Uganda’s National Boxing team, the Bombers, have arrived safe and sound in Yaounde, Cameroon ahead of the 2023 Africa Boxing Championship.
Uganda Boxing Federation sent out a team of 17 Boxers – 6 women and 11 men – for the Championship, the biggest contingent ever.
This, however, has 12 boxers who will be making their debut on the National Team.
Five Bombers – Joshua Tukamuhebwa, Solomon Geko, Idris Mukiibi, Matovu Ukasha and Female Boxer Emily Nakalema, have worn the National colours before.
The team had just two weeks in Camp, but Head Coach Twaibu Mayanja remains confident
“We were just polishing these boxers during this short spell we had with them in camp because they have been active with their clubs training and the Boxing Champions League of course,” Mayanja said.
“We just focused on Speed and Endurance, we didn’t have a lot to work on because we have been monitoring them during the Champions League.”
Uganda will be looking for more medals after winning three in 2017 and just two in 2022.
In 2017 in Brazzaville (DR Congo), Godfrey Kakeeto won silver in Bantamweight, Muzamir Kakande had gold in Welterweight and David Ayiti scooped Silver in Super Heavyweight.
In 2022 in Maputo, Mozambique, Jonathan Kyobe (57kg) and Yusuf Nkobeza (75kg) scooped bronze each.
Both Kyobe and Nkobeza have not been named on the Team.
“We are not on pressure to bring medals,” Coach Mayanja added.
“But I believe I have a strong team, including these debutants who I think have an added advantage because their opponents will be seeing them for the first time and will not know what to expect of them.
“They don’t know their tactics and it’s that underdog status which will come as a surprise element.l and be used to their advantage.”
The gold medalists will win $20,000 which is around Sh73m, while the $10,000 and $5,000 is up for grabs for the Silver and Bronze medalists respectively.
Women – Emily Nakalema, Zahara Nandawula, Shalua Ndagire, Grace Nankinga, Nadia Najjemba, Erina Namutebi
Men – Joseph Kalema, Khassim Mulungi, Wasswa Ssali, Joshua Tukamuhebwa, Matovu Ukasha, Okello Ronald, Lawrence Kayiwa, Solomon Geko, Muzamir Ssemuddu, Idris Mukiibi, James Baraka