Uganda’s National Boxing team “the Bombers” will set off tonight for Maputo City in Mozambique, to participate in the 2022 Africa Boxing Championship from September 8th to 18th.
The squad fresh from a non-residential camp training will be skippered by Joshua Tukamuhebwa as Coaches Lawrence Kalyango and Sam Kabugo replace Lihanda and Twaib Mayanja. Also part of the technical team is Mercy Mukankusi.
Idris Mukiibi will be the only addition to the squad that traveled to Birmingham for the CommonWealth games as reports indicate several boxers leading their weights were dropped because they lacked travel papers.
“We shall be represented by a team of seven players with Teddy Nakimuli who just returned from Congo and Birmingham being the only lady on the team.”
“We had plans to present a team of 13 male and 12 female boxers but unfortunately, many of the boxers doing well in the champions league didn’t have passports despite efforts by the federation to remind them how crucial travel documents are when you make it to the national team.” UBF President Moses Muhangi said.
Team Captain Joshua Tukamuhebwa said the team did a lot of polishing while in camp and his charges will put up a resilient show on whoever they encounter.
“Coach Lihanda and Twaib Mayanja pushed us enough to do well in Birmingham but I believe Coach Lora (Kalyango) and Kabugo have a lot to bring to the table as well. I’ve learnt the clinche technique which gave me a hard time in Birmingham, so we are ready to face any opponent.” Tukamuhebwa said.
While speaking about some of his teammates who missed out on the championship because of travel documents, Joshua appealed to the Sport’s governing body UBF to lend a hand to boxers on such issues he termed as trivial.
“My appeal to the federation is to help the boxers with processing such documents because we face a lot of financial constraints given the kind of lives most boxers lead. Talents like Fuleje Mugerwa in the bantamweight, Flightweight’s Gayita Ronald, and Najjemba Nadia in the Featherweight will be missed because of something the federation could handle.” He added.
However, Moses Muhangi asserted that the boxers have deliberately shunned reminders from the federation to get their documents in order. So this could serve as a lesson to the rest.
“We have always been reminding these people that whenever you are summoned to the national team, the first thing to prioritize is your travel documents. We didn’t have enough time to sort those issues so we selected the ready ones.”
Familiar with the waters, Coaching Duo Kalyango and Kabugo were part of the technical team that won one gold and two silver in Congo, 2017 and he said the team is expected to deliver if the two weeks camp he has been with the boxers is anything to go by.
Besides the titles, boxers will for the first time fight for cash prizes and an upgrade to their world rankings, which could be a path to World Championships. Gold winners will bag 10,000$, silver 5000$, and bronze 2500$.
Teddy Nakimuli (Female), Jonah Kyobe, Joshua Tukamuhebwea (Captain), Owen Kibira, Isaac Zebra Ssenyange, Yusuf Nkobeza, and Idris Mukiibi.