The man who actually wins games instead of talking about it. Last Saturday night, Romanian kickboxer Elek Janos kissed the canvas at the hands of our Ronald Mugula. And while he has won many titles, Mugula is quite silent about it, so Edgar R. Batte sought him out after the fight.
How was the fight?
It was a nice fight. The guy was not simple. He was better than Nagy.
What do you mean he was good yet you won the fight?
He was a good boxer and he even gave me a left-hook. He was shorter than me but he managed to destabilise me. Yes I kicked him and disorganised him, and that was the reason I was able to beat him.
How do you feel about your victory?
Ugandans thought that I had faded, but they are now assured that I am good. Today, Ugandans can respect and support the game because we are attracting big names.
When you won you were holding something in the ring, what was it you were holding and why were you holding it?
It was my cup and it is something I won and the other was the belt that I won.
Was it a title fight?
It was an inter-continental fight.
What is kick boxing?
Kickboxing is what the Baganda call ensambagele. You box, kick and you knee, that is basically it.
When did you become a kickboxer?
In 2000. It was a passion that grew out of watching movies like Van Damme’s kickboxing movies. One time, I was working out at Kampala Boxing Club (KBC) in Nakivubo when I was spotted by Eddie Gombya (organising secretary) and Hassan Ssekilime (president) of KBC. They tried me out and I beat three guys. I was then given a chance to go compete in the East African Kickboxing Championships. Golola Moses was part of the team as well John Tumukunde.
Did you win anything?
Yes, I brought home a silver medal.
Were you friends with Golola Moses?
We were on the national team and he was my friend.
Was he as loud then as he is today?
He was loud but not as much as he is today. In fact I was shocked when I returned from Europe and found he was as loud as he is. Maybe back then he was being quiet but had his verbal artillery within.
Would you fight him in the ring today?
Yes if he wanted, but I doubt it is possible.
Why is it not possible?
We respect each other as friends but if he is okay with it, we can beat one another.
How do you rate him as a kickboxer?
As a heavyweight in the 80-kilogramme category, he is good. He always beat his opponents at the amateur level.
Don’t you think he overrates himself?
No, he has only failed to beat the foreigners but here he is good. In fact he needs to beat more locals so he can prove himself and then beat the foreigners.
In which weight category are you?
How many kilogrammes do you weigh?
I weigh 69.5 kilogrammes.
What was your childhood like?
I was a home boy, who liked going to school and I was a humble boy who loved cleaning at home and washing utensils.
What was your education like?
I repeated a couple of classes because I was naughty and not keen on studying.
Do you have a degree?
I went up to Senior Three.
What happened then?
I was orphaned and did not have anyone to support me further in my studies.
How did you deal with life after failing to continue with school?
I went to Owino where I sold clothes as I learned how to box at KBC.
How did you end up in Europe?
Through kickboxing. I had gone to represent Uganda in the World Muay Thai Championship in 2007.
What did you win in this competition?
I won gold after beating four people, a Bulgarian, a Thai, a German and a guy from Kazakhstan.
Have you lost some fights?
Yeah, many. I have fought 60 fights and I have lost 10 of them and registered 44 wins. Among the wins are 24 Knock-Outs (KOs). I have six draws.
We saw a white trainer in your corner during the fight. Who is he?
He is called Thilo Schneider. He is my trainer and he is a fighter too.
Do you have any children?
I have two.
Are you living with their mother?
Yes, I live with her.
Who is she?
She is called Josephine Nakafeero.
What does she do?
She is a fashion designer and she is behind the designs of the attire I wear while in the ring.
How did you two meet?
We met at Heritage Park in Entebbe in 2000.
How did the chemistry work out?
I was holding Shs2,000 and she asked me for some money to buy fish. She told me she liked to buy fish but didn’t have enough money so she brought her Shs3,000 and we bought it together and became friends. As we conversed I learnt that we had gone to the same school, Citizen High School, along Namirembe Road.
How old are the children?
My daughter is 10 years old and the younger one is five.
Given your fame, don’t you have girls on your case?
They are there but I am strong and I try to be faithful because I have gone through a lot with my woman.
So how do you deal with these girls?
I always play busy. There is so much beauty in Kampala, but the good thing is that I am not a bar or nightclub goer so I don’t meet many of these admirers.
Are you legally married?
I am legally married. I married my wife in church in 2004.
You were a European-based kickboxer tell me about your experiences there?
I was good.
Why did you return?
KT (Musa Kavuma), a local promoter gave me a deal to fight with Nagy and I came back and just did that, and beat him. After that I returned to Europe, so I have been in and out of Uganda.
How do you feel when you have lost a match?
It is a bad experience because it is like throwing away my business. I am fighting to retain my status as a winner.
As a kick boxer, what makes you tick?
I am a good listener and I am always willing to listen to advice.
Tell me about your family background…
I was born in Luwero District at a village called Bukolwa. My dad was Dan Mugula who was a businessman in Owino