Boxing is not a game for the faint-hearted and has been referred to by many as the loneliest sport. It indeed takes a lot of courage for one to enter the boxing ring but this is what Salimat Tibesigwa chose. She is determined to stand tall and believes the sky will be the limit when she faces Tanzanian boxer Zulfa Iddy at Jinja city hall on Saturday, April 8.
The orthodox boxer says she draws inspiration from famous US boxer Claressa shields who has won two consecutive Olympic gold medals. “I want to be remembered as the greatest Ugandan female boxer that’s why I take my profession seriously and train hard,” Tibesigwa said. The boxer nicknamed “Sharp” by her fans was born to Robert Kapere and Hasifah Ataliba in 2004 in Kamuli district.
In 2021, she met Julius Mponge aka “Hitman” on the streets of Jinja with a pair of boxing gloves and inquired how she could develop her boxing passion. Hitman welcomed her to Batoma Boxing Club (Mafubira) and she started training. Driven by her passion for the game that many refer to as the sweet science, she
trained hard and in November 2021, she made her debut against Mercy Oliver Acayo from the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) boxing club in a Super Bantam weight bout which she won on points.
In April 2022, Tibesigwa defeated Joyce Muhande by Knock Out and in the same year, she fought her first professional fight at International University of East Africa defeating Mercy Nakyayo on points. In her second professional fight, she knocked out Racheal Musubika in the second round at Obligato along Bombo road. But in boxing like any other sport, you win some and lose some, especially when you move on to fight the elite boxers. Tibesigwa’s unbeaten run came to an end on October 1 st 2022 at Lugogo MTN Arena when she lost on points to former
Olympian Catherine Nanziri. In December the same year, she travelled to Nairobi, Kenya and lost again on points to Kenya’s Consolata Musanga in an eight-round bout. The loses, however, did not dampen her hopes of becoming a champion boxer and in January 2023, she returned to the ring and knocked out Patience Tumwebaze in the first round.
Tibesigwa who boosts of a lethal left hook and jab cited the bout with Nanziri as the toughest fight of her career. With her record standing at six fights, four (4) wins and two (2), loses, Tibesigwa has urged parents to encourage their daughters to join boxing.
“Girls stand a higher chance of shinning in boxing,” she said. The Batoma Boxing Club (Mafubira) member commended her parents for the unending support. “Dad was supportive when he learnt that I had joined boxing but my mother was reluctant to approve my boxing career,” she said.
The Super Bantam Weight boxer looks forward to being a world champion in female boxing in the near future. Tibesigwa who is ranked 88 th in the world has promised to knock out her Tanzanian opponent on April 8, at Jinja city hall. “You will hear her speaking Lusoga when I hit her,” she said. The event organised by East Enders Sports Hub will feature a number of amateur fights where Eriah Mukama will face Police’s Latigo Hamza, Farouk Luwuriza of Jinja will face Charles Abbajja from Iganga Boxing Club while Dick Mpanga will fight Yassin Kakungulu, among others.