John Baker Muwanga and Oscar Joseph Nsubuga: Uganda Sibling Boxing Champions

John Baker Muwanga, one of the very best regarded of Uganda’s boxing champions, was born on April 2nd 1956 in the vicinity of Kampala, expanding up in Nsambya. Joseph Nsubuga, an additional of Uganda’s renowned previous boxers, was Muwanga’s more mature 50 percent-brother.

Similarly one of a kind and intriguing is how Muwanga started off boxing, how he progressed, and why and how he hang up his gloves. His pathway to boxing started off when his 50 percent-brother Nsubuga who was born in Kenya in the early 1950’s showed up in 1963 at the family home in Nsambya when accompanied by his sister and mother. The father of the youngsters experienced been utilized by East African Railways and Harbors in which he labored in Kenya. Muwanga was delighted to have an older brother all-around. Nsubuga experienced dabbled at boxing. Shortly, Muwanga would accompany Nsubuga to the Law enforcement Boxing club in Nsambya, a several instances. But Muwanga was not amazed with the activity. Also, Muwanga’s mom would quickly vacate the property, using with him Muwanga and a person of his sisters to dwell somewhere else. He shortly ended up currently being a pupil in Mugwanya Preparatory Faculty (Kabojja), a boarding university and thereafter he was transferred to the sister faculty St. Savio Principal College on Entebbe Highway.

At Savio in 1969, Muwanga ended up preventing a bully who transpired to be the son of a politically distinguished person. Muwanga was expelled from faculty as a consequence. His father was really furious, and confident him that he would hardly ever sum to just about anything. Meanwhile brother Nsubuga was earning steady boxing progress, Muwanga acquired the notice for just going on to be the brother–though he was put down as comparatively weak and not as difficult as his boxing brother. It is below that Muwanga resolved to attempt boxing. He was matched with enjoy opponents, he was poorly overwhelmed and laughed at. People today from northern Uganda were being reputed to be fantastic fighters, and Muwanga was discouraged from continuing with boxing on the grounds that this sort of boxers would, “kill you for almost nothing.” But the taunting just produced Muwanga the much more established to disprove skeptics.

Muwanga dared to enroll in the countrywide junior championships which ended up held at the Nsambya Police lose. He would signify Nsambya Boxing Club. At that position and time, those people times, medical exams had been not up to normal and had been not taken seriously. Muwanga was permitted to box. He was matched with an opponent Tilima from Naguru boxing Club. In the combat, Muwanga did not demonstrate himself his opponent who was significantly greater than him did his ideal not to humiliate him. Tilima even pretended to be knocked down, even when he experienced not been strike. Muwanga writes (Private communication, 10 June 2014):

“What a exhibit!!! This person experimented with anything not to humiliate me but unsuccessful men and women laughed right up until tears run down there cheeks. The person even pretended to be knocked down by the air of a punch I had swung some 10 inches away from him. He bought a warning for that. I missing and the group laughed.”

Muwanga’s associates would giggle at him simply because of that fight. This caused him to try the additional to turn out to be a very good boxer. Early on a Sunday he determined to go to Kampala Boxing Club in Nakivubo. Muwanga writes, “I went to KBC in Nakivubo, identified to learn how to box or die” (Own interaction, 10 June 2014). The club was shut.

Muwanga returned to KBC early the upcoming early morning. There a fellow James Bond Okwaare made fun of how Muwanga had boxed. Okwaare was speedily rebuked by the national coach Erias Gabiraali. Muwanga commenced education there as he received to know some of the national boxers who dropped in. These inclued Ayub Kalule, Cornelius Bbosa Boza-Edwards, Mustafa Wasajja, Ben Ochan, Alex Odhiambo, Ochodomuge, and David Jackson. Even Muwanga’s brother Nsubuga would drop in. In concluding terms Muwanga writes (Private interaction, 10 June 2014):

“One working day I was stunned to listen to that my brother was heading to Scotland [Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, 1970] to signify Uganda. I could not believe, not only that other urchins from the ‘village’ had been also heading, to make the pie sweeter boys from the slum up coming door which was Katwe Kinyoro, the likes of John Opio ended up also in the group!!! There was justice in trustworthy sweat, really hard function and willpower… the relaxation is background.”

At the Commonwealth Online games in Edinburgh, on July 18th 1970, 16 calendar year-aged Joseph Oscar Nsubuga (light-weight) was defeated by factors final decision by Olympian Kenneth Mwansa of Zambia in the preliminary round.

At the Commonwealth Game titles of 1974 held in Christchurch, 20 calendar year-old Nsubuga now a light-welterweight defeated Philip Sapak of Papua New Guinea. This happened in the preliminary 1st spherical on January 27th when the referee halted the fight early soon after Nsubuga had rapidly overcome his opponent. However, in the quarter-finals that have been held two times later on, James Douglas of Scotland defeated Nsubuga by details and therefore halted Nsubuga’s quest for a medal.

Months later on, in August 1974, Nsubuga, battling as a middleweight, would earn a bronze medal at the inaugural Earth Newbie Boxing Championships in Havana. Nsubuga had moved up to the middleweight division.

The TSC Event was held at the Dynamo-Sporthalle in Berlin during Oct 3-7, 1974. In the quarter-finals, Nsubuga battling as a middleweight beat Zaprianov (Bulgaria) by points. But in the semi-finals he was overwhelmed, by factors, by Peter Tiepold of the German Democratic Republic. He settled for the bronze medal. below Ugandans executed remarkably effectively: James Odwori (flyweight) and Ayub Kalule (light-weight-welterweight) gained gold Vitalish Bbege (welterweight) won the silver medal.

Nsubuga would debut as a professional in May 1975 whereby he moved to Finland then to Norway he would largely combat in Europe. Nsubuga stopped competing in 1981 immediately after he was knocked out by well known potential planet champion Davey Moore. Nsubuga’s most signified battle was his spirited gladiator battle (non-title bout) with renowned Panamanian Roberto Duran on January 13th 1980 in Las Vegas. The Panamanian seemed to be tiring, but Joseph “Stoneface” Nsubuga was knocked out at the stop of the fourth spherical. He retired from boxing in 1981 with an amazing document of 18 wins and 3 losses. Nsubuga handed away in Helsinki on Might 4th 2013, aged 59.

During the 1970’s even though at Namasagali Higher education in Kamuli District in Uganda, Muwanga exhibited himself as a skillful, dreaded, and well-known boxer. At the amateur national level, he is reported to have defeated renowned foreseeable future planet champion and fellow Ugandan Cornelius Boza-Edwards (Bbosa) two times. In April 1973, the once-a-year Golden Belt Match took spot in Bucharest. Most of the winners and silver medalists turned out to be Cubans and Romanians. It was here that Muwanga, aged 17, first participated in worldwide competition. In this article Muwanga, together with his accomplices on the Uganda group–Ayub Kalule, Vitalish Bbege, and James Odwori–all won bronze medals in Romania. Later on in the identical 1973, Muwanga fought for Uganda 2 times in two Urafiki (Kenya vs. Uganda) tournaments he was victorious. Muwanga before long turned overwhelmed when the veteran Ugandan boxing legend Alex Odhiambo, who had heretofore been so vital of the young boxer, subsequently gave him the nod and the thumbs up!

At the area level and for the duration of education, Muwanga did combat Odwori and a further famed Uganda boxer “Kabaka” Nasego various occasions, but he did not acquire. Among the Ugandans he defeat were Vincent Byarugaba, and many many others. Muwanga’s stint as a nationwide novice boxer ended up from 1973 to 1977 when he was also a student at Namasagali Higher education thereafter he attended Oslo University whilst he fought as a specialist. Muwanga remembers that at coaching camp, where behavioral attitudes diverse from boxer to boxer, as admired illustration the skillful Odwori was specifically talkative, while Ayub Kalule desired motion to terms (Private conversation, 29 Oct 2015):

“… guys like Ayub Kalule… preferred action to communicate, a phenomena in my belief. James Odouri talked a mile a moment but, had the rare capacity to back up whichever he mentioned. A pretty unusual good quality. We referred to as him ‘Kasuku’ [parrot] at the rear of his back.”

John Muwanga, as a gentle-flyweight represented Uganda at the inaugural globe newbie championships held in Havana in August 1974. Notably Kalule and Nsubuga listed here won gold and bronze, respectively. Muwanga was eliminated in the preliminary spherical by a factors decision in favor of Bejhan Fuchedzhiyev (Bulgaria). Very notable is the element that a massive 6 of the Uganda contingent in Havana had analyzed at Namasagali–just one of the couple of schools in Uganda that embraced boxing. In addition to Muwanga, individuals boxers that did show up at Namasagali provided Nsubuga, Odwori, John Byaruhanga, Vincent Byarugaba, and Shadrack Odhiambo.

Muwanga’s national standing continued to rise and at age 20 he was picked to represent Uganda at the summer time Olympics in Montreal. Most African international locations, twenty-eight of them, boycotted the Montreal Olympic Game titles of 1976 when the Intercontinental Olympic Committee (IOC) refused to bar from the Olympics countries from which athletes experienced participated in sporting functions in apartheid South Africa. The New Zealand Rugby workforce was then touring South Africa. International locations like China, Iraq, and Guyana also withdrew although with China it primarily had to do with a political name recognition issue–non-recognition of “Republic of China” vs. “Peoples’ Republic of China.”

The Uganda boxers withdrawn from participation since of the boycott involved Baker Muwanga (bantamweight) together with Venostos Ochira (gentle-flyweight), Adroni Butambeki (flyweight), Cornelius Boza-Edwards (Bbosa) (featherweight), David Ssenyonjo (lightweight), Jones Okoth (light-welterweight), Vitalish Bbege (welterweight), and John Odhiambo (mild-middleweight). Non of these pugilists experienced represented Uganda at the 1972 Olympics held in Munich. Vitalish Bbege experienced received gold at the Africa Boxing Championships held in Kampala in 1974.

Muwanga commenced his skilled job in Norway in April 1978, and ended it in October 1982. He mostly boxed as a light-weight. All his bouts took spot in Norway, aside from the ultimate two that took put in Finland. He did not drop any of the bouts but he probable would have liked to be uncovered to additional intensive levels of competition and to also box in western nations wherever there are far more best contenders and champions. A issue was the banning of professional boxing in Norway, this formally productive from the starting of 1981.

Muwanga ended as undefeated as a professional boxer with 15 wins, losses, with 6 knockouts ( He regrets to some lengthen that he did not flourish as considerably as he would have required to as a boxer, but at the exact same time he is grateful that boxing took him to places and opened to him a lot of strengths. He writes, “… my boxing career, in my belief was not as thrilling as I wished it to be but I’m not complaining it opened a lot of doors for me and bought me into sites I by no means thought I would see… ” (Particular conversation, 10 June 2014).

Nicole Thomas

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