Coaches: Babu must improve

Babu attacks Hudson Muhumuza with a body shot. PHOTO/MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI 

What you need to know:

On December 26, Babu could fight Nicholas Buule for the national heavyweight title, but must improve immediately.

When Hudson Muhumuza’s heavy right hook hit Yusuf Babu’s unguarded left chin, crashing him to the canvas in the fifth round, no one was surprised. It was bound to happen.

Throughout this heavyweight battle, the co-main fight on 12 Sports Rounds Promotions’ fight card, Muhumuza was rehearsing his trademark swings, with the rage of a tsunami. Babu had dodged many, others were just mistimed. But some had connected and Babu endured with his made-of-steel jaw.

Babu did well jabbing, and keeping the opponent at a distance, but whenever he was tempted to fight close, he looked vulnerable and his corner and fans always shouted to him to “move.”

Babu, who suffered a deep cut on his right eyebrow early in the first round, deservedly won a unanimous decision. But he had learnt a lesson. That knockdown wasn’t a lucky punch, as he excitedly called it in his second post-match interview. It was an accident waiting to happen.

It even gave Muhumuza the false confidence to contest the judges’ verdict.

Must improve

December 26, Babu could fight Nicholas Buule for the national heavyweight title, but must improve immediately.

“I often exposed my left jaw and he knocked me down. It was a mistake…I must work on my defence,” Babu admitted in his first interview with Daily Monitor inside the MTN Arena-Lugogo.

Coach Lawrence Kalyango, who has coached Babu since 2012 at Cobap Club, was the main architect of this glorious comeback after more than three years of outside-the-ring trouble. But due to his obligations as a national team coach, Kalyango did not second Babu in the corner.

“It was a good fight the first time he did six rounds, moreover after three years of inactivity,” said Kalyango, who had promised a better judgement of Babu’s revival after this fight. “However, he should have jabbed, feinted and moved more but he was a bit heavy and not flexible enough.”

David Ssenyungule, who was in Babu’s corner, agreed. “Jabbing is his best weapon, but he didn’t jab enough.”

Weight deficit

At 94kg Babu was 11kg lighter than Muhumuza and complained of a power deficit but won’t quit the heavyweight division.

“Boxing is a game of pain; you feel the same pain no matter the weight division,” said Babu, who won amateur titles in welterweight, middleweight and heavyweight. “Even Muhammad Ali and [Mike] Tyson weren’t heavyweights. They were just made.”

Besides, he sees a shorter route to big titles because there are fewer heavyweights in the world than in lower divisions.

“I just have to gain more weight and improve on my power. And with my good team, I shall make it.”


David Ssemuju def. KO Herbert Mugarura, TKO 2nd


Yusuf Babu def. Muhumuza Hudson, Heavyweight, UD

Kamada Ntege def. Charles Kakande, Light heavy, KO, 2nd

Saul Male def. Abdul Njego, Light heavy, UD

Paul K. Kasumali def. Ibra Mukiibi, Welterweight, UD

Isaac Ssebuufu def. Patrick Tokeema, Light welter, TKO, 4th

Swalik Kisitu def. Farouk Luwuliza, UD