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Kassim Ouma, Golovkin Launch ‘KO Cancer’ Campaign

Posted on 06/10/2011


The dream of any boxer is winning a world title. Yet for millions of people worldwide the biggest battle they face is fighting against the world’s leading killer cancer, which takes over eight-million lives annually.

In a week when the boxing world found that 45-year-old former world champion Genaro Hernandez died of cancer, two boxers battling for a world championship have announced the launch of new Facebook centered movement called KO Cancer.

Former world champion Kassim Ouma was motivated by his own personal losses to add special meaning to his world title challenge next Friday night in Panama against WBA Middleweight Champ Gennady Golovkin, who also quickly volunteered his support for the KO Cancer effort.

“For us boxers we do our fighting in the ring, but I’ve seen so many people I love fighting even harder against cancer,” Ouma said. “Not everybody knows I’m black Irish, I have an Irish family with my manager Uncle Tom (Moran). He lost his sister Mommi Patti, his wife my Auntie Bobbie and his Pops all to cancer in a short time. This is my way to fight back in their memory and for all the people who’re battling cancer.

“We want the whole boxing business, everybody to stand together against cancer. We just lost a champion (Hernandez), I saw the WBA was doing KO Drugs, so that gave me an idea why not say KO Cancer and get boxing people to stand together. We do this so we can kill cancer.”

The rollout of KO Cancer will start with the Golovkin-Ouma WBA title fight, but founders hope it will inspire others in the boxing community to lend support and recruit “fighters” like friends on Facebook.

“It’s great that Kassim would get this started and then Gennady would show true sportsmanship and humanity and join with him. After boxers take the gloves off and go home, they’re just like us with families and loved ones, and every family will be forced to fight cancer,” Moran said. “This is not a charity, we’re not trying raise money, there is enough of that. We’re trying to connect a community that cares about an issue that impacts all of us. Boxing is the perfect metaphor for cancer, a one-on-one battle, you go in the ring alone, but we can fight back together.

“We need boxers, promoters, managers, trainers, media folks, fans, sanctioning groups, commissions, everyone who loves this sport to stand and fight with us. Our sport can rise above its’ problems and connect to a wider audience by showing we care, and we’re willing to fight back.”

The undefeated champ Golovkin (20-0, 17 KOs) is a national hero in his native Kazakhstan and big name on the European circuit where he earned his belt, but the Ouma fight and KO Cancer are a great way to conquer the American marketplace.

“I am very content with my preparation and training camp. It is always great working with my trainer Abel Sanchez. We are a great team and well prepared to face big challenges in the future,” Golovkin said. “I’m looking forward to going in the ring with Kassim, who is very tough with quick hands. As a former world champion he is certainly very keen on winning a new title. Thus, everybody can be sure there will be a spectacular fight.

“Kassim and his manager brought up the idea of starting the “KO Cancer” campaign determined to raise awareness regarding the global burden of cancer. I think it is a great initiative and I absolutely support it.”

Ouma himself has been busy in camp with trainer Ruben Castanon in Riverside, California.

“My training has been very good, working on it, ready to give this guy the best challenge. He’s the champion so I respect him. I thank him and his team once again for giving me the chance to go for the world title again,” Ouma said. “I also really appreciate Gennady getting with KO Cancer in the first fight for the cause. I hope all boxers and promoters join with us. We’ve got to find ways to work together as a sport for the good of everyone and try to make a difference.”

KO Cancer has opened up a page on Facebook. The video trailer for the Golovkin/Ouma fight can be seen on You Tube at:

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