KAMPALA. Uganda Professional Boxing Commission (UPBC) has suspended two officials for failing in their respective roles.
Technical vice president, Abbey ‘Arum’ Mugayi, is being accused of presiding over a boxing fight in which Kizito Ongom, aka Kasumaali, a Ugandan, fought under a pseudo Kenyan identity, which according to UPBC president Salim Uhuru puts the commission in disrepute.
“Throughout the fight Kasumaali, a Ugandan, was called a Kenyan. It’s absolutely wrong and Mugayi, who represented the commission was supposed to stop it. For failure to do his duty we have resolved to suspend him and his promotion company,” Uhuru told Sunday Monitor.
“Mugayi owes us and Uganda an apology for condoning that deception. It’s risky. What if Kenya complains?”
Kasumaali was meant to fight Moses Golola on Heroes’ Day in Kampala but promoter Eddie Gombya cancelled the fight.
Mugayi, who is also the owner of Ugandan Sports Promotion Company, took it to Arua on Eid Day.
He said the organisers in Arua had already announced a Kenyan as Golola’s opponent.
“That’s why they insisted on referring to Kasumaali as a Kenyan,” Mugayi said.
“I tried to stop them but they didn’t listen. What more could I do?”
However, other parties tell slightly different versions.
Abdu Kaddu Sabata, who was the fight referee, said the announcer kept calling Kasumaali Kenyan but does not remember Mugayi attempting to stop it.
He, however, thinks a warning to Mugayi, not a suspension would suffice.
Meanwhile, Kasumaali told us that he did not know the genesis of the Kenyan label.
The weigh-in was done in Kampala. “We reached Arua late Monday night. When I saw the banners reading Golola vs Ogwang I thought it was a misspelling of my name Ongom,” Kasumaali said.
“But someone told me Ogwang, a Kenyan, was Golola’s designated opponent before my fight with Golola on Heroes’ Day was cancelled.
“Anyway, I was concerned being labelled Kenyan in my own country but I focused on fighting. But even before the post-fight interview someone tapped me and told me ‘you’re Kenyan speak Swahili’. The organisers know better.”
UPBC also suspended Jackson Mugisha, the commission publicist and temporarily replaced him with Hussein Babu, the promoters’ representative.
Uhuru said Mugisha has neglected his communication roles.
“He’s silent, doesn’t attend meetings or events,” Uhuru said.