Uganda will host the 2018 Africa Boxing Union convention. This will be the first assignment for Uganda Professional Boxing Commission (UPBC) president Salim Uhuru.
“I will sponsor the convention on May 9,” he promised immediately after being elected unopposed with his entire executive at the weekend.
“Hosting the convention will greatly boost Uganda’s profile,” explained Uhuru (pictured right), who is also Kampala Central NRM Chairman.
Uhuru is the proprietor of the famous chain of Uhuru restaurants. He took over from Bbossa Kiyingi (pictured left), who had been at the helm since 2013.
Uhuru also aims to reconcile with rival body Uganda Boxing Union (UBU) as a key target of his four year term.
To enhance good working relations, Uhuru appointed UBU promoters Benjamin Mukasa and Godfrey Kasule to the UPBC board.
Uhuru rose from the vice presidency in his previous executive role. He has promised to increase the number professional fights in Uganda.
“I have come to streamline the sport and that’s why I have co-opted former members of UBU on the Commission. We should work together because if I fail, we shall all have failed,” he stated after outgoing Kiyingi handed over the office to him.
The outgoing team was criticized for being inactive. Uhuru promises change.
“I will promote the establishment of boxing camps for boxers and refresher courses for referees.”
Uhuru will also take part in a trip to Kenya for a referee’s conference. Securing a ring for the commission is another of his priorities.
“I am tired of borrowing rings,” he declared. “The last time we hired one it collapsed in Jinja.”
Kiyingi said they have spent five years in office instead of four to finalize the government requirement of statutory registration at NCS.
He also said boxers should comply with the new continental zoning where Africa has been regionalized into five divisions.
“Uganda is in East and Central Africa zone. You must first win the regional title before challenging the continental,” he told boxers and promoters before elections.
Simon Katongole Mukisa and Abbey Arum Mugayi are vice presidents for administration and technical, Jackson Mugwanya returns as general secretary, Maureen Sanita Mulangira is treasurer, and Jackson Mugisha is head of media.
“The women, referees, promoters and boxers committees will soon organize their respective elections,” says Uhuru.
Former UPBC president Mindra challenged young boxers to strive to improve their records with regular fights. He also advised against hiking of fight fees which he said scares away promoters.