Boxers Nkobeza Yusuf and Kyobe Jonathan won bronze medals at the ongoing Africa Boxing Championship in Maputo -Mozambique-, despite Uganda exiting the tournament, yesterday.
Jonathan Kyobe from Lukanga Boxing Club beat Ignas Tchouta Mbianda in a 4-1 split decision victory to reach the medal bracket (semi-finals) but failed to advance to the next stage after falling to Mozambique’s Sogauque Armando Rugoberto in the featherweight battle.
The 21-year-old will now return home with $2500 in cash as prize money for the medal and so will his teammate Nkobeza Yusuf.
Nkobeza beat Colin Joshua Aaron from Seychelles to storm the quarter-finals but lost to Gharroumi Driss in the middleweight contest to bow out at the semis.
Uganda was represented by a team of only seven boxers which Uganda Boxing Federation’s President Moses Muhangi says was a disadvantage to the team that had prepared up to 25 fighters while in camp.
“In this competition we were supposed to field 13 men and 12 women but due to finances we fielded only 7 ( 6 men & 1 woman) and out of them two medalists.” He said
However, this is a contradiction to what he said at the team’s flag-off. He said then that the players who didn’t travel were dropped because of lacking travel papers/passports.
“Countries that fielded full teams , have had chances of claiming more medals as they had more opportunities.” Muhangi lamented.
The team’s championship campaign came to an end yesterday with two bronze medals, having other fighters eliminated in the quarterfinals.
The only lady on the team Teddy Nakimuli suffered a disastrous elimination by Mozambique’s Helen Bagao, Owen Kibira lost to Egypt’s Elsayed Omar in the light welterweight while team Captain Joshua Tukamuhebwa as well but fell hands down to Colin Luis Richarno of Mauritius.
Uganda last competed in the African Boxing championship in 2017 and won one gold and two silver in Congo.
The 2022 tournament edition is still underway in Mozambique and three Kenyans have so far made it to the finals. The three are; Elizabeth Andiego who is an Africa Zone Three light heavyweight gold medalist, featherweight debutant Samuel Njau and Africa lightweight champion Nick Okoth who all won their matches on a Referee Stop the Contest (RSC).
Interesting to note on the Kenyan team is that lady boxer Elizabeth Andiego was forced to fight in the heavyweight just hours to the Semi finals but She thumped Mkateko Sithole of South Africa to win by RSC.
She will fight World silver medallist Khadija El-Mardi from Morocco, in the finals.
Teddy Nakimuli (Female), Jonah Kyobe, Joshua Tukamuhebwea (Captain), Owen Kibira, Isaac Zebra Ssenyange, Yusuf Nkobeza, and Idris Mukiibi.