African Title Fight, March 29, Nairobi
R. Damulira (Ug) vs N.Ximba (SA) KShs2000 (VIP) KShs1000 (Ordinary)
Venue: Kasarani indoor & also live on SS9
World over not many fighters would want to cross the risky path of South African stylish K-1 and Muay Thai star Nkosinathi “Tiger” Ximba for he is next to unstoppable in the ring. To budding Ugandan prize fighter Richard “Ring Doctor” Damulira, not even Ximba can stop him in his burning bid to conquer African kickboxing. Now that the pinnacle of the mouthwatering battle that the entire world is anxiously waiting for at the end of this month in Nairobi at Kasarani indoor stadium (Nairobi) when the two 20-year-olds will be facing each other.
In fact the over one million Ugandans in Nairobi are reportedly scrambling for the tickets to watch their own make history as the first Ugandan to rule African kickboxing whereas Kenyans are also ready to fill the 5000 capacity Kasarani indoor complex for the WKBF sanctioned contest.
To match promoters Paul Kabaale and Allan Munobwa(also martial arts coach), this is just a tip of the ice bag because more thrilling undercard fights have been line up.
A Look Into Both Camps
Damulira who has spent the last three months in Kenya doing intensive training under the keen guidance of probably the best kickboxing coach in Africa Andrelian Leenher aka Andre at his state of the art Colossuem gym says he doesn’t feel pain anymore!
“I had a painful start since in Kampala we were used to light training though we kept on winning. What Andre and his auxiliary Abdul Sheikh have taken me through is hell on earth but has put me in shape of absorbing pain.
I have constantly watched Ximba’s fighting skills on You Tube and now want to show him why I was named the Ring doctor,” revealed the Mohawk spotting fighter.
Meanwhile Ximba’s camp is confident of achieving yet another win when they take on the confident but unseeded Damulira. Ximba already ranked at number 10 in the world by WKF (World Kickboxing Federation) is the number one ranked fighter in his weight division in all the three officially recognized professional stand up fighting disciplines in South Africa (K-1, Muay Thai and Extreme Striking).
In one of his last fights, the 60kg fighter took the fight to opponent Victor Tiedt from the first bell rocking him with a huge early jab before landing a massive combination of uppercuts and hooks to leave his opponent grounded and out halfway through the opening round. Ximba’s coach and manager Mark Hey believes his fighter’s massive punching power and confident defense and kicks will always make him the best. It’s this potential of virtually sucking blood out of the opponent that forced UPDF kickboxer John Tumukunde to chicken out of a potential bout with the indomitable Ximba and opt for a 16-year-old opponent late last year.
For starters, many of Ximba’s victims end up in hospital after each fight, this however doesn’t make Damulira fret or lose sleep.
Who is ‘Ring Doctor’ Damulira?
Born to John Mutagulwa and Cotildah Nabakooza on January 4, 1994, Damulira dropped out school in S2 to concentrate on his hobby; kicking the hell out of opponents. Though he confesses martial arts movie stars Don ‘the Dragon’ Wilson, Jean Claude Van Damme and Olivier Grunner inspired him into kickboxing, the brave lad is quick to add that the hard knock life of Nateete (survival for the fittest), also played a part in him joining the contact sport.
In a contrasting tale of Damulira’s amazing fighting career, his grandfather Peter Damulira, a former soldier and national boxer supports his kickboxing dreams whereas his dad and mom can’t hold the sight of their beloved son being thumped mercilessly in the ring!
But because the bloody game seems to be the sole source of income for now, Damulira who looks after his parents, 5 siblings and a young beautiful and faithful wife,has to continue knocking out opponents until he gets the world at his feet; which apparently seems very possible under the shrewd management of Kabaale and Munobwa.
After attending Muteesa II primary, New Light Primary and Ssentema SS in Wakiso, Damulira’s exceptional fighting talent would get him spotted by scouts Ivan Ssali and Joseph Lukwago who instantly took him to renowned youth kickboxing coach Sadat Yiga at his Pentagon kickboxing Academy in Natete. He started training at the amateur level and won 85 fights including brutally bruising Bruhan Ssemwogerere who is now in Italy for money ranks.
Damulira would beat Kenyan Micheal Ngeri on his first bout as a professional in 2011. Victories over Andrew Maseruka, Ali Femi and Ronnie Ndugga would swiftly follow. The stylish fighter landed in Kenya in December last year to concentrate on intensive training at Colossuem gym ahead of the Ximba challenge.
“I want to kick start my dream of conquering Africa and the whole world on Match 29,I know Ximba has the power and experience but I am technically better and with coach Andre by my side, I believe I can even move a mountain,” said Damulira who resides in Hurlingham.
About The Promoters
International certified kickboxing promoters Paul Kabaale and Allan Munobwa are Ugandan born shrewd businessmen plying their trade in Kenya. They rose to fame after taking care of East and Central Africa Champion Moses Golola who they introduced to coach Andre early last year.
Wordsmith Golola, hitherto a glorified amateur fighter, improved drastically under Andre and his deputy Abdul Shiekh and has since gone on unbeaten spree with his latest victims being Titus Tugume and Germany based Ronald Mugula. Kabaale still dreams of lining up a continental fight for Golola in Nairobi after the Damulira bout. He also plans to parade Ugandan national champion Titus Tugume on March 29 to face a Nigerian opponent.
“Our aim is to take the poor fighters to global heights they dream and with the facilities like Colosseum gym and Body and Soul gym in place, we firmly believe it’s attainable.
Many Ugandans in Kampala have informed they will travel to Nairobi to catch the historic night live and we have booked for them in advance,” revealed Kabaale, 45, a professional electro-engineer. They are working in tandem with World kickboxing body (WKBF) officials and relevant authorities in Kenya and Uganda to make the inaugural fight in Nairobi a success.
Who is Coach Andre?
Andre Leenher decided to leave a successful family business in Holland that he had run for 27 years to relocate to Kenya in 1999 ostensibly to follow his passion of training kickboxing.
15 years down the line, Andre has managed to establish Colosseum Fitness Centre located in Adam’s Arcade, Nairobi which has given birth to Africa and World champions. His gym offers training to both locals and foreigners from various countries among them Germany, Brazil, Australia, Italy and Norway. Douglas Mutua is among the professional boxers who have trained at Colosseum gym.
He has taken part in boxing competitions in Thailand, Belgium and Holland. Out of 30 fights he has emerged winner with 18 knock-outs. After handling Golola and Damulira, Andre believes Ugandan have the potential to dominate world kickboxing; only if they follow the right path.