National coach lauds Dutch boxer in Champions League

Making history. Yasmin (left) and Nassali exchange jabs during their flyweight bout in Lugogo on Saturday. PHOTO/ISMAIL KEZAALA

What you need to know:

  • The Dutch, however, also demonstrated some good footwork, though she must work on her lateral body movements.

At 8:53pm on Saturday, Ginger Yasmin entered the ring inside the MTN Arena-Lugogo to make history as the first Dutch to participate in an official amateur boxing fight in Uganda.

Powered by an upcoming raga artiste from Kibuli-Mutajjazi, Yasmin smiled with relief in the blue corner.

Her fans, including dreadlocked fellows from Kibuli and some whites, followed every second with passion: cheering her, shouting instructions and shooting videos with their smartphones.

Despite losing the flyweight contest 5-0 to Lukanga’s Maria Nassali, Yasmin smiled and hugged her opponent.

“We loved her courage,” one fan said. “It’s amazing that she lasted all four rounds.”
But she wasn’t a punching bag. Twice the referee, Sande Kisukko, cleaned her bleeding nose with cotton wool. But she never stopped doing what she could – shooting directly at the opponent’s face, if only she had packed them with more power.

But Nassali was more experienced and powerful and toward the end of the last two rounds, she threatened to stop Yasmin.

The Dutch, however, also demonstrated some good footwork, though she must work on her lateral body movements.

“I enjoy the game and I do it a lot for fun but wanted to know how it could be in the ring if I aspire for a career in boxing,” Yasmin told Monitor post-match. 

“And the fight was nice, very different from training.”

She said she has trained in kickboxing for about three years but managed to fight only once in the Netherlands before the Covid pandemic. 

“So when this opportunity came I switched to boxing.”

On why she always went for the head and not the body, Yasmin said “the head was the closest target for me.”

National Coach Mercy Mukankusi. PHOTO/COURTESY 

Mercy Mukankusi, a national female coach, defended her, noting that she can only improve with more practice. 

“At that level, it’s good that she can throw straight punches; her hands are fast and hit the target. She can do better if she keeps working,” Mukankusi said.

Bob J Hendry, the Mutajazi Boxing Club coach, who was in Yasmin’s corner, said she had been doing well while sparring with boys: “We told her to try a fight and she quickly bought the idea.”
Yasmin is the second European woman to box in the Uganda Boxing Champions League after Sandra Attermo, from Sweden.  

And on whether we should expect to see more of her gloves, Yasmin answered with a passionate smile: “Definitely, I will consider it; I’m open to everything.”


Women’s 52kg
Maria Nassali 5-0 Ginger Yasmin

Men’s 48kg
Joseph Kalema 3-2 Ben Mukisa

Men’s 67kg
Simon Sande 4-1 Umar Nvule

Youth 52kg
Benon Balyegesa 5-0 Ashraf Masereka

Juniors 70kg
Felix Onen 5-0 Victor Musana
[email protected]