Boxing promoters postpone events due to lockdown extension

Friday April 17 2020

Hopeful. Kiwanuka (R) training at KBC in March.

Hopeful. Kiwanuka (R) training at KBC in March. He will have to wait a little longer to fight Egypt’s Sammy. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA 

By ABDUL-NASSER SSEMUGABI

Most boxing promoters who had planned events between May and July have decided to postpone them following President Museveni extended the lockdown to combat the spread of the Coronavirus Disease for another 21 days.

The initial State ban on all sporting activities, among other social events since March 18, was scheduled to end April 20. But despite Uganda having seven recoveries of the 55 coronavirus cases, and no deaths(by Tuesday), the head of state announced that the coast is far from clear, hence maintaining the status quo, with most businesses closed, until May 5.

Boxing promoters felt the blow. “Obviously, we can’t organise an event under these circumstances,” said Emmanuel Mwesigwa, of Great Strikers Promotions, who were organising Shafik Kiwanuka’s fight against Egyptian Abdalla Sammy on May 29.

“Already we were in a tight state, with boxers not training enough. Now the extension is even a harder blow because nothing will change until May 5. That’s a very short period for us to put all the pieces together.”

Mwesigwa, who operated a shop in the New Taxi Park, now locked at home, is not sure of the new date for the event.

“We shall discuss with our partners like International University of East Africa and decide on when to restage the fight. It will also depend on the situation in Egypt, where our opponent is coming from.”

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By yesterday Egypt had 2505 confirmed coronavirus cases, 589 had recovered and 183 had died. Eddie Gombya of Step by Step Promotions, has postponed the June 21 event whose main fight was between Charles Mulindwa and Mwesigwa Tansala for the National Welterweight Title.

“We shall have the event on December 26,” Gombya told us on phone. “We needed sponsors, fighters should be in the finest shape, and even if the lockdown is unlocked in early May, the Ministry of Health guidelines may be too expensive for us to follow.”

Amigo Promotions’ Richardson Kigozi is also looking between August and October for the Kenny Lukyamuzi v Malawian Chikondi Makawa fight which was meant for June 20.

However, Hussein Babu, the promoters’ representative at the Uganda Professional Boxing Commission, hopes the event in which Moses Golola and Kizito Ogom, aka Kasumaali are scheduled to fight in August, will happen as planned.

“If the lockdown is lifted in early May, we can have enough time to prepare,” Babu of Nara Promotions told us on phone. “The challenge could be convincing the [financially depleted] sponsors.”

POSTPONED EVENTS

Great Strikers
Shafik Kiwanuka vs. Abdalla Sammy
Step by Step
Charles Mulindwa vs. M. Tansala
Amigo Promotions
K. Lukyamuzi vs. Chikondi Makawa

assemugabi@ug.nationmedia.com

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