Nearly 90 days away, Ugandan Shafik Kiwanuka is already back on the roast and in the gym preparing for the Egyptian Abdalla Sammy for the Universal Boxing Council-Africa heavyweight title on May 29.
The self-styled Killing Machine beat Zimbabwe’s Thamsanq Dube in a 10-rounder on November 29, for the WBF-Africa Heavyweight title in just his third professional fight.
According to Boxrec, Dube turns 37 this year. But Kiwanuka now faces a much younger and ring fit Sammy, 29, who has won four and drawn one fight as a professional.
In his last fight, Sammy defeated fellow Egyptian Mourad Omar by unanimous decision, just a night after Kiwanuka defeated Dube at the International University of East Africa.
That was Kiwanuka’s first time to win by a decision, having finished off his previous two opponents in the first round. But his promoter Sam Buchanan of Great Strikers International says: “If he won that fight, this is going to be a cup of tea.”
Kiwanuka himself is upbeat: “I never rest, I’m ever ready for the Egyptian and come that day the Killing Machine is ready to rumble.” His trainer Abdu Tebazaalwa echoed his fighter’s readiness.
“In boxing every moment is a learning moment. We are already back training, to be ready in time,” said the former Africa Boxing Union champion. “We always change tactics according to opponents.”
He, however, hinted on the need for training equipment: “But we also need support in terms of equipment to make Shafik a big fighter like [Anthony] Joshua, [Deontay] Wilder, [Tyson] Fury, because that’s his dream.
Tebazalwa said his camp lacks proper gloves, speed ball, reaction bags, among others. “I’ve moved to several gyms around town, none has them.”
Kiwakuna vs Sammy
at IUEA Auditorium