Sunday February 9 2014

Is this the new dawn for boxing in Uganda?



Over the course of the seven years marred with administrative wrangles, Uganda Boxing Federation (UBF) has certainly endured its share of pot holes along the way.
The mire saw amateur boxing subjected into painstaking inactivity. Uganda henceforth missed the London Olympics.
But the tail end of last year envisaged some relief following a successful amalgamation of a new constitution and subsequent elections to usher in a new executive.

The elections, which followed an Aiba-guided normalisation process, brought in new faces in leadership, constitution and rules in line with the world body’s recommended changes in the sport.

Entebbe Boxing Club’s Kenneth Gimugu beat Member of Parliament for Kyadondo South Issa Kikungwe with 31 votes against 24.
As witnessed in the previous elections in 2008 and 2010, Aiba assigned the Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) to supervise the regulation processes.
The process, overseen by Uganda Law Society president Ruth Sebatindira, ushered Gimugu and his team into power. And somehow, signs of a brighter future were beginning to be seen after UBF managed to organize the National Novices’ Championship in December.

Naguru based East Coast Boxing club won the championships that attracted over 250 boxers from different clubs all over the country.
The federation’s first assignment this year was the National Intermediates Championships that were concluded last month with Police and East Coast sharing spoils (28 points) to the championship amid controversy on who has to keep the trophy first.

The tournament was a precursor to this month’s National Open/Seniors Championship scheduled for February 28 – March 1 at Lugogo from which pugilists can dream of their return to the international scene.
The Bombers last appeared at an international event in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China but are already assured of five slots in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

At the Beijing Olympics, the country was represented by only one boxer - Ronald Serugo - yet it’s through boxing over the years that Uganda rocked the international scene before athletics’ dominance now.
Yet in 1970, Edinburgh in Scotland, Uganda’s performance in boxing was the most uplifting with our pugilists winning three gold medals (James Odwori, Mohamed Muruli, and Benson Masanda) and two silver medals (Leo Rwabwogo and Deogratias Musoke).