What you need to know:
- Now Mukiibi’s decisive victory brings him to four points as well and could have enhanced his chances for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
Light Heavyweight Idris Mukiibi entered the red corner Saturday night with tough choices: win and enhance your chances for the Commonwealth Games or lose and stop dreaming.
He also had a strict game plan: jab the opponent to keep him at bay so that he doesn’t land enough tough punches.
Mukiibi nearly perfected it to defeat Lawrence Kayiwa in the main bout of Week 11 of the Uganda Boxing Champions League at Club Obligato on Bombo Road.
Kayiwa, who walks into the ring on chains while gesticulating as a beast, seemed to enjoy the louder noise from his corner as he swung lefts and rights in fury but landing just a few. He also seemed to showcase the better skillset and footwork but Mukiibi kept his eyes on the opponent and his mind on the blueprint.
With a height and reach advantage, Mukiibi’s jab clearly stung Kayiwa’s head almost in all the five rounds.
Kayiwa somehow found his way to fight closer, especially in the fourth round, landing some tough hooks and crosses to the head and the body.
But if Mukiibi had run out of gas, the interval refilled his tank and he jabbed again to a 4-1 victory, much to the frustration of Team Kayiwa.
“My game plan was jabbing him and keep him at a distance; I didn’t want to brawl with him because he is a bouncer and I can’t let him ruin my dream,” said the victor, who was mobbed by his fans, led by artiste Zex Bilangilangi.
On why he didn’t jab on the body, Mukiibi said he wanted to hit where it hurts.
“I targeted the head because on the body it would have inflicted less pain,” he said.
His coach Sam Kabugo said Mukiibi, with better reach, did not need to go for the body because it would have left his jaw exposed.
However, the Kololo Boxing Club coach admitted that had Mukiibi followed his jab with the right hook, he could even have stopped the opponent.
“We must improve that,” Kabugo said, “We were asking for it, but at some point we left him to concentrate on what he had perfected; after all he was in control.”
Kayiwa was leading the division on four points after knocking out Medi Mutebi and drawing with Mukiibi in their first meeting in January.
Now Mukiibi’s decisive victory brings him to four points as well and could have enhanced his chances for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, as Uganda Boxing Federation president Moses Muhangi said that they have entered the phase of selecting the six boxers who will represent Uganda at Games in July.
Boxing champions league . . . Select results
80kg Idris Mukiibi 4: 1 L. Kayiwa
63kg Edward Kimera KO Colline Mutyaba
51kg Ronald Gayita 5:0 Geoffrey Ochan
57kg Jema Mukisa 4: 1 Nadia Najemba
Kimera puts Matovu out
The other eye-catching moment was Edward Kimera’s swift left hook that knocked out Colline Matovu in just seconds of the light welterweight contest.