The chronology of kickboxing’s most popular fights in Uganda

As recent as six months ago, the sport of kickboxing was anything but popular

Friday March 14 2014

In perhaps his finest performance of his

In perhaps his finest performance of his career, Golola destroyed Tugume in the first round at Freedom City last year. It was a display that sent shockwaves in the sport and proved that the self-styled ‘No Joking Subject’ is arguably the most outstanding kick boxer in the country. PHOTOs BY ISMAIL KEZAALA 

By Abdu Wasike

June 1, 2011 – Moses Golola vs Abdul Qadir Rahim
To many, this fight was their introduction to kickboxing. Prior to that Ugandans didn’t have an idea of the sport. Moses Golola’s flamboyance and motor-mouth had for long made people develop a passion for the sport before watching him proper.

And on June 1, 2011 with the help of his then promoter Patrick Kanyomozi, Golola managed to have his first fight staged in Uganda against South Sudan’s Abdul Qadir Rahim. He duly knocked him out in the second round.

The verbally strong, comical, attention seeker and crowd puller managed to walk the talk as he won a world title fight. Golola manifested his brilliance as he connected often with his kicking and punched Qadir, who conversely did more kicking than boxing.

The first-ever international kickboxing fight in Uganda will forever be remembered as one of most attended fights thanks to the Golola phenomenon.

October 28, 2011 - Titus Tugume vs Malik Kaliisa
Malik ‘The Hitman’ Kaliisa was thumped by Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) soldier Titus ‘The Hard Rock’ Tugume in national kickboxing contest.

The fight that was held at Kati Kati ended with Tugume registering a dominant victory. Kaliisa conceded defeat but attributed his loss to a slippery ring. He also felt his opponent engaged in slapping that was ignored by the referee.

December 09, 2011 – Moses Golola vs Andras Nagy (RIP)
An evening that had started with a lot of heightened anticipation ended in a mixture of anguish and dismay. The talk that preceded Golola’s fight with Hungarian Andras Nagy ended in controversy with the judges, the referee and the Master of Ceremonies announcing contrasting results.

The vacant World Kickboxing Federation (WKF) Inter-Continental title fight that attracted global interest had the Master of Ceremony Roger Mugisha announce a unanimous referees’ decision in favour of Golola. But it was quickly reversed by the referee, who gave the win to Nagy with the same points sparking off a protest from Golola’s technical team and fans.

June 30, 2012 – Moses Golola vs Mate Zsamboki
In what looked like a comeback fight after his controversial win over Nagy, Golola lost in the sixth round to another Hungarian, Mate Zsamboki, who many considered a pushover.

Golola’s career looked like it had ended in shocking fashion when he quit on the stool after taking an unprecedented beating in all six rounds against his unheralded opponent at Kyaddondo Rugby Grounds.

There was not even an iota of hope in the fifth round that Golola would change the tide of the fight.
When the referee came by to look at him, his corner said the fighter, who had threatened to hurt Zsamboki’s tongue, could not continue. Golola’s sympathizers on that day acknowleged he was no match for Zsamboki who outclassed him.

July 15, 2012 – Titus Tugume vs Malik Kaliisa
In their rematch, UPDF’s Tugume continued from where he stopped IN 2011. He stopped Kaliisa to retain his 75kg middleweight national title with a fourth round technical knockout victory at the MTN Arena.

Kaliisa needed more medical attention, surprisingly from Tugume’s camp, in the third and fourth round before his trainer Istvan Rozman threw in the towel to save his fighter.

October 19, 2012 - Ronald Mugula vs Andras Nagy (RIP)
Ronald Mugula became the new world intercontinental champion after he beat then Hungarian fighter, Andras Nagy.

The much anticipated fight ended prematurely when the lean Mugula ‘echnically knocked out his Hungarian opponent in the second round.
People braved the late-night chill to wait for the five rounds. In pummeling Nagy, Mugula thus succeeded where Golola failed.

February 26, 2013 - Sharif Bukenya vs Jarkko Jussila
Sharif Bukenya was rudely awakened to the fact that he still has a lot to do if he is to make a serious challenge on the kickboxing scene.

The Ugandan kick boxer was knocked out by European champion Jarkko Jussila in the fourth round at Freedom City, Najjanankumbi last year and since then has never bounced back.

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