American Boxing Association middleweight champion.  His life has been so interesting that he was the subject of a documentary entitled “Kassim the Dream” which was made in 2008. It went on to become an official selection at several film festivals.

Born the seventh of 13 children, he started out in poverty, and at the age of six he was kidnapped and forced to join the National Resistance Army in Uganda. As a result he did not see his family for the next five years. Ouma started boxing after leaving the army. He racked up an impressive 62 and 3 amateur record and subsequently made the Ugandan national boxing team and was selected to fight at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. However, he did not attend due to financial difficulties.

On a Ugandan national amateur team trip to the United States, Ouma decided to stay to undertake a career as a professional boxer to support his family in Uganda. Ouma later won the International Boxing Federation (IBF) Junior Middleweight world title.

Ouma has been a champion and top-level contender in the Light Middleweight division, ultimately earning the International Boxing Federation (IBF) Light Middleweight title. He later lost this title in a unanimous decision defeat against Roman Karmazin. However, on September 25, 2010, Ouma defeated Joey Gilbert in the 6th round of their 10-round bout for the vacant North American Boxing Association middleweight title at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada.

Among the twists and turns in his life chronicled by the documentary, Ouma was shot twice in Florida in December 2002. Among the violence in his life, Ouma also reports that his father was beaten to death by the Ugandan army in retaliation for his leaving the country. Ouma’s younger brother, Hamza Wandera Ouma, is also a professional boxer. So, Kassim Ouma hopes that, moving forward, his dreams, and the dreams of his family, are only happy ones.

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