Legendary boxing coach Sseruwagi remembered

Thursday December 27 2018

Peter Grace Sseruwagi

Peter Grace Sseruwagi  

By Swaib Raul Kanyike

Kampala- It is no argument that Peter Grace Sseruwagi is Uganda’s most successful boxing coach, ever.
Sseruwagi, who passed away in February, left a lasting legacy that saw him guide The Bombers to 95 gold, 75 silver and 54 bronze medals in different regional, continental and global boxing championships between 1962-1990.

During his reign, the black, yellow and red colors of the Uganda flag dominated podiums and our motherland became known as a boxing goldmine.
It is no wonder that even in death, Sseruwagi’s name is still praised across the board, even curiously, by those that who never followed boxing a lot.

During a thanksgiving ceremony held in his honor at his Buziga-Konge home on Saturday, speaker after another poured their hearts out to the attendants and argued them to lead exemplary lives like Sseruwagi.

The retired Rt. Bishop Mathias Sekamanya, who presided over the ceremony, credited Sseruwagi for demystifying the ‘bad boy’ image that people had about boxing and boxers in general.

“On the side of religion and culture, he was such a pillar. He couldn’t let his celebrity status derail him from his Christianity and Buganda roots,” he added.

James Ssemanobe, the area LC1 chairman, credited Sseruwagi for treasuring a caring heart and empathy for the less privileged.

During his time as a boxer, Sseruwagi, who also participated in the 1980-1986 guerilla war that brought President Museveni to power, was renowned for his raw power and knockout prowess. During the 1958 national open championships, he knocked out Iddi Amin Dada, a feared Uganda Army Boxing Club boxer, who also went on to rule Uganda in 1971-1979.

During the 1962 Olympic Games in Rome, Sseruwagi had a sparring session with Muhammad Ali (then called Cassius Clay Jr.). Ali won the Light Heavyweight title.

Sseruwagi retired after the games and took over the national team’s coaching pads.