In the run-up to his World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight title fight against Cuban Richard Abril this Sunday, Ugandan contender Sharif 'the Lion' Bogere has promised an explosive encounter, writes Moses Mugalu.
Bogere, nicknamed 'The Lion' because of his big heart and ruthlessness in the ring, underlines God's wish every time he speaks about his prospects in this fight.
"The training is going on really good and we gonna be victorious Inshallah (God willing)," the unbeaten 24-year-old said in a brief interview with The Observer on Monday. "I'm going to come fighting and expect a lot of action in the ring. But, I will be off Twitter for a while preparing for this fight...Pray for me and Richard Abril, thank you for your continued support," he added.
With a perfect record of 23 wins (17KOs), Bogere is bidding to become only the sixth Ugandan boxer after Ayub Kalule, Cornelius Boza-Edwards, John 'The Beast' Mugabi, Kassim 'The Dream' Ouma and Jackson Asiku to win a world title.
Meanwhile, 30-year-old Abril, who has won 17 of his professional career fights (losing three and drawing one), is desperate to bounce back to winning ways after his controversial split-decision defeat to Mexican Brandon Rios back in April, 2012.
But, the Cuban acknowledges that Bogere won't be an easy opponent: "He [Bogere] is a good fighter. I've seen several videos of his fights, he has ability. I think this is the biggest fight of my career," he told reporters. "A win will give my career a boost. I want to show the public and my fans that Richard Abril is ready for the big stage," Abril added.
Despite being tagged the slight favourite by several bookmakers, Bogere's camp has not taken things lightly in ensuring that the Ugandan prize fighter gets the best drills before facing Abril.
For instance, they hired Cuban sparring partners including Pedro Toledo, who engaged Bogere in training for the past couple of weeks at his Las Vegas base. The bout will be televised by Cable network Showtime, which guarantees a good payday for Bogere.