Photo: Eva Asdou
Long-time welterweight contender Said Ouali (28-4, 20 KOs) is currently preparing for his next fight in his native Belgium. Ouali was born in Morocco but his family moved to Belgium when he was only a few months old so Belgium is home for Ouali. He has been on the brink of world title fights multiple times but is still trying to get over that final hump. Ouali was promoted quite some time by long-time friend Floyd Mayweather’s Mayweather Promotions. As reported initially on Fightnews, Ouali will return to the ring September 21st versus Sweden-based Karlo Tabaghua (18-3, 13 KOs). Belgium-based BFN GROUP will promote the event.
The bout is significantly important for Ouali as it will be for the vacant IBF Inter-Continental welterweight title. A win for Ouali will likely return him to the world rankings of the IBF. Ouali was dropped from their rankings for the most part because he has not fought in what will be about year come fight night. In his last fight in September 2011 he was stopped by Carson Jones. The ringside physician advised that the bout should be halted at the end of the seventh round as Ouali was unable to see out of his right eye. That loss that doesnt look so bad now after Jones gave unbeaten Kell Brook all he could handle before dropping a very close decision in Brook’s native UK.
You scored your biggest win as a professional over then 33-1 and highly ranked Hector Saldavia of Argentina by first round stoppage in 2010. The bout was a WBA welterweight title eliminator. Why did you not fight the current WBA world champion at that time Vyacheslav Senchenko in your next fight?
First off I would like to say that if my cut man had any Enswell for the Carson Jones fight I feel I would have won. However, that wasn’t the case but that’s a thing from the past. Saldivia was my biggest win and before the fight, they promised me the fight against the Ukrainian kid (Senchenko). My fight with Saldivia opened up the May 1st HBO PPV show featuring Mayweather vs Sugar Shane Mosley. I dropped Saldivia twice in the first round and went on to win by first round stoppage. The reason why I never got the fight against Senchenko? That is a question you need to ask Leonard Ellerbe of Mayweather Promotions. He promised me the fight but I never got it. When September 2010 came and there still was no word about the fight, I knew at that point that they were not working on it. Boxing is a team sport and I did my part by stopping my opponent in less than a round. I heard so many different things as to why I never got the world title fight at that time but I refused to believe any of it just because the fact that I believe in teamwork and loyalty.
You fought under the promotional banner of arguably the biggest name in boxing in Floyd Mayweather Jr’s Mayweather Promotions. Did you feel pressured with expectations to not only win but win impressively each fight while with that promoter?
There will always be pressure but with pressure comes performance. That’s what I say. When the lights shine you have to shine back otherwise you get burned. I shined under the pressure but when the world title opportunity didn’t come for me after the Saldivia fight I lost my trust.
You have fought at or near the 147 pound welterweight limit for your 12 year professional career. Can you still comfortably make the weight?
I have no problem making 147 and can go as low as 145 pounds.
Why have you decided to rebuild your career and get it back on track in your native Belgium?
Belgium is where this next fight offer came from and I took it with both hands. It’s against a decent fighter for the IBF intercontinental welterweight title so I didn’t want to refuse that.
There is a large Belgian Moroccan population in Belgium who came out to support you for your fight with now current IBF world champion Randall Bailey. Do you anticipate a sell out crowd for your event in September?
( Bailey ducked Ouali punches in round 2 and then lifted Ouali who lost his balance and fell over the top rope. Ouali landed hard outside the ring on his neck on a table and was unable to continue in the fight. The fight was ruled a no contest )
I really feel that we can sell out the place knowing that we almost sold out the last event here in Belgium without any promotion. This fight will be well promoted by professional people in the BFN GROUP. The one thing you can’t deny is that Europeans are sports minded and will support you till the end. I expect an awesome crowd with an awesome performance.
How big would a rematch between you and Bailey be in Belgium should you win your next fight in September and if he is still world champion at that time?
I’m sure you heard this before but I would never like to look past my next opponent and Bailey has his own chicken to fry possibly with Devon Alexander. Saying that, of course that would be a fight I would want and would be a huge fight in Belgium.