The Grand Sierra Resort and Let’s Get It On Promotions are pleased to present a very special main event for Reno Xtreme Fights VI on Saturday September 25th. Former IBF Jr. middleweight champion, Kassim “The Dream” Ouma (26-7-1, 16 KOs), will take on Reno’s own Joey Gilbert (20-2, 15 KOs) for the vacant NABA middleweight title.
Ouma has one of the most unbelievable stories in professional sports. He was kidnapped by the National Resistance Army at the age of six in his home country of Uganda and forced to be a child soldier. After years of being ordered to do unthinkable things, Ouma found boxing.
While on a trip with the Ugandan National Boxing Team, Ouma entered the United States and did not leave. He turned pro in 1998, eventually wining the IBF Jr. Middleweight world title. While boxing in the US, Ouma learned that his father was beaten to death in Uganda, possibly due to his leaving the country. He did not escape violence once in the United States. In December of 2002, Ouma was shot twice as an innocent bystander during a drive by shooting in Florida. He was back in the ring the following May.
Many think that Ouma has lost a step and may be past his prime. He is only 31 years old, but he has lived the struggles of ten lifetimes. Ouma is coming off of a unanimous decision loss to current NABO and NABF Jr. middleweight champion Vanes Martirosyan. Ouma has been eager to get back in the ring to earn another world title shot. From poverty and war, to world champion glory, Ouma continues to fight.
“I can’t wait to get back into the ring in Reno.” Says Ouma. “I am thankful for this opportunity. Boxing is my life and my passion.”
Ouma’s dance partner is Reno, NV’s own, Joey Gilbert. A once top-ten ranked middleweight, Gilbert has an opportunity to position himself for a world title shot again. He has won three fights in a row, two by knockout.
Gilbert has been in the ring with a couple of the best middle and super-middleweights in the world. His first defeat came against current IBO middleweight champion, Peter Manfredo Jr.
That fight ended prematurely as a result of an accidental headbutt, and Manfredo’s hand was raised by way of technical decision.
In February of 2008, Gilbert went twelve hard rounds with super-middleweight world title challenger, Jesse Brinkley, and lost a decision. Now back at middleweight, the 34 year old Gilbert realizes the opportunity that is in front of him.
“It is an honor to fight Kassim Ouma.” Says Gilbert. “This is my shot, however, and I am committed to winning. A lot is on the line in this fight.”
The winner of Gilbert vs. Ouma will earn a top 15 world ranking by the WBA, and will be eligible for an optional title defense by the champion, Germany’s Felix Sturm. Ticket information will be announced soon.