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Uganda's Asiku Wins World Boxing Title
Featherweight title
J. Asiku bt H. Ruiz

JACKSON Asiku is the new International Boxing Organisation featherweight champion. Asiku knocked out Mexico’s Heriberto Ruiz in the eighth round in Sydney, Australia to become the fifth Ugandan to win a world boxing title.

The Australia-based Ugandan twice floored Ruiz before finishing him off with a devastating right uppercut two minutes and 56 seconds into the round.

Asiku was the usual slow starter before flaring up in the sixth round to systematically weaken Ruiz with body shots.

“He was in superb shape. He was very sharp,” said Team Asiku member Tony Tolj after the fight that drew 10,000 spectators at the Sydney suburb of Parramatta .

Prominent in the crowd were several Ugandans waving their national flags. An overjoyed Asiku had reason to party after getting hold of the IBO belt. The title shot came after an agonizing three-year wait in which two title fights failed to materialize last year.

His dream has always been a title defence before his home fans. “I would love to defend the title in Kampala. That’s one thing Team Asiku will target,” he said before Friday’s fights.

Ayub Kalule, a champion at the in¬augural world amateur championships in 1974, repeated the feat in the paid ranks in 1978.

He defeated Masashi Kudo to get the WBA light middleweight crown in front of the Japanese fighter’s home fans in Akita, Japan. Cornelius Boza followed in Kalule’s footsteps two years later by winning the WBC super featherweight title after beating Bobby Chacon.

John “The Beast” Mugabi was in the headlines in 1989 when he knocked out Rene Jacquot in France to win the WBC light middleweight crown.

Kassim “The Dream” Ouma was the next Ugandan to make his presence felt on the world stage. Ouma, also in the news for his captivating story of serving as a child soldier, outwitted American Verno Phillips at Caesers Palace, Las Vegas in 2004 to become the International Boxing Federation champion.
Tags:Uganda, Asiku
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