Ugandan boxers need special recognition

Isaac Masembe

With more Ugandans continuing to embrace football and athletics, among other sports, boxing in the country has been suffering silently. Today, boxers like Isaac Masembe and David Ssemujju are not widely known, and they’re also struggling with different challenges including lack of proper training facilities and equipment.

Masembe is the 19-year-old featherweight who brought a silver medal to Uganda from the just concluded All African Games in Morocco. The young talent plays with the COPAB boxing club which has trained a good number of successful Ugandan boxers.

Similar to bet9ja promotion code, the club has left an indelible mark in the Ugandan boxing scene though it is still struggling. Limited funding and lack of proper training equipment and facilities have seen over 50 boxers having to train under poor conditions and with no allowance to sustain their daily lives. However, coach Lawrence Kalyango says the club is proud of Masembe’s silver medal.

Masembe is just one among thousands of Ugandan boxers going through tough conditions inside and outside the ring as they strive to reach the top. That’s ironic given that in the past, medalists from continental and international games used to return home as superstars. In 1991, Fred Muteweta got a hero’s welcome after coming home with a gold medal from Cairo in the All Africa Games.  Like a superhero, Fred was chauffeured around the city in a grand style that made the feat huge enough to earn him the Uspa Sports Personality of 1991. However, a lot has changed in the Ugandan boxing scene as sports like football and rugby continues making big strides.

Today, many top athletes in the country have turned into international stars and often choose to compete on the global scale instead of continental games. Boxing has been left far behind from years of power struggles in the administration and lacks enough support from different stakeholders.

With all the changes in the sport, the efforts of boxers like Ssemujju, Joshua Tukamuhebwa, and Masembe hardly make the sports headlines. That’s largely because most people no longer treasure boxing as a sport of national heritage. However, the Uganda Boxing Federation (UBF) president, Moses Muhangi believes that the sport needs more funding.

As history shows, boxing and athletics are the sports that Uganda can use to fly their flag high at the global level. As such, it’s quite baffling that a sport that unveiled global champions like John Mugabi and Ayub Kalule remains on the fringes. The boxing fraternity’s disorganisation is partly to blame for this mess since every UBF president has left in disgrace.

Evidently, the government needs to increase its investment in assured disciplines such as boxing and other related activities. However, they will need to do more than releasing funds on time to save this dying sport. They will need to play a more active supervision role and ensure there’s proper appropriation of funds to facilitate the best boxer to represent Uganda.

This article is sponsored by RBN.
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