Rio de Janeiro. At 31, Ronald Serugo knows this could be his last Olympics. He is also coming into his first Rio 2016 fight on Saturday night knowing it’s his last chance to make an impression as an Olympic boxer.
“I lost my first fight in Beijing 2008 and it still hurts me up to now,” Serugo said, recalling his defeat to Mongolian Peruvdorjiin Serdamba.
Some Ugandans were unhappy with Serugo’s display but he reckons he gave his best in the bout.
Serdamba boxed all the way to the final and claimed the London 2012 flyweight silver medal.
In a way, the draw here has been kind to Serugo, handing him a lesser experienced Narek Abgaryan.
The Armenian is only 24 and he is making his Olympic debut.
“I don’t want to lose in the first round again. I will be very disappointed if I lose. I don’t want to disappoint my family and all Ugandans.”
Serugo was Uganda’s only boxing representative in Beijing. At the peak of administrative wrangles in the sport, Uganda didn’t send a boxer to the London 2012 Olympics.
The wrangling forced Serugo to relocate to Sweden where he could get better fighting opportunities and he has used his stay there to keep in competitive shape unlike his counterparts back in Kampala.
“I have worked so hard to get here. My target is a medal. But in case I don’t get, at least I should reach the second round or quarterfinals,” noted Serugo.
The flyweight boxer needs to win three fights to be assured of at least bronze.