Now in the last days of the year 2019, having seen some of boxing’s biggest and most established stars slug it out, it is probably time to look at the young crop looking to break through the sport’s sturdy ceiling starting next year.
At only 17, Geoffrey Ochan, a fly weight (49KGs) boxer, is one of the boxers poised to become a star in Uganda’s boxing atmosphere.
Ochan, who deservedly by Unanimous decision beat Abdul Shantal in the opening bout, also beat Champion Busingye before seeing off Gaita Ronald in similar style.
Busingye was part of Bombers team at the 2019 All Africa Games in Morocco while Gaita is an experienced former (2018) national champion.
A primary seven (P.7) drop-out due to lack of school fees, Ochan enters the boxing ring knowing that it is what holds his bright future after an early end to academics.
“I want to be a national, regional and world champion. Of course I want to represent Uganda at the biggest stage. I believe I can take on anyone and I thank my coach for the encouragement and support. I believe I can get a better life in boxing and I am tirelessly working to achieve my goal,” noted Ochan, who binned football for boxing.
“I like Manny Paquiao and from whom I draw my skills,” added the Gulu boxing club boxer. Ochan, who is the national Juniors and Novince Fly weight champion, was however beaten by Dissan Mubiru at the semi-finals.
Despite the loss, Ochan, an orthodox fighter, has caught the eye of many boxing lovers including Uganda boxing federation (UBF) president Moses Muhangi.
“He is a good boxer. He beat boxers that have been at the national team and that shows you the level of competition we have created Boxers are coming from upcountry like Ochan who hails from Gulu. Others come from the East as far as Mbale and this shows how boxing is a national sport that needs bigger funding from government,” noted Muhangi.
Despite limitations in height (short), Ochan had been hailed for his quick hands, aggressive offensive style and on-point guards.
His footwork and footstep as he buzzes rapidly in and out of his opponent’s range, serves him well both in attack and as his main source of defence.
He will still jump in to begin an assault but instead of moving backwards in straight lines, he will often move to the side and this enables him create angles and openings.
Ochan’s speed of foot and of hand, his punching power and his relentless stamina marks the young boxer as a potential diamond in the rough.
He only needs support and support to his Gulu boxing club under Coach Denis Mulindwa to achieve his dream! The national eliminations for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics qualifiers due early next year in Senegal climax on Monday and there after 23 boxers will be selected for non residential training scheduled for January 2-9 before final elimination due January 11-12. Only 13 boxers are needed to enter camp on January 14.