KAMPALA. Ugandan boxer Shafik Kiwanuka launched his professional career with a huge and fast knockout of Kenyan David Khalama in just the first round.
At the weigh-in Thursday, Kiwanuka told his fans to come to MTN Arena early otherwise you might miss. I want to finish off the opponent very fast.” He walked his big talk. The bell for this light heavyweight bout went at 11:56pm and by 11:59pm Kiwanuka was celebrating.
Khalama first showed some feinting technics, with Kiwanuka firing blanks and you would think he would pose some trouble. But that was all he could do. When Kiwanuka finally took him to the ropes, connected a combination of three—including his thunderous right—to the body, Khalama went on his knees in a neutral corner. When referee Simon Katongole allowed them to “box” again, Kiwanuka landed another 1-2 on the body. This time Khalama did not wait for the count. He just surrendered, before three minutes of the fight, to send Kiwanuka’s fans into delirium. They dived into the ring from all directions, dancing awkwardly, shouting, until Police chased them out.
There were already doubts on Khalama’s abilities as a replacement for fellow Kenyan Obadia Mwangi, who was ruled out for medical reasons, and his early retirement, without any resistance, did not prove doubters wrong. But there’s no belittling the works of The Killing Machine and his trainer Abdu Tebazalwa, the best bantamweight of his generation.
“I told you my swords are sharp. They kill. Now the road to emulate the like of Mugabi, Ayub Kalule, has begun. I’m ready for anyone who crosses my way,” Kiwanuka said.
The crowd was small. The organisation not lit. But the last bout [after the main bout] ended in time [00:50am]. A big plus by the recent standards. And Big Strikers International can only promise better.
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