With the entire world yet to come to terms with the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, a number of international bodies; both sports oriented and none came out with varying assistance to their affiliates.
The relief came forth as financial and material support to the beneficiaries in the box.
World Boxing Council (WBC), the international body in charge of professional boxing boldly falls in the forementioned cluster.
WBC has to this effect provided financial support worth USD 3390 to six Uganda Professional boxers.
The beneficiaries Joseph “Joe Vegas” Lubega (2012 ABU Light Welter Weight champion), Badru “Mr Crush” Lusambya (2004, 2009 ABU Super welter weight champion), Francis “Macho” Kiwanuka (1999 ABU super feather weight champion), Davis Lusimbo (2002 ABU Super Light weight champion), Joseph Kiwanuka and Michael Kizza (2002 ABU super feather weight) .
Lubega, Lusambya and Kizza were present as they received their cash on Friday, October 2, 2020 at the Uganda Professional Boxing Commission (UPBC) head offices found at Mukwano Mall in the heart of Uganda’s capital city, Kampala.
Through the Sulaiman community fund, the support comes as WBC COVID-19 Relief fund.
UPBC President Salim Uhuru Salim Uhuru expressed delight and appreciation to the world boxing body for the financial support that will help the boxers in these challenging times.
“As Uganda Professional Boxing Commission (UPBC), we are humbled for this support that our boxers will utilize at a time the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world. With no sport because of the pandemic, our boxers had no fights yet they remained in personal training sessions. This money therefore will help them feed themselves and their families and we await on the next step forward” Uhuru stated.
Maureen Mulangira, a former professional female boxer who is now the Treasurer of UPBC hailed the effort of WBC and Africa Boxing Union (ABU) in securing this money.
“I thank the president of WBC Mauricio Sulaimán and that of ABU Houcine Houichi for the granting our boxers the WBC COVID-19 Relief Fund. Each of the six boxers will received Shs 2,000,000 cash and it is primarily meant for family use” Mulangira explained.
Criteria of selecting the beneficiaries:
Mulangira elucidated about the guidelines followed to give out the money, key of which included the appealing status of the boxers being supported.
“WBC gave us criteria to follow. The status of the boxers who have been affected were considered. Then those who have ever won, had a shot (contenders) to WBC titles were also considered.” Mulangira added.
Lubega, ABU African Light Welter Champion in 2012 is one of the beneficiaries hailed the generosity of the world’s body.
“This is a kind gesture from the WBC. COVID-19 severely affected us the professional boxers. With the lockdown, there was virtually no action apart from the personal training regime. Personally, I got an accident and was hospitalized. This money comes at the right timing. I am really humbled” Lubega disclosed.
Lusambya, who is christened as “Mr Crush” believes that this timely offer will push him an extra mile as he prepares for the future engagements.
“The WBC money will be very beneficial to me as I purchase the food stuffs to consume and family use. The planned fights ahead will be well planned.” Lusambya who was ABU champion in the super welter weight (2004 and 2009) stated.
All the licensed professional boxers are governed by the Uganda Professional Boxing Commission (UPBC) whose motto spells aloud “Audacious and Perseverant”.
The parent world’s body, World Boxing Council (WBC) has existed since 1963.