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Jermain Taylor has wanted to fight before his hometown fans since winning all four versions of the middleweight championship of the world from Bernard Hopkins 17 months ago. He had to go back into the ring to prove his right to the crowns against Hopkins, and then he battled Winky Wright to a draw in Memphis earlier this year, retaining the titles.
Now, he gets to show them off in an Arkansas boxing ring, fighting Kassim Ouma on Saturday, Dec. 9, at Alltel Arena in a night billed as “Home for the Holidays.” Ouma (25-2-1, 15 KOs) is a former title holder renowned for throwing more than 100 punches per round. The title fight will last up to 12 rounds. Taylor is 25-0-1 with 17 knockouts. His last three fights have gone to the judges’ cards, winning a split decision and then unanimous decision over Hopkins before the draw last June with Wright.
Tickets start at $5 through Ticketmaster (975-7575, www.ticketmaster.com) or the arena box office (975-9000), with student, senior and active military tickets available for $25. The better seats run as much as $650.
The fight is scheduled to be broadcast by HBO over cable systems.
Doors open at 5 p.m. and the first bout starts at 5:05 p.m. Taylor’s fight will start after 9 p.m.
The fights will weigh in at the Peabody Hotel on Friday at 1 p.m.
After the fight, Coral, a cast member from “The Real World,” will host “RealityRox and Box,” an after-party at NU Cuisine Lounge in the River Market district. NU will roll out its blue carpet starting at 8 p.m. for patrons, fans and the MTV star. Debbi T from T’s Tunes Entertainment will provide music. VIP table reservations and limited guest admission are available by calling 378-7500.