Kassim Ouma’s supposed fight with Kenyan Rayton Okwiri on Boxing day was washed out.
The much anticipated fight at Cricket Oval in Lugogo was set to be Ouma’s first fight in Uganda since fleeing the country over 20 years ago.
The fight, christened as ‘Rumble in Kampala’, didn’t take place after a series of unfortunate events.
And the promoter of the fight Steven Ssembuuya has been at the wrong end of criticism.
Initially, the fight was to be held at Lugogo Cricket Oval but the venue was changed to Hockey grounds, which is just a stone-throw-away, with the promoter said to have failed to pay for the venue fully.
With all that disorganization, the fights got underway at 11pm according to the fans who were present.
And to make matters worse, some boxers refused to fight claiming that Sembuya had not honoured his contract – Some fighters had not been paid first.
The main fight between Ouma and Okwir had its ring walk late at 3am!
But with Ouma in the ring, then the heavens opened up. And it rained for the next couple of hours to leave everyone reeled.
Statement From Promoter Ssembuuya
We would like to take this opportunity to first of all thank all fight fans, our sponsors and the fighters.
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.
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.
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.
Just this year and in the past we have seen it happen, Harper vs Ajagba, Curtis walking out of the ring immediately the sound of the bell went, David Haye vs Tony Bellow 2, David Parker vs Chisora, Canelo vs GGG, Costessey Sheilds vs Marsall, Jake Paul vs Hasmin Rahman, Chris Eubank vs Connor Benn and this all happened when the fans had bought tickets and the events actually sold out.
As 12 Sports Rounds we have given the fans some of the biggest and best boxing shows in the region this year and will continue to aim for the best and one of the reasons professional boxing is being talked about. And we are proud of it.
In our next solely promoted event, WE WILL LET THE FANS PAY HALF THE PRICE FOR THE TICKETS IN COMPENSATION.
Thank you fight fans, thank you UPBC, thank you the fighters and thank you our sponsors.
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