By Uganda boxing Federation President
The greatest AOB African coach ever (1968 – 1988) was Peter Grace Sseruwagi “the hard hitter” as he was popularly known.
He was indeed a “hard hitter” in the Light Welter weight category and he trained his boxers to do the same in order to win their bouts.
He once knocked out Idd Amin Dada (RIP) during a National Opens Boxing Championship and he missed an opportunity to fight Muhammad Ali (Rip) during the 1960 Perth Commonwealth Games having lost in the quarter finals.
He was forced into retirement by Alex Odhiambo in 1964 and started coaching as Bomber Head Coach (Tom Kawere’s) assistant in 1965 to 1968 he assumed full Head Coach status when Kawere became Deputy General Secretary of National Council of Sports in 1968.
Coach Peter Grace Sseruwagi vacually won every medal in the amateur boxing arena in the world. Forexample World Boxing Championship thru Ayub Kalule (gold) and Joseph Nsubuga (bronze) (Rip) in Havana, Cuba in 1974.
He won three Olympic medals thru John Mugabi (Silver in Moscow 1980), Leo Rwabogo -RIP ( silver in Munich 1972 & bronze in Mexico 1968) and Eridad Mukanga (L/Fly weight) RIP (Mexico 1968 – the Africa’s first Olympic medalist).
He also won Africa’s first Commonwealth crown in 1970. By retirement in 1988 he had won Uganda 17 Commonwealth games medals including six gold medals (James Odwori, Muhammad Muruli & Benson Masanda in Edinburgh 1970, Ayub Kalule in Christchurch 1974, Muhammad Muruli in 1974, Jonathan Kirisa in Brisbane 1982, six silver medals & five bronze medals.
He also won six gold medals and several other medals during European/American tours like Montreal International Pre – Olympic tournament in 1975 thru Mustafar Wasajja and Jacob Odongo, Bangkok International in 1977 thru Vickie Byarugaba and James Ochaya, Trybuna Ludu Invitational Championship in 1978 & 1979 thru John Munduga and Stuttgart Inter-Cup Tournament 1985 gold thru Charles Lubulwa.
He also won several gold medals during the African Championship thru George Mathias Ouma (Lusaka 1968), Peter Odhiambo and Ayub Kalule (Nairobi 1972), Benoni (Ben) Kilega Ocan (Lagos 1973), Vitalish Bbege (Kampala 1975), Vickie Byarugaba (Algier 1978) and Lihanda Patrick (Nairobi 1987).
He also won four during theKampala 1977 World Amateur Boxing Championship gold thru Corporal Okumu (RIP), Lihanda Patrick, Owiny Dodoviko and Mande. And silver thru John Siryakibbe, Obote Edward and Nyeko Godfrey. And a bronze medal thru Deogratius Musoke.
Among other international and regional championship medals, Oooooh what a great Ugandan Sports hero he is. He has left an indelible sports legacy comparable to none. RIP legendary master.