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Why Ouma’s fight with Kenyan Okwiri didn’t go to plan


Denis Musanje

Kassim Ouma “The Dream” was set to face off with Kenya’s Rayton Okwiri in a 10 round Middleweight fight on 26th December (Boxing Day) at Lugogo.

On Boxing Day, Ouma was slated to have his first fight on home soil since 1998 but it ended up in disappointments.

The fight was to be held at the Cricket Oval in Lugogo before it was shifted to Lugogo Hockey grounds after the 12 Sports round Boxing Promotion company failed to clear the initial venue.

After several meetings with National Council of Sports administrators, the promotion company was given a go ahead to host at Hockey grounds after failing to pay Shs15M for Cricket Oval.

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Despite the NCS clearance, the organisers of the event 12 Sports round promotion company failed to set up the ring in time and the first undercard fight happened at 11PM.

Over 15 fights were expected to take place but only six happened with some of the boxers failing to make it to venue since they had not been paid.

Ouma entered the ring in the wee hours of Tuesday and his opponent Okwiri stayed in the dressing room.

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Kenyan Rayton Okwiri left Uganda in frustration

At the time the former World champion entered the ring, a massive thunderstorm broke out leading to the cancellation.

“Uganda’s promoters must change the way they organize boxing events. They are killing this great sport and that’s why fans no longer want to watch our fights.” Some of them copy the Western countries because they watch international fights late in the night yet we are in different time zone.” A frustrated Ouma reacted as quoted by New Vision.

12 Sports round promotion company CEO Stephen Sembuya apologizes

“As 12 Sports Rounds we did everything to put up the biggest boxing event in the region including flying in the best boxers in Africa and world and their coaches ( total 9 people); some advanced purses in form of airtickets for extra people in the case of Rayton Okwiri as well as paid accommodation for all of them.”

“We feel disappointed that the event didn’t go as planned and I know each of the fans that paid to watch and the boxers that didn’t fight feel the same.”

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On the change of Venue

“We had to make a late decision either to postpone the event or switch the event to another venue.”

“We did switch and this came with several challenges including heavy down falls as the Kassim Ouma vs Rayton Okwiri was about to happen means also 2 other big fights didn’t happen., issues with Security and KCCA.”

Sembuya on Ouma’s opponent Okwiri

“On the issue of Rayton Okwiri not wanting to fight before having his purse, you have to look at the contract we signed with him. But still had managed to pay some advance before the fight as requested by him inform of airtickets.

“Unless you are new in boxing, this is not the first time boxing has been caught up in this kind of predicament. Cancellations, postponements and last-minute date and venue changes are commonplace, even though they seem to not be as prevalent as in years past.”

12 Sports Round has promised to reschedule the fight and the fans that had entered the fight will pay half of the price for the tickets in compensation.

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