Improved Nanziri primed for bigger things

Nanziri (L) and Mugerwa (R) show off their belts. PHOTO/COURTSEY 

What you need to know:

Weeks prior, trainer Ernest Majwega promised “a much improved Nanziri” after many doubted her abilities against serious boxers. And against Achieng, Nanziri convincingly silenced doubters.


Even the man who has belittled Catherine Nanziri the most since that  controversial split decision victory against Salima Tibesigwa on October 1, nodded in approval when asked about her performance against Kenyan Nicholine Achieng in the baby hours of Sunday at the New Obligato.

Nanziri’s dark blue top had the word “Champion” and indeed she is one. After winning the controversy around the National Bantamweight title, Nanziri outclassed the experienced Achieng to clinch the vacant ABU East and Central Bantamweight title. Those are two titles in nearly eight weeks.

Weeks prior, trainer Ernest Majwega promised “a much improved Nanziri” after many doubted her abilities against serious boxers. And against Achieng, Nanziri convincingly silenced doubters.

“She was much better than the Nanziri we saw against Salima,” Abbey Mugayi, promoter and technical vice president Uganda Professional Boxing Commission told Daily Monitor. “She was not rushing. She was boxing, punching and moving. Her punches were very visible for every judge to see.”

At first, Achieng tried to match Nanziri’s style but soon succumbed to her power, speed and will. Her combinations rocked Achieng’s body and hard jaw. Achieng was always in retreat mode, literally running.  

Nanziri never stopped chasing. Two big rights staggered Achieng in the fourth round but she survived. Another big pair rocked her head in the eighth. Again, she survived.

But at the end of the 10 rounds, Nanziri had not scored the stoppage she often tried. But the judges’ verdict was easily predictable. All three scored it: 100-90.

And Nanziri, Uganda’s first female Olympics boxer, became the first Ugandan lady to win an ABU regional title.

So, what next? “After about two fights, including a title defense, she will be ready to contest for the ABU continental title by March 2023,” Mugayi said.

But A & B Promotions’ Acram Iga wants his boxers to take a longer break until April.

“They have been busy and we also need to look for resources because the bigger titles we are targeting are very expensive,” Iga said, referring to the World Boxing Council-Africa title for Nanziri and the Africa Boxing Union title for Stanley Mugerwa, who knocked out veteran Juma Waiswa in one round for the National middleweight title.

“There are many fight offers but we shall choose them carefully for the good of our boxers.”

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