Already assured of at least returning home with a bronze medal, super heavyweight Mike Sekabembe is on course to become the first Ugandan boxer in 24 years to win gold, writes Moses Mugalu.
Today, Sekabembe confirmed why Uganda’s boxing legacy at the Commonwealth Games cannot be underestimated as he punched his way into the semifinal medal bracket stage in Glasgow, Scotland. Sekabembe outclassed his Ghana opponent Haruna Osumanu to score a unanimous victory, which included a knockdown in the third round.
The emphatic victory assures Sekabembe, and Uganda, of a bronze medal. Semifinal losers get bronze medals. With such a domineering display from the UPDF pugilist, a gold medal for Sekabembe shouldn’t be a distant dream anymore.
He, however, has a semifinal hurdle in Englishman Joseph Joyce who knocked out homeboy Ross Henderson in the other quarterfinal bout yesterday. To reach the quarters, Sekabembe outpointed Barbados’ Anderson Emmanuel in the round of 16.
Today, Naguru-based East Coast Boxing Club’s pugilists Nasir Bashir and Fazil Juma Kaggwa step into the ring with high hopes of emulating Sekabembe. Bantamweight revelation Nasir Bashir returns to the ring against Northern Ireland’s Michael Conlan in the highly-billed quarterfinal bout this afternoon.
The 22-year-old Conlan is an Olympic bronze medalist and boasts of being the world’s number two bantamweight. But Bashir, 20, demonstrated his ability and determination when he outpointed experienced Tanzanian Emiliani Polino in the round of 16 on Sunday to book the quarterfinal berth.
The Naguru-based pugilist earned a hard-fought split decision victory against the odds. Although he has less international exposure (only made his debut at these Games), that performance should inspire him again to turn tables on favoured Conlan.
Light flyweight, Fazil Juma Kaggwa fights Tetteh Sulemanu in another ring battle that pits Uganda against Ghana for the semifinal berth.
Kaggwa was impressive as he defeated Zambia’s Bwalya Lumbwe in the round of 16.
Meanwhile, Ronald Musagala raced into today’s 800m semifinals to keep alive his dream of winning a maiden major title.
Commonwealth games Diary
Bantamweight: Nasir Bashir
vs Michael Colnan (N. Ireland), 1pm
Lflyweight: Fazil Juma Kaggwa
vs Tetteh Sulemanu (Ghana), 7.15pm
800m Semifinals: Ronald Musagala,
Source : The Observer