Olympic Bombers Join Paid Ranks

Boxers who represented Uganda at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have turned proffessional.

Shadir Musa Bwogi, David Ssemujju and Catherine Nanziri will have their first pro fights on April 1 2022 at Omondi Stadium Lugogo organised by 12 Sports Round.

For Nanziri, who became the first female fighter to represent Uganda at the Olympics, says that she has not fully turned pro but will use the opportunity to remain active.

And its important to note that these Boxers still have a chance of representing Uganda at future competitions including the 2022 Commonwealth games in Birmingham provided they have not exceeded eight pro fights during the period.

“I congratulate 12 Sports Round Company for fulfilling the requirements as per UPBC and as per rules and regulations guiding proffessionals in this country,” said Salim Uhuru, the president of Uganda Proffessional Boxing Commission.

Salim Uhuru and Ssembuuya Steven (middle). Fred Kisekka photo

Uhuru, who doubles as the Mayor Kampala Central, said that they are going to be great partners with 12 Sports Round and vowed to support them along the way.

“As UPBC we have had challenges especially fights that have not been taking place but we are here to promote it, as UPBC we cannot be here without promoters, we agreed with the technical team that the sanction fees will be waived off and the ring officials will be catered for by UPBC and that is how we are going to move for these six months as we motivate more people to come and promote these fights.”

“For the fighters, especially the Olympians, we are very proud of you, we welcome you to the professional industry, I want you to shine because it’s the boxers to shine, not the administrators. You are the foundation of Boxing and we are behind you 100%.”

Shadir Musa, Bombers captain, who lost by split decision (3-1) against Georgia’s Madiev Eskerkhan at the Olympics, will face Herbert Mugarura on April 1 at Lugogo.

“We had done everything at Amateur level, so I wanted to keep my legacy shining and that is why I had to join the proffessional ranks,” Shadir said.

“And it’s also the right time in terms of my age, I am in my prime and it’s time to see that I can fetch some money. Representing my country may not be that rewarding in terms of money. But here, I am guaranteed of money for every fight at least.

“We also had some wrangles with Uganda Boxing Federation, we disagreed somewhere and I had to move on.”

Ssemujju lost to Algerian Yeounes Nemouchi by unanimous decision (5-0) in Tokyo, will face Hamza ‘Champion’ Latigo in his first proffessional fight at Lugogo.

“I have had many fights at Amateur level, and turning pro is like the climax of boxing. I went in Olympics and many others international competitions, I had done at least everything there, and that is why I have decided to turn pro,” Ssemujju briefly said.

Female Boxer Catherine Nanziri

Nanziri, who lost her fight to Japan’s Tsukimi Namiki by unanimous decision in the Round of 32 of the women’s flyweight division at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo, will face Kenya’s Nichole Achieng at Lugogo come April 1.

She clarified: “Actually I have not turned Pro, I am under A&B promotions which has not yet announced that I have turned Pro, I am just trying to keep up in the game so that I can remain fit. I have not been active in recent months yet my friends are competing in the UBF Champions League.

“I still have unfinished business at Amateur level, I have a dream of winning Uganda a medal and I can only achieve that through remaining active for now.”

Nanziri also harbours dreams of turning pro in the near future. “Of course I am thinking about turning pro as well because Boxing is a sport where they hit head to lower abdomen, why would I keep playing Amateur when punches hurt yet am not paid. I should go for matches where its business. Since day one I look at Boxing as Business, I just wanted to get my good profile from amateur before turning pro.”

Stephen Ssembuya, the CEO of 12 Sports Round, a Boxing promotion and Management Company, is buoyant and excited about his new venture.

Ssembuuya stated: “They have reached the ceiling of Boxing, they have won almost everything there. A Sportsman has limited time, so we wanted to give them a chance in proffessional industry. And as a company, we are so much committed to help them in their new journey, for starters, we have given them four fights as a guarantee this year, we have negotiated with KCCA to pay them monthly salaries for the next two years, and we are negotiating more better deals including insurance in the coming weeks. They will benefit in terms of building their records.”

Ssembuya also revealed that he is so flexible in that 12 Sports Round will not deter them from representing Uganda at future National events in case they are still eligible to take part.

Eight fights, including three involving the Olympians, are organised at Omondi Stadium Lugogo on April 1 2022 where entrance is Sh20000 (Ordinary), Sh500000 (VIP) and Sh1m (for a table).

The Fights:
•Shadir Musa Bwogi vs Herbert Mugarura
•David ‘De Animal’ Ssemujju Vs Hamza ‘Champion’ Latigo
•Swalik ‘Tyson’ Kisitu Vs Kayemba ‘Kasumali’ Paul
•Catherine ‘of Ug’ Nanziri Vs Nicole Achieng (Kenya)
•Stanley Mugerwa Vs Ibra Mukiibi
•Raymond Mugisha Vs Farouk Luwuliza
•Roger ‘Bantam’ Kamulegeya Vs Jowali Kalenzi
•Isaac Ssebwufu Vs Godfrey Kyawaomu


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