AS was the case with badminton player Edwin Ekiring the day before, light-flyweight boxer Ronald Serugo just failed to get going and froze on the big stage yesterday. By the time Serugo realised he should actually be fighting after failing to score a point in the first two rounds, he was already fiv
Light-flyweight Round of 32
P. Serdamba (Mongolia)
bt R.Serugo (Uganda) 9-5
Round one 3:0
Round two 2:0
Round three 1-4
Round four 3:1
AS was the case with badminton player Edwin Ekiring the day before, light-flyweight boxer Ronald Serugo just failed to get going and froze on the big stage yesterday.
By the time Serugo realised he should actually be fighting after failing to score a point in the first two rounds, he was already five points down, with less than three minutes to save his Olympic medal dream.
The Uganda team captain learnt that boxing was not just about fancy footwork as his Mongolian opponent Purevdorj Serdamba concentrated on a few precision shots to the head and then took a defensive position for most of the fight.
Serugo did most of the attacking but was let down by his errant radar.
Serdambaâ€™s much superior fight record showed, and he could afford to slow down in the third round by mainly holding onto his opponent and conceding body blows.
The Mongolian has had over 30 fights since he qualified for the Olympics while Serugo, on top of failing to get a sparring partner in Beijing, has had only five competitive bouts since qualifying from Namibia early in March.
But surprisingly, Serugo insisted he had put up a better show than the Mongolian. He said: â€œI am a winner and a champion. The loss will not affect my focus and dream. I have proved to the world that I am better.â€
As it is said, an amateur boxing tournament, particularly the Olympics, does not begin until fighters complain about the judging.
His coach Jimenez Gonzalez also thought his fighter deserved more points than the five he got at the Workersâ€™ Gymnasium here.
â€œHe was the better boxer as everyone saw. He came here with no experience and he was fighting someone who had experience,â€ the coach said.
â€œSerugo has had only five bouts, three in the qualifiers and two in the Military Games. It is very important that all the boxers in Uganda are ready for international championships like this by playing against other continents,â€ Gonzalez added.
The Cuban was assisted at the ringside by Dr Ntege Ssengendo. He was considered better suited than team manager Justine Ligyalingi, who was to have made his ringside debut. Because Uganda had a single boxer, they could only travel with one official.
Uganda last won a boxing medal in Moscow 1980, when John Mugabi grabbed silver.
The other boxing medals have come from Eridad Mukwanga (silver) and Leo Rwabwogo (bronze) in 1968, and a silver for Rwabwogo in 1972.
Athletics which starts tomorrow is Ugandaâ€™s final hope for medals this time. The sport produced the countryâ€™s other two medals. John Akii-Buaâ€™s 400m hurdles gold in 1972 (you can watch the 1972 final video on http://newvisionuganda.info/olympics/) and Davis Kamoga (400m) in 1996 (bronze).
Serugo freezes, hope turns on athletics