Uganda and Her Finest Performances on the Commonwealth Video games: Boxers and Monitor Athletes within the 1970’s

Uganda and Her Finest Performances on the Commonwealth Video games: Boxers and Monitor Athletes within the 1970’s

It was on the Commonwealth of Nations Video games of 1970 and 1974, that had been held within the metropolis Edinburgh in Scotland and in Christchurch in New Zealand respectively, that Uganda’s opponents had been most victorious at these quadrennial occasions.

In 1970, Uganda’s efficiency in boxing was probably the most uplifting with Uganda profitable three gold medals (James Odwori, Mohamed Muruli, and Benson Masanda) and two silver medals (Leo Rwabwogo and Deogratias Musoke). The opposite medals received for Uganda had been on the track–William Koskei’s silver medal within the 400 meters-hurdles, and Judith Ayaa’s bronze medal within the ladies’s 400 meters. Uganda carried out equally nicely on the Commonwealth Video games of 1970.

Bronze medal wins in boxing, on the Commonwealth Video games held in Kingston in Jamaica in 1966, by Alex Odhiambo, Mathias Ouma, and Benson Ocan had been indication that Uganda was shifting up in worldwide novice boxing ranks. Uganda’s efficiency on the Commonwealth Video games, 4 years earlier (1962) in Perth in Australia, witnessed Uganda win her first Commonwealth gold by the use of heavyweight boxer George Oywello. Additionally spectacular on the venue had been the boxing bronze medal wins by John Sentongo and future nationwide military commander and Olympic Committee member Francis Nyangweso, and the silver medal received by future nationwide boxing coach Kesi Odongo. To buttress Uganda’s confidence within the realm of boxing had been Uganda’s first and solely Olympic medal wins, on the 1968 venue Mexico Metropolis, by boxers Leo Rwabwogo and Eridadi Mukwanga–a bronze and silver medal respectively. That’s regardless of the lofty Olympic judging of 1968 and later 1972 that was seemingly tinged with racial bias and favoritism.

Edinburgh, Scotland 1970
On the 1970 Commonwealth of Nations Video games, {the teenager} James Odwori was Uganda’s boxing competitor within the flyweight division. The start was fairly straightforward for Odwori, provided that he was not drawn among the many 4 out of the overall 10 flyweights that might struggle within the preliminary rounds on July seventeenth. Because the complete numbers of opponents within the very low and the very excessive weight divisions had been comparatively fewer, many had been mechanically positioned within the subsequent round–the quarter finals. The primary flyweight quarter-finals bout was on July twentieth. Odwori beat Anthony Kerr of host-country Scotland, on factors, and earned his ticket to the semi-finals. Within the semi-finals that concerned 4 contenders, Odwori was once more scheduled to field within the first bout. By a majority factors resolution, Odwori impressively beat Mickey Abrams of England, on July twenty second and was by way of to the finals! Odwori would transfer on to beat Anthony Davis of Wales by factors, to win Uganda’s first 1970 Commonwealth Video games gold medal. Odwori had impressively set the usual for Uganda boxers. He boxed for the Uganda Prisons and the nationwide groups for greater than ten years to return and later went again to his native Kenya the place he turned Kenya Prisons boxing coach and later Kenya nationwide coach.

The flyweight division concerned twelve contenders on the Commonwealth Video games of 1970. Similar to Odwori, Uganda’s contender Leo Rwabwogo fortunately bypassed the preliminary spherical of July seventeenth such that he would first struggle as a quarter-finalist. On July twentieth Leo Rwabwogo was place within the quarter-finals to struggle Leon Nissen (whose equivalent twin Henry was additionally a boxer) of Australia. The referee stopped the competition within the second spherical, a technical knockout in favor of Rwabwogo, permitting Rwabwogo to maneuver on the semi-finals. On July twenty second, Rwabwogo was positioned within the first bantamweight semi-final bout with opponent 18 year-old David Larmour of Eire who would later change into an Olympian {and professional} boxer. Rwabwogo received by a majority factors resolution. For the finals, Rwabwogo would battle with future skilled and Englishman David (Dave) Needham of Nottingham. Needham ably outpointed Rwabwogo by 4-1, permitting Rwabwogo to accept the silver medal. The gold medal had eluded Rwabwogo on the Olympic Video games in Mexico Metropolis the place he settled for bronze; and within the forthcoming Olympics of 1972 that had been held in Munich in Germany, Rwabwogo would once more fall in need of the massive win after being defeated within the finals. However famed Rwabwogo stays Uganda’s solely double-Olympic medallists and the one Ugandan to have captured medals at each the Olympic and Commonwealth Video games.

Uganda’s bantamweight contender Eridadi Mukwanga had on the Olympic Video games of 1968 in Mexico metropolis cemented historical past by turning into the nation’s first Olympic silver medallist. At these Commonwealth Video games in Edinburgh, Rwabwogo was within the final bout of the bantamweight division scheduled to struggle Joe Cooke of Canada. Mukwanga was not capable of stay as much as his fame and expectations, defeated by factors by Joe Cooke of Canada on July 18th. Cooke would afterward even be kicked out of medal competition, when he was defeated by Stewart Ogilvie of Scotland, after the referee stopped the bout within the first spherical.

Within the featherweight division Uganda’s Deogratias Musoke strutted his feathers. On the preliminaries, on July 18th, Musoke was pitted in opposition to unheralded G. Marisa of Tanzania. The bout went in favor of Musoke after the referee halted the competition within the second spherical. On July twenty first, within the quarter-finals, Musoke moved on to the semi-finals after beating Eddie Pritchard of Wales by factors. For the semi-finals was scheduled to satisfy with Pakistan’s Abdul Samad Mir. The struggle didn’t materialize as a result of Samad Mir was unable to struggle. It turned a straightforward walkover in favor of Musoke. The comfort for Pakistan was that Mir’s bronze medal was the only real one for the nation at this Commonwealth Video games’ venue. Additionally, Samad Mir stays some of the well-known of Pakistani boxers. Within the 1970’s he was declared “Finest Boxer of Asia.” He joined the military and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. He additionally coached the Pakistani’s Military Boxing in addition to Nationwide groups. Samad Amir handed away in Could 2009.

Within the finals, Musoke would face Kenya’s longstanding boxing legend Philip Waruinge whose boxing accolades embrace a number of medals at each the Commonwealth and the Olympic Video games. Deogratias Musoke, defeated on factors within the finals on July twenty fourth, was awarded the featherweight boxing silver medal.

The preliminary light-weight bout on July 18th, between Uganda’s teenager Joseph Nsubuga and Olympian Kenneth Mwansa of Zambia, resulted in an early farewell for Nsubuga who was defeated by factors.

Mohamed Muruli, one in every of Uganda’s grasp boxers, had as a light-weight been positioned fifth general on the Olympics of 1968 in Mexico Metropolis. This time, Muruli would signify Uganda as a light-weight welterweight. There have been twelve opponents on this division and Muruli was fortunate to be drawn into the quarter-finals and subsequently forego combating within the preliminaries of July seventeenth. Within the quarter-finals, held on July twentieth, Muruli outpointed Reginald Forde of Guyana. Forde stays some of the well-known Guyanese boxers. On September 14th 1978, Reggie Forde was as an expert fighter knocked out within the fifth spherical by famed Uganda boxer Ayub Kalule, within the quest for the British Empire Commonwealth title.

On July twenty second, within the semi-finals, hard-hitting Muruli defeated future Olympian Odartey Lawson of Ghana when the referee stopped the struggle within the first spherical. Muruli moved on to win the gold for Uganda after outpointing Dave Davis of Wales on July twenty fourth.

The welterweight division witnessed Uganda’s Olympian Andrew Kajjo get rid of Hugo Chansa of Zambia by factors on July seventeenth 1970. The subsequent yr Chansa would flip skilled and in April 1974 he would die from mind accidents quickly after being knocked out by Scotland’s Don McMillan in a middleweight bout. On June twentieth, Emma Ankudey of Ghana would mar Kajjo’s quest for a medal by beating him by factors within the quarter-finals. Ankudey would ultimately win the gold medal and likewise signify Ghana on the Olympics of 1972 in Montreal.

Uganda’s biracial light-middleweight boxing champion David Jackson was drawn to start out combating within the quarter-finals, and never struggle among the many eight opponents within the preliminaries. As a teen Jackson was positioned fifth general in among the many light-middleweight opponents on the Olympics of 1968 in Mexico Metropolis. This time in Edinburgh, Jackson didn’t go far, provided that on July twentieth the referee halted the bout within the first spherical in favor of Tom Imrie of Scotland. Imrie had received the Commonwealth silver medal on the earlier venue of Kingston in Jamaica and he stays a well-known Scottish boxer. Imrie could be the eventual gold medal winner this time in Edinburgh, and thereafter transfer on to skilled combating. His report as an expert pugilist was mediocre. David Jackson would once more struggle for Uganda on the forthcoming Olympics (1972) in Montreal, and be positioned ninth general within the welterweight division.

{The teenager} John Opio moved on to the quarter-finals, after defeating future skilled boxer Billy Could of Wales, by factors on July twentieth within the preliminary rounds of the middleweight division. However within the quarter-finals, in opposition to Samuel Kasongo of Zambia, Opio was eradicated after the referee stopped the competition within the third spherical. Opio would signify Uganda on the forthcoming Olympics in Munich.

The preliminaries of the sunshine heavyweight division concerned the second-round disqualification of Commonwealth bronze medallist and 2-time Olympian George Mathias Ouma by the hands of Johnny Banham of England on July 18th.

As a result of there have been solely seven contestants within the heavyweight division, and 6 had been positioned within the quarter-finals. It was Uganda’s Benson Masanda, among the many seven boxers, who hit the jackpot by mechanically being positioned within the subsequent level–the semi-finals! The quarter-finals passed off on July twentieth. Within the semi-finals on July twenty second, Masanda defeated Canada’s Jack Meda by disqualification in spherical 2. Within the finals, on July twenty fourth, Masanda received gold by defeating John McKinty of Eire by factors. In comparison with all Uganda’s boxing members, Masanda had received the gold in fairly a straightforward and unconventional manner. This is able to be Uganda’s second Commonwealth Video games’ gold medal, following that of George Oywello in 1962 in Perth in Australia.

Courtesy of the ultimate tally of gold medals received by James Odwori, Mohamed Muruli, and Benson Masanda; and silver medals received by Leo Rwabwogo and Deogratias Musoke Uganda had convincingly emerged as Commonwealth of Nations’ boxing championships. This was the primary collective worldwide victory for Uganda, and the nation rejoicingly regarded ahead to extra triumphs on the worldwide degree. The remainder of Uganda’s medals had been simply two: the silver medal received by William “Invoice” Koskei within the 400 meters-hurdles, and the bronze medal received by Judith Ayaa within the 400 meters-sprint. The full of three gold, three silver, and one bronze medal positioned Uganda as ninth general at this Commonwealth match with 7 medals. How would Uganda’s boxers fare within the subsequent Commonwealth venue that might be Christchurch in New Zealand in 1974? There had been a army coup in Uganda, commander Idi Amin turned president, the regime turned infamous for killings and disappearances of nationals and even foreigners. Nervousness loomed as as to whether unfavorable social and political components would translate to disappointing performances within the realm of sports activities. And sure, many facets of sports activities deteriorated through the regime of Idi Amin, and the pool of potential and present athletes was lowered. However how would Uganda fare in Christchurch, two years to the day into the regime of Idi Amin?

Christchurch, New Zealand 1974
Christchurch hosted the Commonwealth of Nations’ Video games from January twenty fourth to February 2nd, 1974. The boxing flyweight division noticed the returning of the gold medallist James Odwori of Uganda. Within the quarter-finals, on January twenty eighth, Odwori knocked out Tanzanian Olympian Bakari Selemani (Seleman) within the second spherical. The semi-finals, held on January thirty first witnessed Odwori defeat Singapore’s Syed Abdul Kadir by factors. Kadir stays one in every of Singapore’s most famed fighters, and was named “Sportsman of the Yr” after his Commonwealth Video games’ bronze medal win.

The finals of the sunshine flyweight division had been held of February 1st. This time, Odwori could be pitted in opposition to Kenyan Stephen Muchoki who stays one in every of Kenya’s most well-known boxers. The comparatively shorter Muchoki outpointed the champion Odwori, leaving Odwori to accept silver. Muchoki would efficiently defend his Commonwealth gold on the forthcoming venue Edmonton in Canada, in 1978. His illustrious profession additionally included the silver medal win on the World Newbie Championships in Havana in 1974, and later the gold within the match which was hosted by Belgrade in Yugoslavia in 1978. Muchoki would thereafter transfer into the skilled ranks and even change into Africa Boxing Union champion. However he failed in his quest for the European title and the World Boxing Affiliation title, and he retired from boxing through the late 1980’s.

Within the quarter-finals of the flyweight division, on January twenty ninth, Ugandan John Byaruhanga knocked-out John Lawless of Scotland within the second spherical. However within the semi-finals, January thirty first, Byaruhanga was defeated on factors by Olympian Chandra Narayanan of India. Byaruhanga therefore settled with the bronze medal.

Uganda’s bantamweight Ali Rojo was drawn as a quarter-finalist to struggle Olympian Habibu (Habib) Kinyogoli of Tanzania on January twenty eighth. Rojo received by factors and moved on to the semi-finals. Kinyogoli stays some of the famend of Tanzania’s boxer and he’s a boxing coach.

The January thirty first bantamweight semi-final was in favor of Rojo, by factors, leaving Kenyan Isaac Kuria Maina to go residence with the bronze. within the finals, on February 1st, Patrick “Pat” Cowdell of England killed Ali Rojo’s quest for the gold by profitable by factors. Rojo had received the second boxing medal for Uganda. A well-known British boxer, Cowdell would construct a formidable boxing profession throughout which he turned a European Union champion. However he did not win in his combating for a world title.

Uganda’s featherweight competitor was Shadrack (Shadrah? Shadrach?) Odhiambo. On January twenty ninth, within the quarter-finals, younger future Olympian and long-time fighter Odhiambo outpointed Colin Flinn of England. Odhiambo would later as a light-weight welterweight struggle for Sweden and win her a bronze medal on the World Newbie Championships in 1982 in Munich. Odhiambo additionally fought for Sweden within the 1980 (Moscow) and 1984 (Los Angeles) Olympics. He didn’t win any Olympic medals.

Within the Christchurch Commonwealth video games semi-final, Odhiambo ably defeated Dale Anderson of Canada by factors on January thirty first. Nevertheless, the finals, on February 1st witnessed skilled Commonwealth Video games’ champion Eddie Ndukwu of Nigeria win the gold medal on a factors resolution. Odhiambo had received Uganda’s third boxing silver medal! Ndukwu would quickly flip skilled and even reign as British Empire (Commonwealth) featherweight champion. Ndukwu stays among the many extra formidable names amongst Nigerian boxers.

On January twenty seventh, within the preliminaries, a domestically fashionable and closely promising 20 year-old light-weight lad Ayub Kalule climbed into the ring to problem Tanzanian William Lyimo who was the identical age as Kalule. Kalule received, by factors. In 1980, Lyimo aged 27 would struggle on the Olympic Video games held in Moscow. He commendably handed the second spherical, however was within the quarter-finals knocked out within the third spherical by 20 year-old Anthony Willis of Nice Britain. He would thus accept fifth place within the welterweight division. Many African nations boycotted the Olympic venue of Moscow. Heaney later turned an expert boxer, however he would quickly retire with out an acclaimed boxing report.

Within the quarter-finals of the Commonwealth Video games’ light-weight boxing struggle in Christchurch, on January twenty eighth 1974, Ayub Kalule ably out-boxed and bloodily facially disfigured 22 year-old Irishman “Sugar” Ray Heaney. The struggle is featured on You-Tube whereby Heaney was allotted two necessary counts given the formidable punishing from the quick and hard-punching Kalule.

Within the semi-finals, Kalule was set to face New Zealand teenager Robert Charles Colley. The result concerned Colley being outpointed and settling for the bronze medal.

On the quarter finals, Kalule was pitted in opposition to 19 year-old New Zealander Robert Charles Colley. Colley could be outpointed (and accept the bronze), permitting Kalule to maneuver on to the ultimate stage. After being eradicated by Russian Valery Limasov within the first spherical on the Olympic Video games of 1976 held in Montreal (Canada), Colley would flip skilled. Although Colley’s skilled report is spectacular, it’s mediocre insofar as his fights had been confined to New Zealand and Australia, and Colley retired fairly early in life…in 1980. On the finals of those Commonwealth Video games, Kalule would outpoint Kayin Amah of Nigeria and subsequently win the gold. Kayin Amah, who had within the preliminaries misplaced to legendary Philip Waruinge of Kenya within the earlier Commonwealth Video games (1970), would this time be happier with taking residence a silver.

Maybe Ayub Kalule’s most prestigious novice encounter, could be the inaugural World Newbie Boxing Championships that had been held in Havana in Cuba in August 17-30. Right here, Kalule, a light-weight welterweight, defeated Bulgarian Vladmir Kolev to win the gold. In November of the identical yr, Kalule nonetheless as a light-weight welterweight, received one other gold medal for Uganda. This was on the African Newbie Boxing Championships that had been held in Kampala on Kalule’s soil. The subsequent yr Kalule turned skilled in Denmark, rose quickly by way of the ranks. He may go on to change into Uganda’s first skilled world boxing champion (WBA junior middleweight). His accolades included turning into a European Boxing Union Champion, and battling such famend boxers as “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Sumbu Kalambay, Mike McCallum, Lindell Holmes, and Herol Graham. Kalule fought in what many regard because the golden period of junior middleweight champions. Kalule remains to be Uganda’s most well-known boxer. In March 2011, Kalule was contracted to teach high junior Danish boxers.

Joseph Nsubuga had been eradicated on factors by Kenneth Mwansa of Zambia proper initially of the preliminaries on the earlier Commonwealth Video games venue Edinburgh. There Nsubuga had represented Uganda as a light-weight. Nsubuga, nonetheless a teen, was now again on the Commonwealth Video games to struggle as a light-weight welterweight. This time, the preliminary first spherical on January 27 witnessed Nsubuga shortly overwhelm his opponent. The struggle didn’t go far. The referee halted the competition within the first spherical, dashing the hopes of Philip Sapak of Papua New Guinea. Nevertheless, two days later within the quarter-finals, James Douglas of Scotland defeated Nsubuga by factors and thereby halted Nsubuga’s quest for a medal.

Months later, in August, Nsubuga would win a bronze medal for Uganda on the inaugural World Newbie Boxing Championships in Havana. Nsubuga had moved as much as the middleweight division. Fairly a skillful boxer, Nsubuga would flip skilled and transfer to Norway, and he would principally struggle in Europe. Nsubuga stopped competing in 1981 when he was knocked out by well-known future world champion Davey Moore. Maybe Nsubuga’s most notable skilled struggle was his spirited gladiator battle (non-title bout) with legendary Panamanian Roberto Duran. Although Duran appeared to be tiring, Joseph “Stoneface” Nsubuga was knocked out on the finish of the fourth spherical. This struggle is offered on You-Tube.

Welterweight Mohamed Muruli had received Uganda a gold medal on the earlier Commonwealth of Nations Video games’ venue Edinburgh. There in 1970, Muruli had boxed as a light-weight. Right here in Christchurch, Muruli was representing Uganda as a welterweight. The preliminary spherical witnessed Muruli outpunch Caleb Okech of Kenya, on January twenty sixth. On January twenty ninth, through the quarter-finals, Muruli beat future Olympian Carmen Rinke of Canada by factors. The semi-finals concerned Muruli beating Steven Cooney of Scotland, by factors on January thirty first. On February 1st, Muruli turned the primary Ugandan to ever win two Commonwealth Video games’ gold medals by outpointing Welsh Errol McKenzie within the finals. McKenzie would flip skilled throughout 1975, however he retired after an unimpressive boxing report. Muruli is amongst Uganda’s excellent boxers, and he twice represented Uganda on the Olympics.

Uganda’s gentle middleweight John Langol was rescued by the referee who stopped the preliminaries match-up of January twenty seventh 1974 in opposition to Lance Revill of New Zealand. The struggle was stopped within the second spherical. In 1981, Langol moved to Birmingham in England to struggle professionally. His skilled tenure would final solely 4 years and it could contain an unimpressive report of 6 wins and eight losses. Revill would struggle professionally in Australia and New Zealand, however his boxing report could be common.

On January twenty ninth of 1974, in a quarter-final, Uganda’s middleweight champion Mustapha Wasajja was knocked out within the first spherical by Les Rackley of New Zealand. On the inaugural World Boxing Championships held on August 1974 in Havana, Wasajja was eradicated by factors within the quarter-finals. In November, Wasajja would change into Africa novice champion on the regional match held in Kampala. In a pre-Olympic worldwide match held in Montreal on the finish of November 1975, Wasajja received Uganda’s solely gold on the venue. Wasajja is notable for having change into the premier WBA gentle heavyweight contender after he turned skilled. He misplaced the necessary championship struggle to Michael Spinks, in February 1982. Wasajja principally fought in Europe and his boxing report is sort of spectacular. After Spinks, Wasajja misplaced his subsequent two fights and thereafter retired from boxing. Wasajja is one in every of Uganda’s best boxers.

Simply as had occurred within the earlier Commonwealth Video games, the reigning heavyweight champion Benson Masanda of Uganda was immediately positioned within the quarter-finals as a result of there weren’t many contenders within the class. On January twenty eighth Masanda outpointed Fisi Brown of New Zealand. Within the semi-finals, the referee stopped the bout in favor of legendary Nigerian Fatai Ayinla, an Olympian who had received the sunshine heavyweight gold on the earlier Commonwealth Video games. Masanda was therefore made to step down for the bronze medal. In flip, the referee would cease the bout in favor of Neville Meade, within the finals. Fatai Ayinla-Adekunle’s accolades embrace the heavyweight gold medal on the 1973 All-Africa Video games in Lagos, and a bronze medal on the 1974 World Newbie Boxing Championships in Havana. He boxed for Nigeria for a few years.

Uganda’s different medals had been received on the monitor. Uganda’s Silver Ayoo (46.07), narrowly crushed by Kenyan legendary Olympic gold medallist Charles Asati (46.04), received the silver medal within the 400 meters. Uganda’s 4 x 400m relay staff received the bronze medal, behind Kenya (gold) and England. The relay opponents had been William Santino Dralu, Pius Olowo, Silver Ayoo, and John Kakonge.

The Ultimate Tally
At Commonwealth Video games of 1970, held in Edinburgh, Uganda’s three boxing gold medals had been received by gentle flyweight James Odwori, gentle welterweight Mohamed Muruli, and heavyweight Benson Masanda; and the 2 silver medals had been received by flyweight Leo Rwabwogo, and featherweight Deogratias Musoke. Uganda didn’t win any bronze medals right here.

In 1974 in Christchurch, the 2 gold medals had been received by light-weight Ayub Kalule and light-weight welterweight Mohamed Muruli; the three silver medals had been received by gentle flyweight James Odwori, bantamweight Ali Rojo, and featherweight Shadrach Odhiambo; and the 2 bronze medals had been received by flyweight John Byaruhanga and heavyweight Benson Masanda.

Therefore, whereas Uganda received barely extra boxing medals in 1974, the medals in 1970 subtly carried “extra weight.” For these eight years, Uganda had the very best novice boxers amongst the Nations of the British Commonwealth. Moreover, at every of the Commonwealth Video games venues, Ugandan monitor athletes completed second and third (William Koskei–400 meter-hurdles and Judith Ayaa–400m, respectively in 1970, and Silver Ayoo–400m and Silver Ayoo, William Santino Dralu, Pius Olowo and John Kakonge–the 4 x 400m relay, respectively in 1974). In 1970 Uganda completed twelfth general in monitor and area athletics; Australia, England, and Scotland had been the highest three nations. Equally, in 1974 Uganda completed twelfth general in monitor and area athletics; however England, Australia, and Kenya had been the highest three nations. The general performances of Uganda at every of the Commonwealth Video games venues had been therefore strikingly comparable. Uganda has by no means carried out higher than that on the Commonwealth Video games, ever since these 1970’s.

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