What you need to know:
- This follows the exit of compatriots Catherine Nanziri and David Ssemujju.
- Today | Boxing- Welterweight | 11:30AM Shadir Bwogi vs. Eskerkhan Mediev
Bombers captain Shadir Bwogi is the last man standing and the nation’s only hope of a first win inside the Olympic boxing ring in 17 years.
Welterweight Shadir Bwogi carries the weight of a entire nation that is waiting for a first boxing victory at the Olympics in 17 years, when he takes on Georgia’s Eskerkhan Madiev today.
This follows the exit of compatriots Catherine Nanziri and David Ssemujju.
Bwogi was the only Ugandan who qualified directly for the Tokyo Olympics and now remains the only one of three with a chance to win Uganda’s first Olympic bout since Sam Rukundo’s victory against Puerto Rico’s Alexander de Jesús in the Round of 16 lightweight contest at the 2004 Games in Athens, Greece.
On Saturday, Madiev eliminated Cuban-born favourite Azerbaijani Lorenzo Sotomayor, a 2016 Olympic silver medalist, to book a date with Bwogi, who got a bye to the last 16.
The referee stopped the contest after two rounds when Sotomayor was deemed unfit to continue with a bleeding cut below his left eye. Even then, three judges had scored it 19-19 but two had given Madiev 20-18, hence his victory.
Madiev has also lost twice to Great Britain’s Pat McCormark, who defeated Bwogi at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Ssemujju joins Nanziri out
Nanziri, Uganda’s first female Olympic boxer lost 5-0 to Japan’s first female Olympic boxer Tsukimi Namiki in the flyweight division on Sunday, while Ssemujju lost the middleweight contest by the same score to Algerian archrival Younes Nemouchi yesterday.
Ssemujju had the heart to attack but lacked the sharpness to endanger the opponent or avoid Nemouchi’s offense, who was better and fitter.
When Nemouchi defeated Ssemujju in the semifinal of the African Olympic Qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal, in February 2020, the Ugandan was not convinced by the judges’ decision.
This time though, there was nothing to suggest he could fault the five judges who scored it 30-27 for Nemouchi. Instead, he the middleweight pugilist will blame his inactivity since February 2020, yet his opponent had fought six times since then.
If anything, Ssemujju’s loss merely confirmed the ill-preparation – Covid disruptions aside – of the Bombers.