Sunday July 1 2018

Stars to watch out for at National Intermediates Boxing final

By ABDUL-NASSER SSEMUGABI

KAMPALA. The National Intermediates Boxing Championship ends today with a series of exhilarating action expected to thrill the crowds at Katwe Grounds as clubs vie for honours in the Juniors, Youths and Elites categories.
Police lead the Elites category while Lukanga have one hand firm on the Youths trophy. Every tournament has outstanding individuals. Here are some of the stars to watch.

Isaac Ssebuufu (University of Pain)
Welterweights (69kgs)
Inspired by his big brother David Ssemuju—who represented Uganda at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast—Ssebuufu has all the attributes of potential big name. Speed, technique, urge and power. His brother praises him for that “ferocious left hook,” which staggers most of his opponents. “And sometimes he does things we didn’t train, he’s creative.” Ssebuufu, 18, attributes his steady progress his coach who has pitted him (in sparring sessions) against mature boxers like Charles Mulindwa, Hamis Ssemakula and even his elder brother Ssemuju. He had a tough fight against “the fighting” Micheal Ssengendo of East Coast, but he showed ability to adjust styles according to the opponent. In the final Ssebuufu wants “nothing less than gold.” He said: “I will cry if I get silver.” Yet his plans are bigger. “I want to join the National Open, and represent Uganda at a bigger level.”

Dan ‘Hornet’ Lwebuga (Police)
Lightweight (60kgs)
En route to the final he has stopped two of his four victims. Lwebuga, who won the National Cadets title last year expects to knock out his opponent and clinch another title as he moves closer to his dream of doing it big with gloves. The graphics designer boasts a jab that stings like a hornet (his nickname) and thinks he is wiser and faster than his next opponent. “I do what my coach (Dan Kasole) tells me; coupled with hard work, I’m on track.”

Jonah Kyobe (Lukanga)
Lightweight (60kgs)
If you are a gifted boxer, enthusiastic about what you do and with a rowdy, lively home crowd, victory becomes your middle name. Kyobe, revered by his Bwaise fans as Jonah, is the star attraction in the Youth category. He has been impressive in his two bouts to the final: ruthless in the first where he stopped Muzamir Arafat of Mutajazi BC in the second round and resilient against Badru Kawooya of Sakku BC who gave him a hard time. But Kyobe’s tough combinations helped him through. “This boy’s got work,” his fans shout as they carry him on the shoulders from his favourite red corner. And against Cobap’s Ivan Kagimu, Kyobe cannot afford to let them down. “Expect my KO,” he vowed.

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