Knockout wizard Tukamuhebwa fights like sparring

Finesse. East Coast’s Tukamuhebwa (R) sends Kalinabiri’s Edward Kimera staggering enroute a Champions League win. PHOTO/I. KEZAALA
 

What you need to know:

  • Tukamuhebwa’s main goal is qualifying for the Birmingham Games.

There’s nothing Joshua Tukamuhebwa understands better than boxing—a sport he has done since he was a little boy at East Coast Boxing Club in Naguru.

Now 22, Tukamuhebwa is arguably the best in the amateur settings, hardened by fighting the big chaps before the age-cluster system was introduced in amateurs boxing in 2014.

Many of his age mates fell off the wagon, but Tukamuhebwa still stands, and stronger. On Saturday, Week Nine of the Uganda Boxing Champions League, he will be eyeing a third straight knockout in the competition.

He faces Pius Sirio of Sparks Academy, whom he knocked out in the quarterfinals of last year’s trials that preceded this league. And having stopped Zebra’s Collin Mutyaba and Kalinabiri’s Edward Kimera in the light welterweight, Siriro looks no match. 

“To me it’s going to be business as usual; I work harder in training than I do in the fights,” said Tukamuhebwa. “In fact to me, fights feel like sparring sessions.”

But what makes this lanky hard puncher such a hit? “It seems opponents fear me,” he says. “And they come to the ring mentally beaten, and their coaches don’t help them to contain it.”
Blowing his own trumpet? Maybe not.

“The boys fear him, and it’s understandable; Joshua is such a beater,” Siriro’s coach Herbert Kalungi admits.
Kalungi speaks out of authority because he was a boxer at East Coast in Tukamuhebwa’s formative years at the gym, and seen him fight for nearly a decade. So is this a walkover for Tukamuhebwa? “Not really,” Kalungi said.

“I’m training my fighter to balance aggressiveness and being careful. He must concentrate and exploit the opponent’s weaknesses.

Tukamuhebwa’s main goal is qualifying for the Birmingham Games.

BOXING CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

SELECTED BOUTS 
LIGHT WELTERWEIGHT

Tukamuhebwa  vs.  Siriro
FLYWEIGHT
R. Gayita             vs.  G. Ochen
YOUTH FEATHERWEIGHT
N. Najjemba       vs.  F. Nabikolo
JUNIOR/L.WELTER WEIGHT
Nuhu Batte        vs.  Ali Miiro

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