Lukanga Boxing Club and UPDF emerged the biggest victors as the National Cadets’ Boxing Championships climaxed Saturday in front of the scanty crowds at the MTN Arena Lugogo.
The three-pronged inter-club tourney which started Monday entered a total of 289 boxers in three age categories: juniors, youths and elites from 46 clubs.
Team Lukanga won two trophies after topping the tables in the juniors and youths categories with 21 and 30 points respectively, whereas UPDF clinched the elites’ title after all their five finalists won their bouts and 32 points.
Telling the army men’s success story, Warrant Officer Yusuf Kityo, who was in charge of UPDF, said their success was a product of proper preparation, expertise and determination.
“We had taken all these boys for military training when we learnt of this tournament, we selected the best of them to represent us,” Kityo told Daily Monitor just after Day Four action. “We chose the best senior team knowing we had no youth and junior teams like our competitors. Small wonder therefore that five of eight are now champions.”
Yet one of their best performers, light welter Emmanuel Batalingaya, was unlucky to lose his semifinal bout after knocking out two of his opponents prior.
Kityo added that their coaching staff, made of qualified AIBA coaches was another of their strong points.
“We knew just what to do.”
Isaac Ssenyange, aka Zebra was the presiding head coach for Lukanga—an amalgamation of boxers from different clubs. He attributed their triumph to preparation and facilitation from their funder Sam Lukanga.
“Compared to other clubs, Lukanga was well prepared for this tournament. We had about 16 coaches (from other clubs) to take care of business and it really paid off handsomely,” Zebra said.
Lukanga, the self-acclaimed Don King of Uganda, himself said he envisaged this success, though he was incensed by the judges’ poor standards
“To promote sports, you must have the heart, because it is more of giving than getting and this achievement was expected. Yet we would have scored more save for the judges’ and referees’ poor standards they robbed us of a couple of victories, for instance, this should be checked,” he said.
East Coast, last year’s victors in the Novices blamed their poor performance on injustice, yet according to their opponents, they are quintessential beneficiaries of the same.
Bout of the day
The duel between spider weights Derrick Mubiru (Namungoona) and East Coast’s Shafik Kalawo was superb with both juniors oozing sheer talent though Mubiru’s 2-1 defeat looked overtly controversial.
But it was Stuart Ssenoga’s match against Asuman Sekabira that stood out. Both bantam weight juniors were good at jabbing, swift punching hard and fast in the first two rounds. Yet Ssenoga(Lukanga) got more venomous with the clock.
The shorter boxer attacked Sekabira (Cobap) like a wounded viper, pouring a torrent of rights and lefts much to the awe of the crowds. Stopping the third round was only logical.
Lukanga 21 pts
Kampala High 14
East Coast 8
Youth (17-18 years)
East Coast 6
Elite (19-40 years)
SELECT FINAL RESULTS
Stuart Ssenoga TKO – Asuman Sekabira
Shafik Kalawo 2-1 Derrick Mubiru
Ronald Gayita 3-0 Allan Sserwanga
Latib Muwonge 3-0 Ivan Magala
Siraj Bukenya 3-0 Akram Iga
John Owino RTD Joshua Mase
Martha Akinyi 3-0 Carol Nagawa
SOURCE: Daily Monitor