Uganda’s national boxing team, The Bombers, officials welcomed the draw that pitied the country’s pugilists against opponents from Botswana, Northern Ireland, Lesotho, Bangladesh, Sierra Leone and Wales/England at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The draw conducted on Thursday (July 28) pitied Joshua Tukamuhebwa against Northern Ireland’s John Paul Hale in the light welterweight bout set for Friday, July 29.
Despite describing the draw conducted on Thursday (July 28) as tough, the Bombers’ officials are optimistic the pugilists will prevail and progress to the medal bracket stage.
“Generally, the draws are not very easy on our side. Our boxers have to put in a lot of energy to win medals,” Twaib Mayanja, the Bombers’ manager and assistant coach, told this website in an online chat.
Moses Muhangi, the Uganda Boxing Federation president, concurred. “It’s a tough draw, but for our boxers to be champions they must defeat champions,” Muhangi stated.
Tukamuhebwa, who is the captain of the Bombers in Birmingham, steps into the ring on Friday at 2pm in Uganda. The local boxing fraternity will be keen on the bout in which Tukamuhebwa is widely-tipped to advance into the round-of-eight.
Featherweight Jonah Kyobe was drawn against Botswana’s George Molantwa while Isaac Zebra Ssenyange is pitted against Pakela Arena of Lesotho in the light middleweight. Both fights are in the round-of-16.
Uganda’s other three pugilists who include female boxer Teddy Nakimuli, Owen Kibira and Yusuf Nkobeza got byes into the quarterfinals. That means if any of them can storm the medal bracket by winning their respective round-of-eight bouts.
Nakimuli drew Sierra Leone’s Joo Haghighat in the flyweight. Kibira will be battle Bangladesh’s Hossan Ali in the welterweight while middleweight Nkobeza waits for the winner between Englishman Lewis Richardson and Haris Khan of Wales.
Despite their past impressive overall performance in the Commonwealth Games, the Bombers, who have won 31 medals for Uganda since 1954, have disappointed in recent editions of the club games.
For instance, they won only a bronze medal from 2018 games in Gold Coast, Australia.