A captain of the Ugandan national team and five-time African champion as an amateur, 24-year old Sharif “The Lion” Bogere now looks to follow in the footsteps of countrymen Ayub Kalule, Kassim Ouma, John Mugabi, and Cornelius Boza-Edwards as a professional world champion.
Charismatic in and out of the ring, right down to the lion skin he wears into battle, Bogere is a dynamic boxer who can do it all when the bell rings, earning him a “can’t miss” tag from boxing insiders.
After accomplishing all he wanted to as an amateur, Bogere left Uganda during the 2007 World Amateur Boxing Championships in Chicago, later surfacing in California
On April 5, 2008, Bogere made his pro debut with a 69 second knockout of Ed Lee Humes, and he was off and running through the lightweight division.
Reymundo Hernandez was the next to fall at his hands, with Alejandro Lopez and Mike Peralta also tasting defeat.
2009 was just as impressive, with eight more victories getting piled up by the time Fall rolled around.
By the end of 2009, Bogere had compiled a 13-0 record that included seven knockouts, and he was ready for the next level.
One of his most impressive victories during that run was a second round TKO of 7-1-1 Rodolfo Armenta, a win that prompted respected ESPN.com scribe Dan Rafael to write, “Just 20, Bogere is a prospect from Uganda now living outside of Las Vegas. When you see him, you’ll remember him because of his over-the-top ring entrance. He wears a lion’s head and skin and is brought to the ring inside a cage. Hey, if he wanted to get noticed, he has. Once inside the ring, Bogere also makes things interesting. He looks like he has good power and used it to drop Mexico’s Armenta, 24, twice before the fight was called off.”
But what may have been the highlight for the charismatic puncher was when heavyweight legend Mike Tyson pointed to Bogere as a future star.
“I have watched him four times in Vegas and he seems to posses the potential to go far,” Tyson said to boxingscene.com. “He’s got speed and agility with some pomp. He is very agile.”
High praise from the future Hall of Famer, but Bogere expects to live up to all expectations in the coming years and fly the Uganda flag high.