Pugilists Matovu-Kibira renew their rivalry with Birmingham in sight

Pound For Pound. Matovu (L) of Lubya tusstling it out with Owen Kibira (R) of Lukanga in the Welterweight 67kg elite category. PHOTO | ISMAIL KEZAALA

The first welterweight brawl between Owen Kibira and Ukasha Matovu ended in a draw, much to the disappointment of the latter.

“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,” Matovu told Daily Monitor after that fight in February.

But each will need to be decisive when they renew their rivalry in the main fight of the Uganda Boxing Champions League’s Week 12 at the MTN Arena Lugogo tomorrow night.

The 21-year old Matovu even predicted a stoppage in the rematch and his coach Lawrence Kalyango, aka Coach Lora, assured us that his boxer is in finer form.

Decisive time

“Ukasha was slower in his shooting and movement but we have been working on that since that fight and seems to be in finer form,” he said. “We must be decisive this time.” Uganda will send only six boxers to the Commonwealth Games come July in Birmingham, UK and the league being the only selection competition, the winner might have enhanced their chances for the Games. “We shall think about the Games after securing this victory,” Kalyango said.

Making the team to Birmingham shall be a giant leap in either boxer’s career. Matovu’s only international assignment was at the 2018 African Youth Boxing Championships in Casablanca, Morocco, where he dropped out in the quarterfinals to Tunisia’s Malek Rahmouni and narrowly missed a medal. Meanwhile Kibira was one of the three sparring partners for the boxers that represented Uganda at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Tomorrow, these arch-rivals will swap corners: the stylish southpaw Kibira, of Kyengera Boxing Club (BC) will switch to the blue corner while the stocky orthodox, Matovu of Lubya BC, will be in the red corner.


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