Ex-youth Bomber Matovu eyes Commonwealth Games

Kibira Owen against (L) fights with Matovu Ukasha during a Boxing Champions League game in Kampala on February 12. PHOTO/HANDOUT

What you need to know:

  • The main fight of matchday six was an end-to-end affair between the stylish southpaw Owen Kibira of Kyengera Boxing Club in Red Corner and the stocky orthodox, Matovu of Lubya Boxing Club in Blue Corner.

Ukasha Matovu’s only international assignment was the African Youth Boxing Championships in Casablanca, Morocco in 2018.

Nearly four years later, now the elite welterweight boxer is punching whatever crosses his path to represent Uganda at the Commonwealth Games come July in Birmingham, UK.

“A lot happened between then and now but my mission is returning to the national team and box at the Commonwealth Games,” Matovu told Daily Monitor exclusively just after a thrilling match at the Uganda Boxing Champions League on Saturday.

The main fight of matchday six was an end-to-end affair between the stylish southpaw Owen Kibira of Kyengera Boxing Club in Red Corner and the stocky orthodox, Matovu of Lubya Boxing Club in Blue Corner.

Both walked their build-up trash talk as they fused skill, will and power as they sought to cancel out each other.
The action-packed face-off that kept the, albeit scanty, crowds on their feet, unsurprisingly ended in a draw.

Matovu was not happy with the judges – he thought he deserved victory.
“I expected a win but the judges saw it otherwise,” Matovu said. “But that tasks me to work even harder to be more decisive in the rematch and show Owen that I’m his senior.”

‘No obstacles’
Last year, Kibira spent nearly two months sparring with Uganda’s representatives to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but Matovu boasts a bigger CV.

At the 2018 continental youth championships in Morocco, he eliminated Cape Verde’s Davide Cleiton Pina by unanimous decision, but lost the quarterfinal bout to Tunisia’s Malek Rahmouni by the same score, missing out on the medal bracket and a chance to qualify for the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 
(Teammates Reagan Musoke and Mazda Muhammad Bunya won bronze and silver respectively).

“Since then I have faced a lot of life challenges and many wrote me off as a spent force but thank God I have managed to overcome them and bounce back. And my mission is on.”

The 21-year-old warned: “I was superb in the trials that ushered us into this league and I don’t see any obstacles in my division. To my opponent, better up your game because in the rematch, you may not last the distance.”

BOXING CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

SELECT RESULTS

ELITE, WELTERWEIGHT
Owen Kibira     draw     Ukasha Matovu
YOUTH BANTAMWEIGHT
Ibrahim Kemis     bt     David Asaba
LADIES LIGHTWEIGHT
Zahara Nandaula     draw     Sarah Laker
JUNIORS LIGHTWEIGHT
Mugisha Muzoora    bt     Charles Higenyi

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