Shadir, Ssemuju win two straight
What you need to know:
- The two, alongside Catherine Nanziri represented Uganda at the delayed 2020 Olympics last year and enjoyed victorious professional debuts at the Phillip Omondi Stadium on April 1 under 12 Sports Rounds Promotions, a new player in the business.
Musa Shadir Bwogi and David Ssemuju marked triumphal returns to the MTN Arena-Lugogo after nearly three years since they last fought here.
The two, alongside Catherine Nanziri represented Uganda at the delayed 2020 Olympics last year and enjoyed victorious professional debuts at the Phillip Omondi Stadium on April 1 under 12 Sports Rounds Promotions, a new player in the business.
On June 24 Nanziri scored her second pro victory under A & B Promotions before his Tokyo teammates followed suit with their own conquests.
In the wee hours of Sunday Ssemuju, was just too good for the bulky Samali Ntambi, who was several kilogrammes heavier than him, but did not last three minutes of the super welterweight six-rounder which was the co-main event. He succumbed to a hard right to his lower side belly and failed to beat referee Jacob Wokorach’s count.
In the first two rounds of the main event, Shadir looked to have an equally smooth slide to victory as debutant Henry Kasujja conceded without countering. But the former national captain had to work for all six rounds as the challenger grew into the fight.
In fact, despite his inexperience, Kasujja was a better opponent than the experienced Herbert Mugarura, who had no motive to hurt Shadir on his debut.
From the third round, Kasujja used his reach advantage to throw some hard shots at Shadir, though many hit the guards. Some that landed forced Shadir to gesture that he wasn’t hurt, which just invited the opponent to prod more.
The little-known Kasujja also unusually had a bigger and noisier crowd than his opponent, who is a Lugogo celebrity.
But make no mistakes. Shadir did what he has mastered for years: unleashing a lethal right jab, either to the body or the head, while reserving his stronger left for a few clear combinations. His uppercut was equally dangerous though it missed often and even when it hit the target, Kasujja’s jaw kept him going.
Deservedly, Shadir won by majority decision: 65-55, 57-57 and 60-54.
“I thank my promoter, Team SMB, Fairplay off the Pitch, all the fans who have graced the occasion and my opponent who accepted the challenge to face me,” Shadir told the press post-match.
“In October I expect another fight perhaps against an opponent from outside Uganda. Because Ugandan opponents are hard to come by. Many like Mutyaba Basit signed the fight contracts and then ran away, but they still make noise.”
Despite the criminal poor time keeping that stretched the event into 4am, the matchmaking was superb, thanks to Faisal Ali Ashinda. And it was hard to choose the bout of the night after a series of thrillers: Ssemuju’s little brother Isaac Ssebuufu defeating Farahat Manilola in a light-welterweight four-rounder; Swalik Kisitu defeating Ibra Mubiru in a welterweight four-rounder; East and Central Africa champion John ‘JST’ Serunjogi defeating Ignatius ‘The Lion’ Onyango in a super middleweight 10-rounder.
Then came Saul ‘Bad Intensions’ Male who edged Kamada ‘Sure Fire’ Ntege in a super-middleweight eight-rounder that left the victor with a cut above each eye and the loser with a blister above his right eye. Forget the result. Both fighters landed as many punches as they conceded and each got nearly knocked out but neither kissed the canvas.
Shadir Musa Bwogi def. Kasujja Henry [MD]
(Middleweight, 6 RDS)
David Ssemuju def. Samali Ntambi [TKO 1st]
(Super welterweight, 6 RDS)
Saul Male def. Kamada Ntege [SD] (Super-Middle, 8 RDS)
John Serunjogi def. Ignatius Onyango [UD]
(Super-Middle, 10 RDS)
Isaac Ssebuufu def. Farahat Manilola [MD]
(Light-welterweight, 4 RDS)
Swalik Kisitu def. Ibra Mubiru [UD]
(Welterweight, 4 RDS)
Roger Kamulegeya def. Hassan Were [TKO 4th (Bantamweight 4 RDS)
Abdu Razak def. Conrad Seruyange [UD] (lightweights, 4 RDS)
Andrew Kikonyogo def. Nicholas Musimami [UD] (Super-welter 4 RDS)