There was a welcome distraction as the national boxing team; The Bombers, resumed training at Lugogo Indoor after two weeks of no action.
US-based prize fighter Kassim ‘The Dream’ Ouma flanked by Robert ‘The Doctor’ Kamya and Musa Batantu visited the team preparing for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next month on Monday morning.
Ouma, who returned home for a short visit for the burial of his departed grandmother last week, wasted no time in joining the Dick-Katende-led sparring session.
The former child soldier engaged super heavyweight boxer Michael Ssekabembe in several rounds of sparring. And it was quite a breathtaking sight. They traded purposeful shots and Ssekabembe seemed to enjoy the duel as he punched the legendary Ugandan to the awe of the entire team and the press.
Ouma sustained a slight bruise inside his upper lip but sounded happy to have been part of the shift. “I had no idea the team was in camp,” said the former IBF junior world champion. “But the moment I got wind of it, I felt inclined to come.”
On why he chose Ssekabembe, Ouma said; “He had no sparring partner, I knew only me could give him a serious workout. And from what I have seen he’s got game,” said the former UPDF boxer.
The former North American Boxing Association middleweight champion was impressed by the overall team’s commitment and attitude towards training. “The boys are really up to the task,” said the 35-year-old.
“I believe if they are given the chance to represent the country again, they will make us proud. They have it in them to emulate our past heroes who won medals for Uganda like John ‘The Beast’ Mugabi, Justin ‘The Ugandan Destroyer’ Juuko and Godfrey ‘Amooti’ Nyakana among others. They can do it.”
“We like you guys. You go and make us proud, I wish you a nice trip to Scotland,” were Ouma’s parting words to the team.
OUMA AT A GLANCE
-Played for UPDF.
-Disappeared in the US while on national duty in ‘98
-IBF Junior Middleweight world title as his first gong in US in 2005.
- Won the NABA middleweight title in 2010.
-Arrested and charged with felony after punching a ‘stranger’ who made gay advances on April 22, 2014.