KAMPALA-Light heavyweight Joshua Male was easily the best boxer among the 14 who fought the eliminations trials for the All-Africa Games at Kamwokya playgrounds Sunday night.
Boxers exhibited reasonable levels of fitness and competitiveness testament to what they have undergone at the residential camp in Luzira Prison. But work alone is no guarantee for a place on the Bombers team that will represent Uganda at the continental Games beginning August 19 in Rabat, Morocco. Luck is equally vital.
Boxing was given only eight slots for boxers, and two for officials, and names must be submitted by today. So the national team selectors face a tough choice to determine the eight boxers, from over 15 available.
“Our hands are tied, we were limited to only ten slots,” Moses Muhangi told the press Sunday evening. “We wanted to take a full team of boys and girls. We were even ready to borrow money if that’s what it takes, but we were told it’s impossible.”
National coach Patrick Lihanda said they were due to meet for the selection [the ratio of boys to girls either 6:2 or 5:3] but was coy on details of what would be considered to choose one good boxer over another. But usually in such dilemmas, bias aside, selectors prefer boxers whose weight divisions could be less competitive.
So even though bantamweight Isaac Masembe oozed class in knocking out Rogers Kamulegeya, he can be sacrificed for super heavy Solomon Geko, whose medal chances are higher because his division attracts fewer entries.
Champion Businge [light fly]
Isaac Masembe [bantam]
Joshua Tukamuhebwa [lightweight]
Hamid Daku [light welter]
Musa Shadir [welterweight]
David Ssemuju [middleweight]
Joshua Male [Light heavy]
Solomon Geko [super heavy]
Maureen Ajambo [flyweight]
Rebecca Among [light welter]
Emily Nakalema [welterweight]
Hellen Baleke [middleweight]