"The last fight wasn't me in there, man": Kofi Jantuah
Speaking out for the very first time since his loss to IBF Jr. Middleweight champion Kassim Ouma 21-1-1(13), Ghanaian born 'Sir' Kofi Jantuah 28-2(1 recently broke his silence when he took the time out to speak with Boxing website, Boxingtalk.net earlier on in the week about his performance that night. 'If boxing was a team sport I wouldn't have played that day, I just wasn't right' stated the saddened Jantuah. 'I am not even worried about losing, but I didn't show up to give them what they expected from me, that's what hurt me!' Read on to see what else the former world title challenger had to say.
RC: Kofi, what's going on?
KJ: We are back in the gym; we are back at it.
RC: After taking a look at your last fight, what is it you feel you did wrong?
KJ: The last fight it wasn't me in there man.
RC: What do you mean it wasn't you?
KJ: I wasn't right that night man, I don't give excuses because as a fighter. I go there to fight, and in the condition that I was in, I just wasn't right that night. I went through with the fight because I am a fighter, and that is what I do, I fight. If boxing was a team sport, I wouldn't have played that day. I was in bad shape going into that fight.
RC: You mentioned that you were in bad shape, what was wrong, is it something that has ever happened to you before?
KJ: It was not about my fighting, it was about my physical. Physically I wasn't right, I was there but after two three rounds I was done. I was done after three rounds; I don't know how I made it to the twelfth round. After three rounds I felt like I wasn't going to be able to go twelve.
RC: Well, do you have any idea why you were the way you were the day of the fight, was itt
KJ: (Cutting in) I know exactly why I was that way, which is why I didn't want to go there and give any excuse, I just went there and fought as a fighter.
RC: So what happened?
KJ: What happened was, after the weigh in, I went ate, and I don't know exactly what it was that I and ate, I had so much food, and after that, man, throughout the night, I had bad diarrhea, all the way until the morning of the fight.
RC: Kofi as a fighter, you know what you eat the night before is very importantt
KJ: (Cutting in) [Stuff] happens, that is why I didn't even want to bring it up. You can't give excuses when you loose and I didn't want to do that. Even during the fight, I started having cramps in my leg, it was getting to a point where I didn't want to sit down because when I sat down and I got up my leg and thigh would cramp. I was so dead weak. I was in condition, that much I will tell you, I was in good shape, I think that is what held me up for the twelve rounds, and another thing I think is because he is not a puncher, that is why I think I survived the rounds.
Because, from the way I was feeling in there I didn't think I as going to make it to the twelfth round. I was just trying to land something, and I did land something but there was nothing behind it.
RC: Feeling the way you did, where did you get the energy from to continue to keep going?
KJ: It was mental toughness; I was just going through the motions of mental toughness. I just kept telling myself to keep going. I didn't want to quit, I am not a quitter, I am a fighter. I would rather go out on a stretcher than just quit, I will never quit.
RC: Do you think that at any point you underestimated him going into the match? And did he bring anything to the ring that you didn't think he would bring?
KJ: Ouma did exactly what he does all of the time, he threw a lot of punches and it was up to me to do something to defuse him, and that is what I couldn't do, I didn't have the strength to do it. Ouma didn't do anything different, he was the same Ouma with the same punches, nothing hard... he just kept throwing punches the whole fight. That was it; he didn't do anything different in that fight. I didn't underestimate him, I trained very good, I mean I was in dog shape for that fight. A lot of sparring, I mean everything was good, but unfortunately I didn't do it. Ouma is a lucky guy I am telling you. I have no doubt in my mind that I was going to beat that guy, but come the night of the fight, I didn't show up. I just couldn't.
Ouma did his thing, Ouma did what he was supposed to do, he did everything. But it was up to me to make it exciting but I couldn't live up to it, I couldn't stand up.
RC: What did that do to you? Knowing that you didn't show up to the fight, and didn't do your part in what many felt was going to be one of the most exciting matches of the year featuring the volume puncher in Ouma, or like you say the machine guy versus the grenade launcher, the grenade launcher being yourself?
KJ: I feel let down; I mean I think I disappointed everybody. All of the fans and everybody, a lot of people expected more. I mean those who were following my career until now, everybody was happy for me. I am not even worried about loosing, but I didn't show up to give them what they expected from me, that's what hurt me.
If I had went there and fought to the best of my ability and lost, it wouldn't bother me, but I couldn't give people what they expected and that mad me sad, that hurt. But under those circumstances I think I did my best, I hung on and then just kept trying.
I am not a skilled fighter like say for instance Floyd Mayweather Jr., and different fighters they can box around and do whatever it is that they do. In my case I am a different fighter, I am an energy fighter, I need my strength to perform and I rely more on my strength. I didn't have my power; I didn't have anything that night. It wasn't nothing that he did, it was me not being able to do what I do best.
RC: Now you are saying Ouma didn't do anything special and prior to the fight you said that Ouma was just a good little fighter, and by not getting the job done like you had wished, what are your thoughts on him as a fighter now? Has your opinion changed any at all?
KJ: I wouldn't take anything away from him, he is a good fighter, he did what he does all of the time, he throws the volume of punches and that is the same thing he did, He doesn't come and do anything different. I mean if you look at the fight, I had energy for the first maybe two or three rounds and that was it, and if you look at the first, two or three rounds you will see the difference. After that it was all Ouma and I was done. So that tells you how the fight would have played... well you can't really predict anything but the fight would have played out in a different way. It wasn't the performance that everyone expected that night. It was so easy, it was a one sided fight, this is a fight that I realized that I was loosing but I couldn't go to a plan B because I had nothing left. When you are in a fight and you smell danger, you try your best to do everything, but I couldn't do anything, and like I said I couldn't even go to plan B.
RC: So where do you go from here Kofi, what's the plan?
KJ: Oh you know this is boxing, you loose, and you come back. Now I have to come back and change people's mind that that wasn't what the people know, I just have to come back and prove it. That is why I didn't really want to say anything I just wanted to come back and blow peoples mind. I just want to do something different, I just want to go fight people and knock them out again so people can be convinced.
I would love to get Ouma again but with my performance I don't think that it is going to be that easy. I have to earn it but I am going to do whatever it takes, I am going to go back and beat people, and put myself in a position to get him again
RC: Prior to your last fight, Kofi Jantuah wasn't a fighter in the Jr. Middleweight division that everyone wanted to fight, you were one of the most avoided fighters in the division, but now Ouma made it look a little easyy
KJ: (Cutting in) Easy, Easy...real Easy
RC: Correct, now people might be a little misled by that, do you think that people might actually look at the fight and say 'Hey, I'll fight Kofi Jantuah, because all I have to do is what Ouma did and I'll beat this guy'. Do you think you'll be able to get fights much easier now?
KJ: I wish, I wish that could happen, I wish people would look at it and say 'We can get him' and that will help me to prove something. People will look at the fight and say 'He is vulnerable, we can beat him' and they might step up and fight me, that would be very good for me. That is the only way I can prove something, and I think from what I put up in that fight, some of these fighters might look at it and say 'we can get him' and make a fight. And I am willing to fight anybody, anybody anytime; I never back down from anybody.
RC: When can we expect to see you back in action?
KJ: Actually we are talking about end of May hopefully, I am not sure yet, the end of May or June. Somewhere around that time.
RC: Any names being tossed around as to who you might face?
KJ: No, not really yet. But I don't want to go back down and fight easy fights, I just want to jump back in there where I was, I want to fight somebody in the top ten or top five. I want to step right back in with the big guys and take my rightful place in the division.
RC: Where do you feel you rank amongst the other fighter's in the division now?
KJ: After that fight, I would put myself down. Until I come back and destroy some people. I don't put myself anywhere; it would be up to the fans, the writers and everybody to put me where I belong. I never put myself anywhere.
RC: It's clear you have a lot fans out there, on Boxingtalk and all around the world, what would you like to say to your fans in closing?
KJ: I want to let them know I am sorry I disappointed my fans, they were expecting big things and I didn't make it happen, but they shouldn't be down, they should still look up and still have the faith that I am going to bring it back. I am going to bring the excitement back, the fire power is still there and it is better than ever.
I am very disappointed and I know a lot people are, everybody had to be because people were expecting big things and I let them down. At the same time, I am not down. You know when you loose and you feel down, I don't feel that way. I never feel good after a defeat, but this is a defeat that I look at myself, and I ask myself 'is this the best I can do', and tell myself no. If I put up my best and I loose, then I would say damn I don't belong here or I don't belong there. But in this case I am telling you, it hurts to loose but at the same time, I know I am a better fighter, and I can do better than that. This fight actually tells me more, because it showed that I am stronger than I thought. Mentally I was thinking 'how am I going to continue'. My legs were feeling heavy in that fight, I knew it coming into the fight, I was trying to get him out early and after three rounds I knew it was going to be a long night
RC: Well I think a lot of people will still respect you because it is so much easier to quit under those conditions and take the easy way out, but you didnnt
KJ: It is easy to quit, and like I said I am a fighter, I fight to death; I would fight to death before I quit. This is not a game; this is what boxing is about. If you have a bad day, you have to deal with it, no excuses. All kudos to Ouma he did his thing. He showed up, fought his fight, he won and I give him his props. No disrespect, I am not taking anything from him, he did what he was suppose to do. But another time it would have been a different story.