John Paul “The Beast” Mugabi – Uganda’s 1980 Bid For Boxing Olympic Gold in Moscow
Earlier than he turned skilled, well-known Ugandan boxer John Paul “the Beast” Mugabi was merely John Mugabi–a younger and hard-hitting, quick, promising boxer. After his silver medal win on the 1980 Olympics that had been held in Moscow, 20 year-old Mugabi eyed the skilled scene. Famend British coach and supervisor Mickey Duff observed Mugabi and shortly enlisted him. Duff is one in all many (together with Ugandan Charles Lubulwa who participated in three Olympic tournaments) who opine that Mugabi was robbed of the gold medal. Into the skilled ranks, Mugabi’s ferocity, power, and pace within the ring would earn him the nickname, “the Beast,”–one that Mugabi has voiced as unflattering, however which the world turned caught on referring to him.
It was within the Parish of the Sacred Coronary heart in Nogales in Arizona that Mugabi whereas coaching for what would develop into his most epic battle, that with world middleweight champion “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler on 10th March 1986, that Mugabi would purchase the identify Paul after baptism into Catholicism (Clive Gammon, “This Beast Is a Magnificence,” in ‘Sports activities Illustrated’; March 03, 1986).
Semi-arid Nogales ‘Metropolis of Walnut Bushes’, stringing alongside the Mexican border, is Arizona’s largest border city. Tiny Rio Rico is ten miles north of Nogales, and it’s right here on the Sheraton Lodge Mugabi coaching camp was arrange in preparation for the Hagler encounter. Mugabi’s coach, instrumental to his getting baptized, was the identical Father Anthony Clark—the parish priest.
Again in 1976, 16 year-old Mugabi gained a welterweight silver medal after dropping to American Herol Graham within the Junior Beginner World Boxing Championships. Apparently, solely weeks earlier than Mugabi’s battle with Hagler, Graham dethroned Ugandan Ayub Kalule of the European middleweight title after knocking him out within the tenth spherical. This struggle would spell the top of Kalule’s illustrious boxing profession. Many have puzzled what would have been the result of a bout between Kalule and Mugabi. There’s a 6-year age distinction, and Kalule had been an idol and mentor of younger Mugabi years again in Kampala.
The Olympic Video games of 1976, held in Montreal had been boycotted by many countries, together with Uganda. Ayub Kalule had been scheduled to struggle for Uganda. He turned knowledgeable boxer. And so did team-mate Cornelius Bbosa who was later to develop into broadly generally known as Cornelius Bosa (Boza) Edwards, and develop into a world junior-lightweight champion.
The key spotlight of the Video games in Montreal had been the finals of the welterweight boxing division, the date 31st July 1976. Younger American “Sugar” Ray Leonard, who deliberate to cease boxing and proceed with college on the College of Maryland was pitted towards a stronger and taller Cuban with a stellar knock-out document. This Andres Aldama who had knocked out all 5 of his earlier opponents, was anticipated to win. However Leonard, much like Muhammad Ali in his earlier profession adopted a “hit-and-run” technique, and elusively pissed off and angered the Cuban. Because the Cuban charged, Leonard would throw in a speedy mixture of strong and correct punches after which retreat. It was like a David-Goliath slaughtering, that even concerned the Cuban getting knocked down, and in addition taking two obligatory counts.
The Moscow Olympic finals of the welterweight division in boxing, 2nd August 1980, concerned a second coming of the skilled dreaded Andres Aldama. Amongst his current accolades was a gold medal win on the Pan African Video games held in Puerto Rico within the earlier yr. Aldama’s opponent John Mugabi at 20, was Four years youthful, far much less skilled, and much much less examined and identified than himself. Every of the 2 boxers had knocked out 4 out of 5 of their earlier Olympic boxing opponents. John Mugabi was Uganda’s remaining prospect for gold.
Within the first spherical Mugabi proved to be the extra energetic one. He threw many jabs, however the tall southpaw Aldama stored most of them at bay, most weren’t hitting their goal. Aldama appeared to be learning his opponent, sizing him up. The judges most likely gave this spherical to Mugabi, only for the hassle.
The second spherical noticed Aldama come off his stool preventing onerous and decided. He gained confidence because the spherical progressed, unleashing onerous head-shots on Mugabi a number of instances. Towards the top of the spherical, he brought about Mugabi to briefly stumble. However Mugabi courageously counter-attacked, clearly with out intention to collapse. And identical to most succesful southpaws, Aldama often confuse Mugabi by his switching to the orthodox boxing stance.
The third spherical was a struggle. Mugabi was touchdown blows to the pinnacle within the brawl, however Aldama’s supply was noticeably extra vital. Aldama was additionally extra correct. Mugabi was tiring within the face of expertise and stiff strong punches. He didn’t yield to a knockdown, however a hypothetical fourth spherical would probably have resulted in Mugabi getting knocked out. Mugabi all the time had the power and coronary heart, however ineffectiveness at defending himself was his main profession weak spot.
The referee declared the struggle a deserved Four-1 in favor of Aldama. The whole thing of the struggle is on the market on U-Tube. Thirty years later, legendary John Mugabi stays the final Ugandan to win an มวยโลก Olympic boxing medal.