National Open: New season, new winner

Sunday February 3 2019

David Semuju (L) of KCCA outpunched Frank

David Semuju (L) of KCCA outpunched Frank Serugo in the semis and now faces Ugandan Bomber Musa Shadir of East Coast in the finals. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA 

By ABDUL-NASSER SSEMUGABI

BOXING. Last year’s edition was postponed due to the political quagmire that rocked boxing. As we head for the final, Lukanga seek to win it for the second time while a rejuvenated East Coast wants a maiden diadem.

Since the introduction of the age separation, in late 2014, the Elites’ trophy, the most-coveted at the National Boxing Open Championship, has changed hands every season. Before then, clubs like Lukanga, Kampala Boxing Club, and KCCA in the 80s, among others, could win the Open back-to-back or even thrice on the trot.

But since Aiba, the international open boxing body, introduced the age-seperation system: Juniors (14-16 years); Youths (17-18 years) and Elites (19-40 years) no club has ever defended the Elites’ trophy, the ultimate prize. East Coast won the last edition of the mixed age tournament early 2014 but UPDF clinched the new format of the championship in 2015. Lukanga in 2016, KCCA in 2017.

Last year’s edition was postponed due to the political quagmire that rocked boxing. As we head for the final of the protracted edition today, Lukanga seek to win it for the second time while a rejuvenated East Coast wants it for the first time. Both clubs have four finalists and Lukanga, leading with 19 points, has a slight advantage over their rivals who have 18 points. KCCA, who broke a 28-year jinx by winning in 2017, are technically out of the equation because on 12 points their two boxers can only fetch a maximum of six points.

FINALS - BOUTS TO WATCH

Flyweight
Muhammad Lwanga (Katwe) vs. JB Katongole (East Coast)
Bantam
Isaac Masembe (Cobap) vs. Frank Muhairwe (KCCA)
Lightweight
Yasin Adinan (Kibuli) vs. Ssali Wasswa (Lukanga)
Welterweight
Musa Shadir (East Coast) vs. David Ssemuju (KCCA)
Heavyweight
Yusuf Babu (Cobap) vs. Emma Kyambadde (Lukanga)

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