Uganda’s Middleweight Boxer David Ssemujju will renew his rivalry with Algeria’s Younes Nemouchi on Monday for a place in the last 16.
Ssemujju lost to the Algerian in semifinal bout of the African Olympic qualification campaign in Dakar last year and will be seeking for revenge when the two face off at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo at 12:18pm (EAT).
This will be the third meeting between to two top African seeds, Ssemujju defeated the Nemouchi at the All Africa games in Rabat in 2019 with the Algerian avenging in Dakar.
Ssemujju is joint-fifth in the world Men’s middleweight (75kg) and second in Africa, with 300 points. Amazingly, he qualified because Nemouchi his opponent on Monday had already got his ticket to Tokyo.
The Ugandan had failed to qualify directly after losing to Cameroonian Wilfried Nsengue on split decision (3.2) during a third place box-off in Dakar.
Nemouchi on the other hand won gold in Dakar scoring an easier 4-1 victory over DR Congo’s David Tshama also sealing a ticket to Tokyo.
He was only selected for the qualification campaign after one of his teammates in the Algerian national squad fell ill just a few days before the event was due to start.
The winner between the two African top boxers in the middleweight category will face Marcial Eumir of Philippines in the round of 16.
Following Catherine Nanziri’s defeat to Japanese Tsukimi Namiki in the Women’s Flyweight (Round 32) on Sunday, pressure will now be on Ssemujju, a silver medalist at the 2019 African games and Bombers skipper Shadir Musa to keep Uganda’s proud legacy in Boxing at the global games alive.
Meanwhile, the last bomber to go beyond their first bout at the Olympic games was Lightweight Sam Rukundo who managed the feat at the 2004 games in Athens with his journey coming to an end in the quarterfinal.
Uganda has seven medals at the global games, four of which are from boxing with John ‘The Beast’ Mugabi the last boxer to win an Olympic medal at the 1980 Games in Moscow.