Heavyweight boxer Shafik Kiwanuka just cannot wait for his chance to fight for a continental title when he faces Zimbabwe’s Thamsanqa Dube November 29.Kiwanuka, aka the Killing Machine, who is on a scholarship at the International University of East Africa (IUEA), has got a chance to showcase his work to his schoolmates at the university’s auditorium when he vies for the vacant World Boxing Federation-Africa heavyweight title.
“I can’t wait to beat this guy and scoop the African title,” Kiwanuka said at the fight launch in Kansanga yesterday. “I thank IUEA for this rare opportunity; Mr Alwi (Hassan) without you the Killing Machine can’t survive.”
Rally driver Alwi is a director at IUEA and one of Kiwanuka’s sponsors.
But hasn’t a continental challenge come early for a boxer who only launched his professional career in March?
“Not really,” his trainer Abdul Tebazaalwa said. “Any promoter wants his fighter’s profile to grow but what should he do when there are no local opponents?”
Tebazaalwa himself won the more coveted Africa Boxing Union super bantam title in his sixth professional bout in 2004.
Who is Dube?
Dube is Zimbabwe’s national heavyweight champion but Kiwanuka does not know his potential opponent is also a former Pan-African World Boxing heavyweight champion.
All I know he has 12 wins, 7 KOs, and 3 losses. But that doesn’t bother me. The Killing Machine is always ready. My swords kill,” he threatened.
According to Boxrec, the official professional boxing database, Dube’s last fight was a knockout loss to South African Flo Simba August 29, 2011. He went into a two-year sabbatical. Online stories of Zimbabwe press hint on his comeback in 2013, but Boxrec does not show the subsequent bouts. Is he the right man for Kiwanuka, a youthful fighter who has won both his pro bouts since March by first-round KOs?
UPBC technical vice president, Abbey Mugayi, told Daily Monitor that his committee is going to assess Dube’s fight credibility and advise accordingly.
Kiwanuka at a glance
Nickname: Killing Machine
Record: 2 wins, 2 fights
Promoters: Great Strikers
Trainer: Abdul Tebazaalwa