John Baker Muwanga, 1 of the greatest regarded of Uganda’s boxing champions, was born on April 2nd 1956 in the vicinity of Kampala, developing up in Nsambya. Joseph Nsubuga, an additional of Uganda’s renowned former boxers, was Muwanga’s older 50 %-brother.
Similarly unique and fascinating is how Muwanga started out boxing, how he progressed, and why and how he cling up his gloves. His pathway to boxing started out when his 50 %-brother Nsubuga who was born in Kenya in the early 1950’s confirmed up in 1963 at the loved ones residence in Nsambya although accompanied by his sister and mom. The father of the youngsters experienced been employed by East African Railways and Harbors exactly where 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 Police Boxing club in Nsambya, a handful of occasions. But Muwanga was not amazed with the activity. Also, Muwanga’s mom would shortly vacate the house, getting with him Muwanga and 1 of his sisters to reside in other places. He shortly finished up getting a pupil in Mugwanya Preparatory University (Kabojja), a boarding university and thereafter he was transferred to the sister university St. Savio Major University on Entebbe Road.
At Savio in 1969, Muwanga finished up preventing a bully who happened to be the son of a politically well known particular person. Muwanga was expelled from university as a outcome. His father was really furious, and certain him that he would in no way sum to anything at all. Meanwhile brother Nsubuga was generating continuous boxing progress, Muwanga bought the consideration for just happening to be the brother–whilst he was put down as comparatively weak and not as tricky as his boxing brother. It is in this article that Muwanga resolved to try out boxing. He was matched with enjoy opponents, he was badly beaten and laughed at. People today from northern Uganda ended up reputed to be fantastic fighters, and Muwanga was discouraged from continuing with boxing on the grounds that these kinds of boxers would, “kill you for nothing.” But the taunting just made Muwanga the extra determined to disprove skeptics.
Muwanga dared to enroll in the national junior championships which ended up held at the Nsambya Police get rid of. He would signify Nsambya Boxing Club. At that place and time, people days, medical assessments ended up not up to typical and ended up not taken severely. Muwanga was permitted to box. He was matched with an opponent Tilima from Naguru boxing Club. In the combat, Muwanga did not establish himself his opponent who was significantly superior than him did his greatest not to humiliate him. Tilima even pretended to be knocked down, even when he experienced not been hit. Muwanga writes (Personalized communication, ten June 2014):
“What a show!!! This man experimented with anything not to humiliate me but unsuccessful men and women laughed until tears run down there cheeks. The man even pretended to be knocked down by the air of a punch I experienced swung some ten inches away from him. He bought a warning for that. I misplaced and the group laughed.”
Muwanga’s associates would chuckle at him simply because of that combat. This caused him to strive the extra to turn into a fantastic boxer. Early on a Sunday he resolved to go to Kampala Boxing Club in Nakivubo. Muwanga writes, “I went to KBC in Nakivubo, determined to master how to box or die” (Personalized communication, ten June 2014). The club was shut.
Muwanga returned to KBC early the subsequent morning. There a fellow James Bond Okwaare made pleasurable of how Muwanga experienced boxed. Okwaare was quickly rebuked by the national mentor Erias Gabiraali. Muwanga started out instruction there as he bought 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 words Muwanga writes (Personalized communication, ten June 2014):
“One particular day I was shocked to listen to that my brother was heading to Scotland [Commonwealth Online games in Edinburgh, 1970] to signify Uganda. I could not feel, not only that other urchins from the ‘village’ ended up also heading, to make the pie sweeter boys from the slum subsequent door which was Katwe Kinyoro, the likes of John Opio ended up also in the crew!!! There was justice in sincere sweat, tricky work and self-discipline… the rest is historical past.”
At the Commonwealth Online games in Edinburgh, on July 18th 1970, 16 yr-previous Joseph Oscar Nsubuga (light-weight) was defeated by details conclusion by Olympian Kenneth Mwansa of Zambia in the preliminary spherical.
At the Commonwealth Online games of 1974 held in Christchurch, 20 yr-previous Nsubuga now a mild-welterweight defeated Philip Sapak of Papua New Guinea. This happened in the preliminary very first spherical on January 27th when the referee halted the combat early soon after Nsubuga experienced quickly overcome his opponent. On the other hand, in the quarter-finals that ended up held two days later on, James Douglas of Scotland defeated Nsubuga by details and thereby halted Nsubuga’s quest for a medal.
Months later on, in August 1974, Nsubuga, preventing as a middleweight, would earn a bronze medal at the inaugural Globe Novice Boxing Championships in Havana. Nsubuga experienced moved up to the middleweight division.
The TSC Match was held at the Dynamo-Sporthalle in Berlin in the course of October three-7, 1974. In the quarter-finals, Nsubuga preventing as a middleweight beat Zaprianov (Bulgaria) by details. But in the semi-finals he was beaten, by details, by Peter Tiepold of the German Democratic Republic. He settled for the bronze medal. in this article Ugandans done remarkably nicely: James Odwori (flyweight) and Ayub Kalule (mild-welterweight) won gold Vitalish Bbege (welterweight) won the silver medal.
Nsubuga would debut as a specialist in May perhaps 1975 whereby he moved to Finland then to Norway he would mainly combat in Europe. Nsubuga stopped competing in 1981 soon after he was knocked out by famous potential world champion Davey Moore. Nsubuga’s most signified combat was his spirited gladiator struggle (non-title bout) with renowned Panamanian Roberto Duran on January thirteenth 1980 in Las Vegas. The Panamanian seemed to be tiring, but Joseph “Stoneface” Nsubuga was knocked out at the conclude of the fourth spherical. He retired from boxing in 1981 with an extraordinary history of 18 wins and three losses. Nsubuga handed away in Helsinki on May perhaps 4th 2013, aged 59.
In the course of the 1970’s although at Namasagali School in Kamuli District in Uganda, Muwanga displayed himself as a skillful, dreaded, and well known boxer. At the newbie national level, he is said to have defeated renowned potential world champion and fellow Ugandan Cornelius Boza-Edwards (Bbosa) 2 times. In April 1973, the once-a-year Golden Belt Match took place in Bucharest. Most of the winners and silver medalists turned out to be Cubans and Romanians. It was in this article that Muwanga, aged 17, very first participated in worldwide competitors. Here Muwanga, together with his accomplices on the Uganda crew–Ayub Kalule, Vitalish Bbege, and James Odwori–all won bronze medals in Romania. Later in the very same 1973, Muwanga fought for Uganda 2 times in two Urafiki (Kenya vs. Uganda) tournaments he was victorious. Muwanga shortly turned overcome when the veteran Ugandan boxing legend Alex Odhiambo, who experienced heretofore been so crucial of the youthful boxer, subsequently gave him the nod and the thumbs up!
At the local level and in the course of instruction, Muwanga did combat Odwori and an additional famous Uganda boxer “Kabaka” Nasego various occasions, but he did not earn. Between the Ugandans he beat ended up Vincent Byarugaba, and various some others. Muwanga’s stint as a national newbie boxer ended up from 1973 to 1977 when he was also a scholar at Namasagali School thereafter he attended Oslo College although he fought as a specialist. Muwanga recollects that at instruction camp, exactly where behavioral attitudes diverse from boxer to boxer, as admired instance the skillful Odwori was significantly talkative, whereas Ayub Kalule desired motion to words (Personalized communication, 29 October 2015):
“… men like Ayub Kalule… desired motion to converse, a phenomena in my impression. James Odouri talked a mile a minute but, experienced the unusual skill to back again up what ever he said. A really unusual high-quality. We called him ‘Kasuku’ [parrot] behind his back again.”
John Muwanga, as a mild-flyweight represented Uganda at the inaugural world newbie championships held in Havana in August 1974. Notably Kalule and Nsubuga in this article won gold and bronze, respectively. Muwanga was eliminated in the preliminary spherical by a details conclusion in favor of Bejhan Fuchedzhiyev (Bulgaria). Fairly notable is the facet that a substantial 6 of the Uganda contingent in Havana experienced studied at Namasagali–1 of the handful of faculties in Uganda that embraced boxing. In addition to Muwanga, people boxers that did show up at Namasagali incorporated Nsubuga, Odwori, John Byaruhanga, Vincent Byarugaba, and Shadrack Odhiambo.
Muwanga’s national standing continued to rise and at age 20 he was picked to signify Uganda at the summer time Olympics in Montreal. Most African international locations, twenty-8 of them, boycotted the Montreal Olympic Online games of 1976 when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) refused to bar from the Olympics international locations from which athletes experienced participated in sporting events in apartheid South Africa. The New Zealand Rugby crew was then touring South Africa. Nations like China, Iraq, and Guyana also withdrew whilst with China it primarily experienced to do with a political identify recognition challenge–non-recognition of “Republic of China” vs. “Peoples’ Republic of China.”
The Uganda boxers withdrawn from participation simply because of the boycott incorporated Baker Muwanga (bantamweight) along with Venostos Ochira (mild-flyweight), Adroni Butambeki (flyweight), Cornelius Boza-Edwards (Bbosa) (featherweight), David Ssenyonjo (light-weight), Jones Okoth (mild-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 won gold at the Africa Boxing Championships held in Kampala in 1974.
Muwanga started out his specialist job in Norway in April 1978, and finished it in October 1982. He mainly boxed as a light-weight. All his bouts took place in Norway, aside from the final two that took place in Finland. He did not eliminate any of the bouts but he possible would have favored to be exposed to extra intense competitors and to also box in western international locations exactly where there are extra major contenders and champions. A element was the banning of specialist boxing in Norway, this officially efficient from the beginning of 1981.
Muwanga finished as undefeated as a specialist boxer with 15 wins, losses, with six knockouts (Boxrec.com). He regrets to some prolong that he did not prosper as significantly as he would have required to as a boxer, but at the very same time he is grateful that boxing took him to sites and opened to him many rewards. He writes, “… my boxing job, in my impression was not as thrilling as I required it to be but I am not complaining it opened a whole lot of doors for me and bought me into sites I in no way thought I would see… ” (Personalized communication, ten June 2014).