The National Intermediates Boxing Championship finally happened last week at Club One10 in Bwaise and climaxed at Katwe Grounds on Sunday.
Every tournament has its stars, and this being a promotional event, its outstanding performers can only aim higher.
Dan Lwebuga emerged the best boxer in the elite category. His was the typical captain’s performance that ensured Police Boxing Club retained the trophy, which they won last year. Lwebuga stopped two of his four victims en route to the final.
Yet in the final he gave the mammoth crowds what they really waited for.
He threw ferocious combinations to Kololo High’s Julian Jumba, forcing him to the canvas twice in the first two rounds. Jumba was no sitting duck, himself sending Lwebuga down in the neutral corner, though the latter called it just “a push” not “a punch.” Lwebuga’s jab which stings like a hornet, always kept the resilient Jumba at bay.
Lwebuga, who won the National Cadets title last year, did not get the knockout as he expected, but it was an exciting lightweight encounter.
He is fast, strong, clever and means business. That’s good enough for a boxer with ambitions of making it big at international level.
“I’m resuming training immediately and at the National Open, I’ll be even hotter,” he vowed. “I want to vary my armoury. If you come thinking of taming my jab, I’ll surprise you with something new. I want to represent this country and win medals at the international level.”
Isaac Ssebuufu is another revelation. The little gem from Boggie Boxing Club represented University of Pain Gym in its first appearance in amateur boxing. His big brother David Ssemuju—who represented Uganda at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast—praises him for that deadly left hook and it was evident in the final.
Busabala’s Hassan Kato, who had stopped most of his opponents before, had been tipped to give Ssebuufu some hard time. And he did. But Ssebuufu was different. “I was told that he‘s a fighter, and I came aware of how to handle him,” Ssebuufu said with confidence. “My coach has put me through tough training, against experienced boxers and I know how to deal with different opponents. He couldn’t survive. And when he started coiling his hands on his trunk I knew he was gone. You don’t do that against me.”
Ssebuufu now sees himself against the likes of Musa Shadir, the national captain and whoever will be in his weight. “I fear no one. I’m just ready to face the best in my route to greatness.”