World Boxing Union
Four Ghanaians Handed Wbu Title Fights

It was a major cause for celebration especially to the Uganda Boxing Federation (UBF) that rose from the ashes after years of persistent wrangles.World Boxing Union

Coming after over six years of administrative wrangles that had crippled the sport, the Glasgow feat was a good cause for a toss for the administrators in the former glorious sport. Uganda salvaged some pride in Glasgow, after Flyweight Fazil Juma Kaggwa and super heavyweight Mike Sekabembe both bagged bronze.

The feat that came barely without any exposure heralded the abundant raw talent in the veins of most Ugandan boxers.

Kaggwa and Sekabembe punched their way to the medal podium with less support from coach Dick Katende.

The Ugandan tactician was barred from the Ugandan corner as he did not meet the AIBA standard of a Three Star coach to handle a national team.

That the Ugandan boxing team had to rely on the support of Kenyan and Nigerian coaches points to the urgent need for capacity building in UBF.

All the same, as for UBF assistant secretary Simon Barigo, it was a fairly successful season.
?Considering where we have come from, that (feat) shows that we have a bright future. Had it not been for our indebtedness, I would say it was a successful season,? recounts UBF secretary Barigo.

The Glasgow show masks the difficulties in Ugandan boxing.

To Barigo, the main challenge in running UBF is the financial constraint. That bug has not spared the boxing clubs either. ?Many clubs cannot afford even participation fees. This has left the federation in a deep financial crisis,? Barigo said.

He appealed to corporate organisations to respond to their plight. Barigo also pointed out the need for technical support for coaches and referee/judges.

National coach Katende needed sh8m to up-grade to a Three Star coach in Italy recently as required by the world body.

The others coaches have still failed to raise similar fees to be able to upgrade. Despite the financial challenges, Uganda fielded a team of four women at the World Championship in Jeju, South Korea for the first time in history.

Although the team fell out early in the competition, Barigo is happy that Uganda has sown a seed for women boxing on the ground. After years of wrangles, boxing fans also showed great enthusiasm for the sport.

A mammoth crowd of spectators thronged the Lugogo indoor stadium during the National Open that was won by both East Coast and Police. The atmosphere was the same during the recent Cadets Championship that saw Lukanga Boxing Club return with a bang.

According to Barigo, UBF has many plans in store to rectify the situation next year. The Federation is planning for better mechanisms of marketing the sport.

An Inter-Division Boxing Championship is among the new events being planned to popularise the sport. What is expected to be a vibrant 2015 boxing season starts early with the National Inter-mediates Championship and National Open slated for January and February respectively.

Samson Opus, The New Vision


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