Mohammed Kassim, East Coast’s new sensation, ensured that his team won their first National Boxing Open title at the MTN Arena in Lugogo on Sunday evening.
Despite sending seven boxers into the finals, flyweight Kassim was the only East Coast pugilist to record victory when he earned a split-point decision from judges to beat Cobap’s Rogers Semitala.
East Coast had 33 points coming into the final day and the other six defeats didn’t cost them as they seemed to have tallied enough during the week.
But Uganda People Defence Forces (UPDF) were left up in arms protesting the announcement made by the technical committee in awarding points during the tournament. Their point of contention was that they (UPDF) scooped five gold medals in the finals but didn’t win the trophy yet East Coast, who only notched one, were crowned champions.
“According to the AIBA competition rule book, any contest before the semifinals, the winner gets one point and the loser gets nothing while in the semis the winner gets two and in the finals three,” said the complainant Moses Mugagga, the UPDF team manager.
“But UBF decided to award five points to the winner in the finals and three points to the loser. We are not contended and are going to write to AIBA for clarification.”
But Paul Ayiasi, the UBF general secretary, confirmed that indeed the rules had been changed but after an executive meeting before the event.