By Alexey Sukachev

Ex-IBF titlist Kassim Ouma, who stayed away from the States after being involved in a series of issues with the law, continued his downshifting from a former champion (and, at one point, the #1 fighter of his weight class) to a glorified journeyman.

Tonight, the Ugandan veteran, who turns 37 in two weeks, was dominated and outboxed by a 21-year old middleweight prospect Igor Selivanov en route to a one-sided eight-round decision loss.

The fight took place at A2 Club in St. Petersburg, Russia, as the banner fight of the evening, promoted by Pushka Promotions. According to well-known local manager/adviser Oleg Bogdanov, Selivanov (now 11-0, 8 KOs) was better in every round, looking sharper and by far more active of the two. Ouma was rocked a couple of times but lasted the distance. Official scores were 80-72 (twice) and 78-75 – for the Russian, who took an enormous step up in class.

Selivanov kicked off his pro career shortly after coming back from the armed forces and several days past his 20th birthday. He went 4-0, 4 KOs in 2014, and he went 7-0, 5 KOs, in 2015. Interestingly, he managed a split decision in his ultimate fight in Estonia against a 7-20-2 fighter but looked much better tonight.

For Ouma, it was his first fight in the Old World since defecting to the States from the Ugandan amateur boxing team in 1998. Nicknamed “The Dream”, Kassim Ouma has indeed built up a dream career for a boy, who was kidnapped and forced to take part in armed conflicts, since he had literally been a kid. Ouma scored a streak of solid wins over a number of contenders before finally edging Verno Philipps for the IBF light middleweight title in 2004. He retained his title once before being upset by the Russian veteran Roman Karmazin midst into 2005.

Ouma racked up several wins (including those over Marko Antonio Rubio and Sechew Powell) before a solid performance against middleweight king Jermain Taylor in December 2006 – a fight he has lost narrowly on points. It has been a downhill for the Ugandan ever since, as he went just 2-6 in four and a half years starting from the Taylor fight, culminating in his spirited showing… and a TKO loss to another (future) middleweight king Gennady Golovkin in July 2011.

Kassim fought just once after – a six-round decision over professional loser Rahman Mustafa Yusubov in December 2013. He then ran into serious legal problems. Ouma was arrested in April 2014 after allegedly fighting with a man he claims made a pass at him. He ended up getting charged for cocaine possession, and not the fight. In August this year, when Ouma's attorney told the court the former IBF champ was in Uganda instead of the L.A. courtroom, the judge issued a bench warrant. Ouma is now 28-9-1, 17 KOs.