The Lion roared loudest over the last decade. He might have lost his final bout of the decade but Sharif Bogere won 20 of his 22 pro fights in the last 10 years, one of which came with a major title – the WBO NABO Light title following victory over Raymundo Beltran.
The 2010s were admittedly not the greatest for Ugandan boxing but they were not necessarily the pits either. There were some successes on the international scene, with continental amateur feats dominating the list. The pro ranks provided limited glory, which must obviously be honoured in any tribute to the last decade. Isaac Masembe, David Semmuju, Geoffrey Kakeeto, David Ayiti and Frank Kiwalabye deserve an honourable mention for their achievements on the continental stage but here are the top Ugandan boxers of the last decade, starting with the fifth insignificance.
5. Juma Miiro
His bronze medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia was Uganda’s only boxing medal at the Games, saving the sport from catastrophe. The medal might have come after one fight, Miiro having got a bye in the first round, but it was precious all the same in part because the light flyweight was not exactly a medal hopeful in Uganda’s five-strong boxing team.
4. Muzamiru Kakande
King Kong, as welterweight Muzamiru Kakande is fondly known, ended Uganda’s 13-year wait for gold at a major boxing tournament when he defeated Merven Clair on points in the final of the AIBA African boxing championships in 2017. Kakande’s feat was the pick of a glorious campaign for Uganda that also yielded two silver medals and it etched his name into the record books.
3. Kennedy Katende
He went pro after fulfilling his dream of competing at the Olympics in 2016. It was the perfect move for a boxer who has flown Uganda’s flag over the last decade like few others. His 2015 bronze at the African Games was Uganda’s only medal from the showpiece and the cruiserweight’s 4-0 start as professional bodes well for the next decade.
2. Shafik Kiwanuka
The WBF Africa heavyweight champion only took three fights, all in the last two years of the decade, to attain his continental crown. It sounds like a brief journey but if anything is to blame, it is Shafik Kiwanuka incredible talent. Kiwanuka is a potential world-beater, as AIBA President Howard Goldberg noted. From this point, it is just a matter of getting better.
1. Sharif Bogere
The Lion roared loudest over the last decade. He might have lost his final bout of the decade but Sharif Bogere won 20 of his 22 pro fights in the last 10 years, one of which came with a major title – the WBO NABO Light title following victory over Raymundo Beltran. The 2013 loss to Richar Abril saw Bogere long awaited shot’s at the WBO World Light Title wasted but the Ugandan has vowed to maximise the next opportunity.