KAMPALA. Uganda Professional Boxing Commission has joined the continent in mourning Nelson Sapi, the secretary general of the Africa Boxing Union who passed on yesterday morning.
For over 20 years Sapi had served African boxing in the different administrative positions and Salim Uhuru, the UPBC president, says the Zambian was a good friend to Uganda.
“It’s such a big loss to Uganda and Africa at large…” Uhuru mourned. “We have been preparing negotiations with him to see that our boxers get some professional fights on the continent. Hopefully, we shall move on.”
Sapi, who has also been chairman of Zambian Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (ZPBWCB), attended the ABU Convention at Hotel Africana in Kampala, Uganda last September in which Uhuru was appointed member of the ABU board. He remember Sapi as “part of the committee that recommended me.”
“Sapi has been one of the pioneers of professional boxing, contributing to some of the important decisions. It’s a big loss to Africa,” said UPBC general secretary Mark Jackson Mugwanya.
By press time the cause of his death had not yet been announced but Mugwanya said even during the summits in Nairobi and Kampala last year he wasn’t feeling well. “He was undergoing cancer treatment in South Africa.”
According to a Facebook post by New Diggers, a Zambian news channel, Sapi was an amateur boxer in the 1960s before he switched to football. He coached Mutondo Football Stars, which played division one super league football.
He was later appointed as a Committee Member for the Lusaka Rugby Team for almost four years. In 2002 he was elected chair of the boxing board. At the same time becoming director of the Commonwealth Boxing Board, a position he resigned three years later.
In 2005 he was elected ABU vice president for East and Central Africa, representing 10 countries.
Sapi will be buried today Uhuru said they would have loved to attend the burial but because it’s today, it’s hard. “As UPBC we shall send our official condolence messages to Zambia and the ABU.”