I watched Golola Moses of Uganda take on a chubby Sudanese opponent on Friday at Hotel Africana in a kickboxing bout. They were fighting for a big-ass African Kickboxing belt and bragging rights. Kickboxing is the sport that allows you not only to use your legs to deliver all kinds of bodily harm to your opponent, it is also well within your rights to stretch your arms and let your gloved fists rub gently against your opponent’s head. If your opponent has a big head, like say if your opponent is Ernest Wasake, then your fists would have a bigger bull’s eye.
During professional training, you are encouraged to picture your opponent as someone distasteful. Each time you look up, that sweaty half-naked man staring back at you through a drug-induced squint should look like that neighbor who plays loud Menton Kronno music at 3 in the morning.
For Gololiath Moses, a fighter gifted with a motor-mouth that turned him into an overnight internet sensation, a lot was at stake. He’d promised way too much. He’d talked of kicking his opponent ‘from the anther to the stigma’, which I believe translates to ‘from balls to the boobs’. Sounds poetic even. He’d also insisted that he’d whoop ass so fast that if you followed The Uganda Handbook On How To Arrive Fashionably Late, the only high you’d get would be from the glue being sold by Ephraim next to the popcorn stand.
It was a night of fights. There were quite a number of curtain-raisers. A number of kick boxers were pitted against each other. The guys looked quite angry and set on mauling each other. There were also some singers who jumped into the ring to do verbal battles with the microphone. But this was during the breaks, when there were no angry fighters in the ring.
For all the talk and talk (that will cost you some dollars, Radio and Weasel; no free legendary mentions. Click here), Gololiath actually delivered. He did whoop chubby dude quite fast. I can see the perv in you urging me to type “The match was a quickie.”
At about 10:00PM, the MC of the night Roger Mugisha asked for a few words from the Kick-Boxing Association people. The one who took the mic seemed to have beef with English so we listened as he took it to the language.
The chubby guy was the first to get into the ring. He had his shorts pulled up to his chin, probably as a defense mechanism, a gimmick to make his opponent think he was a dwarf. He was not a dwarf. He was quite tall. Tall and gifted with a belly that betrayed his trips to Nicodemus in Nakulabye.
Gololiath followed suit, with an excited entourage. He pranced about the ring but all the swag that has elevated him to his current household-name status was absent. Only focus remained. The first round was slightly tense for both fighters though the chubby guy with shorts to his neck seemed very jittery. Gololiath seemed more composed, as though studying his opponent. Every so often, he’d send a blow at his opponent. Chubby shorts kept retreating, pausing only to let out a kick or two, some of which landed home. Both fighters hit the canvas more than once in round one. For those accustomed to 45 minutes before a break is called, round one ended way too fast.
After a leggy belle carried a placard showing us that round two was going to kick off, the two guys stepped in again. Shorts to the neck went down quite early into the round (not like that, perv!). He got up and tried to fight back, only to be felled again. The ugly bit is one second I was taking picutres, the next I’d turned to see what all the noise behind me was about, the next I turned back and the ring was full of all kinds of miscreants. My company revealed that chubby shorts had not taken too kindly to blows delivered to him, and he’d expressed his dissatisfaction by lying prostrate to give his opponent time to think about his bad deeds.