By: Nacho Black Armo
Amidst all hard knock circumstances, the Bombers somehow squeezed results in Congo Brazzaville. Bombers struggled with everything straight from the time they started the trials and training, there wasn’t a single support until Betway came to the rescue to facilitate basics like food.
The challenge got even harder as the federation almost failed to get tickets for the boxers and the coaching team, eventually they managed to transport only 9 boxers out of the possible 15.
AIBA, African Boxing Championships this time held in Congo Brazzaville were set not only to be a huge amateur Boxing tournament in Africa but also a qualifying procedure to the World Championships due to take place on the 25th of August 2017 in Hamburg Germany. The series continued in numerous parts of the world like Honduras where a number of Latin Nations like Brasil, Argentina, Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Trinidad and Tobago unified with North America for the same qualifying process. In Europe it was Ukraine that hosted the prestigious event.
Muzamir Kakande won Gold for Uganda
Seeing this wasn’t a minor mambo-jambo tournament, the Bombers’ eyes were set on one target, Hamburg. 60 boxers from over 16 Countries, indeed this could ironically be memorable for any boxer to have a shot.
All hopes came alive when David Ayiti of Super Heavyweight and Geofrey Kakeeto featuring in Bantamweight both won their quarter final bouts, Bombers’ chances in figures raised with Muzamir Kakande of Welterweight also going past the quarters advancing to the semis which they all won convincingly. This was enough for the Bombers in their vision to capture places at the World Boxing Championship in Hamburg as the least each would get after winning the semi finals’ bout would be a bronze.
David Ayiti and Geofrey Kakeeto went on to win Silver medals each after they had lost the finals but they had earlier booked their slots in Germany.
Muzamir Kakande became the national hero winning a gold after defeating Mauritius’ Merven Clair in an eye catching fight. It was a memorable moment for both Muzamir and Uganda as a nation for it had been long since Uganda had last won a gold medal in Boxing in a major tournament.
Jolly Katende (R.I.P) had last won Uganda a gold medal in 2004 in the 1st AIBA Olympic qualifying Championships that was held in Casablanca Morocco. The Lightweight teen only 17 at the time, won the medal after humiliating Morocco’s Redouane Bouchtouk who was 28 then in front of his own home crowd, the gold also saw the young man qualify for Athens 2004 Olympics.
Muzamir Kakande restored the pride along with Geofrey Kakeeto and David Ayiti who both won silvers in Bantamweight and Super Heavyweight division respectively.
Uganda will go to Hamburg with 3 representatives in Muzamir Kakande, David Ayiti and Geofrey Kakeeto, short by one in comparison to the number that represented Uganda in Doha, Qatar 2015 World Championships.
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