Sero Addes, the trainer who made David Ssemuju the fearless fighter Uganda relishes, has said his student will have revenge on his mind against a Moroccan opponent at the African Olympic Qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal.
Ssemuju was lucky to squeeze into the quarter finals with a controversial split decision against Kenyan Olympian Rayton Okwiri on Sunday, despite Okwiri winning the first two rounds: 3-2 and 4-1. At the African Games last year Ssemuju boomed with four victories but lost the middleweight final in a split decision to Moroccan Tarik Allali in Morocco.
He feels he deserved to win and now he has to prove it, though against a different Moroccan—Amrani Ezzerrifi, who stopped Ethiopia’s Neka Temesgen.
“Ssemuju will stand to revenge against a Moroccan fighter because he felt cheated in Rabat,” Sero told us via phone yesterday. “Whatever opponent comes his way will face it rough because Ssemuju is much more eager to get something bigger.”
Against Okwiri, Ssemuju seriously needed some guidance. And if he had a chance, during the intervals, he would have called his trainer in Kampala.
Sero agrees: “In the first round there were some changes his seconders should have enforced for him to score more in the second. There were some punches missing but I’ve told him via WhatsApp. “He was supposed to add more jabs and more attack….especially from the right because the opponent was a southpaw…but he was giving him some gap…
“I always tell him to fight from inside, close and not leave any gap.”
That fearless approach is how Sero has nurtured Ssemuju, and it’s what helped him beat the stubborn, big and hard-hitting Yusuf Nkobeza in January to book the ticket to Dakar.