In the early 1980s, Boxing caught the public eye due to its meteoric rise as the country witnessed most of the great boxers in Uganda.
John Mugabi who was nicknamed ‘The Beast’ for his aggressive style came through that generation of the golden era. His journey started in 1978 as he won the Bronze medal at the All Africa games and went on to win a silver medal at the 1980 summer Olympics in the welterweight category. He went on to torment the world as he dominated boxing in the categories of super welterweight where he won the WBC tittle.
The likes of Ayub Kalule, Francis Nyangweso, Justin Juuko who won gold at the Olympic games in Auckland New Zealand alongside Godfrey Nyakana and Kassim ‘The Dream’ Ouma who won the IBF junior middleweight tittle are known to be instrumental figures to the Boxing fraternity.
The latest being Sharif Bogere who is currently signed under Mayweather promotions.
All this looks to be history to the faded glory of boxing which once dominated the sports books in Uganda for the performances put up by boxers both on National, Africa and the international level.
Some of the reasons for Boxing taking a back seat have been administrative.
Uganda’s last medals in boxing on the African continent came from David Kavuma Ssemujju and Isaac Masembe who won Silver and Hellen Baleke’s bronze at the 2019 African games.
In the Moses Muhangi era as the president of Uganda Boxing Federation (UBF), it’s where the boxing fraternity witnessed the first lady boxer take part in the Olympic games and also the launch of the Boxing Champions League as players showcase their talents in semi professional bouts.
Muhangi will be commended for managing to secure a long term partnership with Probellum, a company that is aiming at marketing and promoting the Boxing talent in Uganda as UBF seeks to revive the lost glory.
Probellum is a professional boxing promotions company and marketing agency working with some notable boxers across the globe as they organise professional bouts in Asia, Europe and South America.
Muhangi, during the UBF-Probellum partnership, said that he wants to take back Uganda to being Africa’s super power in Boxing.
“Uganda has a rich history in the sport and we are determined to transform the country into Africa’s boxing powerhouse. This partnership with Probellum, a huge global brand, will allow us to achieve our ambitions.” the UBF president said.
The Boxing champions League has also garnered some good media following as it also secured TV rights with Next Media.
The deal includes airing out live boxing matches and also the first ever boxing show dubbed ‘jab jab’ strictly analysing the boxing events from the champions League among others.
The big question on everyone’s mind is whether Muhangi is on the right path to revive the lost glory of boxing in Uganda.
The boxing champions League created some controversies as the big name players on the bombers team refused to sign up the contracts as one of the regulations to take part in the champions League.
The defiant boxers were later put back into champions League participation after the late intervention from Minister Hamson Obua and National Council for Sports (NCS).
The round two of the boxing champions League is set for December 18 at the Indoor Arena in Lugogo.