Two things are guaranteed and move hand in hand and that is a fact of life in every man’s or Woman’s accomplishments. Where you find a positive you must meet something negative and the reverse is true.
While there are many advantages to being a contracted pugilist with the boxing federation-UBF, so that you must feature into the new and fashioned Boxing Champions league, it is important to understand what it means from a boxer’s perspective to become a legal, permanent combat entity of the UBF.
Do the consequences of the contract of UBF contract outweigh the benefits of not having one? As you weigh the benefits, first, be aware that as a boxer, you lose your sovereignty to UBF especially now that the clubs where you have been trained and natured have been locked out of the boxing business at the Champions league.
Uganda Boxing Champions League has been launched officially today – Thursday 25thNovember 2021 as a totally new chapter in the book that details local boxing and its achievements. However, the news has been received and welcomed differently by the different departments of local boxing and its fanatics.
The boxers, the coaches, the clubs, the judges and the administrators, each, have their own reception of the Boxing champions league in the country. With the opening games of the inaugural competition starting 4th December this year, The Investigator sports will show you the beauty and the ugly bit about the just launched rare chapter of local boxing.
Launching at Kati-Kati Restaurant in Lugogo, just a few meters away from the UBF office, UBF President Moses Muhangi gave a lengthy submission of why they have to include the Champions League in Boxing.
With references, Muhangi said the boxing game was once a golden sport winning medals at the international level especially the Bombers. Today it’s totally a different story year in and out.
Muhangi says the Boxing champions league will welcome a lot of competition, professionalism and add commercial value to the sport something that has been missing since 1950 when UBF was first constituted. “For the first time in Uganda we are launching an all-year-round competition. It’s the first commercial product of boxing in Uganda.” Muhangi said.
“Some federations on the continent have commercialized the sport of boxing and we have been lagging behind. We will try to learn and copy the good things and ignore the bad things. We have existed for so long but have not been making money.”.
Muhangi said they have been dependent and surviving on government resources which is also focused on national teams and sometimes, do not come. “As government focuses on national teams, it means if you are not on the national team, you age and retire without earning anything in life. We want to move out of that box.”
Muhangi also highlighted the need for such competitions like the Boxing Champions league if boxing is to become competitive on the international scene on part of the local boxers.
“None performance on international level is because we lack competition at home and therefore there has been no medals with the last medal from boxing coming through in 1980 Olympic. So there has been need to create a local, regular and competitive event for our boys and girls.”
Who is financing the League?
The system won’t work outright so “we ask our boxers for their patience and belief in the project work. Hard work has been done so what is left is execution.” Muhangi says. The league given resources will run every Saturday or even bi-weekly.
Without ready monies to run the league Muhangi has contracted Top Boy promotions to manage, fund and run the league in every aspect for the start. It’s a bumpy road in the beginning because they don’t have funding yet.
“But with time it’s going to get better. I think we have a good idea as the federation but we are stuck due to lack resources to have it executed.” Muhangi said as he announced Top Boy promotions as the maiden promoters and managers of the Champions League.
Contract or none of it?
As he continued to relay information, Muhangi tackles the idea of boxers having contracts with the federation before they feature into the champions’ league. By the contracts only those boxers who have complied will play in the league.
There will therefore be no slots for none compliant boxers at the national team. Only 200 boxers have complied meaning the largest number of boxers have not and therefore will miss out.
“We have rules and regulations governing the league and these are totally different rules we operate on.” The Boxers must expect no mercies according to the rules and regulations governing the champions league.
Boxers who rejected signing contracts with the Uganda Boxing Federation have petitioned the Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) for help on this constitutional matter.
In the November 19 document titled; “Violation of boxers’ rights to participate in Uganda Boxing Federation organized competitions,” the boxers expressed their grounds challenging UBF’s attempt to coerce them into signing “one-sided” contracts and requested Ganzi Mugula, chairperson of Athletes’ Commission, UOC to intervene.
Clubs locked out of business
Legally worldwide, a player or athlete remains an employee of a given club. As he launched the Champions league Muhangi stresses the importance of boxers having contracts with the federation and not the clubs.
This means that the clubs cease to have ownership of the boxers who have signed contracts to play in the champions league. It’s upon this back ground that many club coaches, boxers still remain uncompliant with the contracts whose clauses they have not read and comprehended.
In Uganda there are about thirty boxing active clubs and all these have been thrown out of boxing business at the champions league, save for the national open, novices and schools competitions that have been relegated to secondary roles in boxing, according to Muhangi. The national open has been the biggest tournament on the boxing calendar since time immemorial.
Top Boxers sign out
Refusal to sign the contracts means the boxers, including national team – Bombers` Captain Musa Shadir Bwogi, David Ssemuju and Catherine Nanziri, who represented Uganda at the recent Olympics in Tokyo, will not participate in the Champions League, even after making the qualification mark.
It also means they will miss international events because the UBF has designated the Champions League as the sole qualifier to the 2022 Commonwealth Games and the Africa Games in 2024. To these top boxers the issue is very unacceptable that they, with a lot of energies, must challenge it in all possible ways.
According to the four-year contract, a boxer must surrender “his or her image, name usage and other rights to UBF and UBF assigned agents. This abuses the boxers’ right to leverage opportunities to generate income in relation to their sporting career, name and likeness, while recognizing the intellectual property or other rights, rules of the event and of sports organizations and the Olympic Charter, according to the IOC Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities Declaration.
Boxers who attended the October 31st meeting said when they requested for a review of the terms of the contracts, UBF president Moses Muhangi told them: “You either sign, or you are out of the Champions League.”
Bombers team destiny
The Champions league will directly constitute the Bombers for international engagements. “When there is a national team engagement within that time, the leading Boxer in points is the one who will be considered because he would have beaten everyone in his/her category at the champions league,” Muhangi explained.
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