Kiprotich wins Olympic gold as we remember past boxing champions


”My friends,It was a brilliant marathon by Kiprotich. I watched it on a giant TV here in London. For the first time in my life in London, I have felt proud being a Ugandan. Museveni and the NRA may have ruined our country, but I see green shoots of recovery, Our country will not continue to suffer for much longer under foreign occupation, in fact I believe we can turn things around very quickly.” said George okello

”Most boxers who were champions were Baganda – eating matooke ( without adverse effect)- the Mulindwas on this forum should read this. Its a pity that despite the talent inherent in our boys the present govt. squanders resources and neglects sports such as boxing. Lets start with:

1) Grace Sseruwagi in the 1960’s a light-welter weight boxer. He successfullly represented Uganda at the Rome Olympics. He later became one of the most successful boxing coaches Uganda ever had.

2) Ayub Kalule, born at Kibuye but certainly the most famous and decorated Ugandan boxing champion. In 1973, he was the all Africa champion in the light-welter weight division. In 1974, he won the gold medal in the Commonwealth Gmes held at Christcurch, New Zealand.He moved to Denmark in 1976 where he turned professional.
‘ Though Kalule turned professional in 1976, during 1977 he became the foremost contender for the WBA light-middleweight crown. Peter Heller in his book “Bad Intentions: The Mike Tyson Story” (1995: 142) writes that Ayub Kalule already top junior middleweight contender for the WBA crown, was from 1977 to 1979 denied a shot at the title.’

Those of us who follow Uganda /international boxing know that, Ayub Kalule’s defense of the WBA Junior-Middleweight against African-American Olympic gold medalist and superstar Ray Charles Leonard (“Sugar” Ray Leonard), is Kalule’s most internationally acclaimed fight. Undefeated Kalule had won all 36 of his previous professional fights. The fight took place at the Astrodome in Houston in Texas, amidst a capacity crowd, on June 25 1981. It was a fierce fight .The formidable Kalule continued to absorb Leonard’s faster and more accurate punches in exchange for Kalule’s bruising and ambidextrous, unpredictable punches. But Leonard did seem to sense that with the formidability of Kalule, the best thing for him to do would be to take the risk of throwing in a flurry of combinations that would disable Kalule.This was American territory and Americans wanted famous and handsome golden Olympian Ray Leonard to win. Ray Leonard displayed the antics of Muhammad Ali, and was widely regarded as the heir apparent of, “The Greatest.”

3) John “The Beast” Mugabi (born March 4, 1960). He won 42 out of 50 of his fights, (eight fights in Europe) 39 by knock-outs – and then moved to the United States, setting up residence in Florida. Over time he became a favorite of American TV networks. He won the welter-weght olympic silver medal in Moscow in 1980!
He fought and lost on points against Haggler.

4) Mustapha Wasajja fought in welter, light-middle weight and middle-weight in the 1974’s. He was born on July 16, 1953 in Kampala, In the early 1970’s, Wasajja was under the tutelage of Uganda’s legendary and most famous coach Peter Grace Sseruwagi (Seruwagi). Wasajja’s first distinguished international accomplishment came iin the African Amateur Championships held in his native Uganda, in Kampala in November 1974. Wasajja won gold in the middleweight division.

5) Cornelius Bbosa-Edwards, born in 1956 to poor parents in the shanty Kisenyi suburb, Bbosa rose through amateur ranks to the national team, moved to England where he turned professional and went on to win the world title in the US.

6) Eridard Mukwanga 1943-1997: He was a boxer won a silver medal at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City by defeating Roberto Cervantes a Mexican.

7)Others – include among others Justin Juuko, Joseph Kiwanuka, Badru Lusambya and Olympians Joseph Lubega and Sam Rukondo.

Meanwhile in June 2012:

Undefeated lightweight NABO champion Sharif “The Lion” Bogere, is patiently waiting for his moment to claim a major world title.

“I am just waiting for that day to come,” Bogere said in a message to Kawowo sports. “It’s just a matter of time before I get my moment. All am doing is keeping cool and putting my head up.”

The Las Vegas based hot shot (Bogere)is ranked number 20 by IBO in his weight division while IBF rates him at number 5, NABF puts him at number 4, WBC has him at 20 and WBO rates him number 3.

Bogere is likely up for a summer title shot against Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez, who is the currently WBO lightweight champion.

Sharif Bogere is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions. He will be the sixth Ugandan world boxing champion after John “The Beast” Mugabi, Ayub Kalule,Cornelius Bbosa Edwards,Kassim “The Dream” Ouma and Jackson “Action” Asiku.

Muzigu Sebatta
sebatta38@gmail.com

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Comments

4 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. B. Jonny Rubin.,

    Mr. Muzigu Sebatta,
    I sincerely appreciate your effort to remind us of the former Ugandan boxing “Greats”. However, I note a pattern of bias reporting here. I can’t figure out whether your intention was to remind us of the Baganda who made a mark at the international scene of boxing, or Ugandans in general. But again, John “the best” Mugabi is a Munyoro and not a Muganda.
    The purpose of my intervention here is to point out some of the names of the former “Greats” that you might have forgotten. Leo Rwabwogo, John James Odwori, Benson Masanda, Alex Odhiambo, Mathias Ouma, to mention just a few. While Leo Rwabwogo was for some years undefeated in Uganda, East Africa and Africa, thus being the Captain of the gallant Uganda National Boxing team, I defeated him twice in 1973 for the selection of the national boxing team and was duly selected as the new Captain of the Uganda National Boxing team. I am unable to list down the achievements of each one of the above mentioned “Greats”, but hope that in case of urgency, you may check with the National Council of Sports.
    Having been with the Uganda National Team for years and also fought as a professional, I can state here with honesty that the “Greatest” boxer Uganda has ever produced is, Mathias Ouma, seconded by Leo Rwabwogo.
    As for the “Greatest” Boxing Coach that Uganda ought to be proud of, is none other than Peter Grace Sseruwagi. He was not a great fighter as such, but was a good learner who put into others what he learned and could not succeed with it himself.
    A correction I wish to make about your article, is that Cornelius Bbosa never fought for the Uganda National Team. He was selected by favour by Coach P.G. Sseruwagi to represent Uganda at the Montreal Olympics, but was nolonger a citizen of Uganda. Uganda and many other nations boycotted the games.
    That’s all for now, but thanks for the memory of some of our Boxing “Greats”.
    Byaruhanga, Jonny Rubin.

  2. Elizabethm93M,

    M7’s regime has emancipated Uganda and reduced its populace to a state of hoplessness. Driven by the talent in him, Kiprotich felt the athletic passion. This passion however could not be nurtured to develop the athletic talent in him because M7 has consciously decided to choke Uganda and bring its people to their knees by denying development of talent, not only in sports but in all spheres – just in order for him remain politically powerful. Due to this selfish agenda,Uganda, has been on a slippery slope towards stone age for the past 25 years. Kiprotich’s success has come because he made the decision to fight back by doing everything possible to jump the hurdles placed by M7’s corrupt regime. He was determined to succeed and he had to find a way. ‘Where there is a will there is a way.’ Through his determination and focus he managed to break free of the shackles M7 has trapped Ugandans in. There are lessons to be learnt here – THAT UGANDANS CAN OVERCOME M7’S HURDLES THROUGH THE DETERMINATION TO FIGHT BACK…

  3. BRYN GRIFFITHS,

    I, BRYN GRIFFITHS BOXED JOHN BYARUHANGA IN 1974 COMMONWEALTH GAMES. COULD HE CONTACT ME?thank you.

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