The Incredible Rise of Badru Lusambya a.k.a 'Mr. Crush'
Badru Lusambya a.k.a 'Mr. Crush'.

The Incredible Rise of Badru Lusambya a.k.a 'Mr. Crush'


An African star.

By Ramathan Kasozi
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First published: May 10, 2007


Though not yet within the class of the likes of Kassim 'The Dream' Ouma and Peter Okello, Badru Lusambya a.k.a 'Mr. Crush' is not only a household name in the Ugandan boxing world but a star in the black man's continent too. The 26-year-old southpaw pugilist holds a record that any boxer would be proud to have on his/her resume, having registered 15 knockouts in 16 professional fights. It has become a norm at his pre-fight press conferences for him to answer questions like: "In which round will you crush the opponent?" and not questions like "Will you win?". Now you know how he came to be baptized 'Mr. Crush'.


If there is anything that surprises the boxing fraternity, it is not Mr. Crush's record but his abrupt and miraculous emergence on the boxing scene in Uganda. As a little boy, Lusambya never thought of even associating himself with a boxing glove, punching bag, let alone the boxing ring. He spent most of his time on anthill infested football pitches in the 'Ghetto' of Katwe, a filthy suburb/slum in Kampala. "Even during my childhood, I never thought of associating myself with a boxing ring, glove or a punching bag. I thought that my future was in football. I played for many teams including 2nd division side Jubilee Park FC," reveals the African Union Belt holder.

It was not until 1996 that Lusambya developed any love for boxing after inspiration from his long time friend and former Ugandan national team boxer, David Lusimbo. "That is how I quit soccer," he says. In 1998 following a year's training under Lusimbo, Lusambya joined the mature ranks in which he instantly imposed himself. "I registered numerous stoppages despite being a novice. In the schools' category, I recorded only knockouts (KOs) up to the intermediate finals, where I fought Robert Musasizi but the bout was stopped in the 4th round because I was over bleeding," he narrates.

Such a splendid rise is just enough for any individual to launch a successful career into the game but not Mr. Crush, who opted to return to the football scene. Lusimbo's efforts to lure him back to the boxing game were futile despite Mr. Crush's being summoned to the national team, the Bombers. "I couldn't join the Bombers because they were earning nothing in those days. It was like a charitable game yet I had a lot of responsibilities," adds the cool pro, who will not lift even a finger against an aggressor outside the ring.

For the next full year, Mr. Crush continued his football career at Military Police FC, where he used to earn a meager 5000 -10, 000 Uganda shillings a game. This was better financially compared to boxing for charity. However, a year's exile from the ring wasn't enough to extinguish his passion for boxing. When he returned to the boxing scene in 2000, he headed straight for the professional ranks and has never looked back.

He has crushed an infinite number of opponents and some of the victims who faced his wrath include Tanzania's Maneno and Hassan Mutalae as well as Zambian John Chibuta who still praises Lusambya for his talent. "I have faced many boxers, but the most gifted one is Chibuta. Many people think that Maneno, who took me the entire distance, posed a great threat but to be sincere, Chibuta, whom I stopped in the 5th round is more deadly," stresses Lusambya. "He has a very good game reading ability, foot work and guards well. He can box as well as fight," he adds.

His Future...
Although he takes his next fights with utmost seriousness, Lusambya dismisses the view that his professional career hangs on them and distances himself from talk of a possible loss. After crushing almost every opponent on the African continent, Lusambya hopes to emulate the likes of Kassim Ouma as he shifts his focus to bigger titles such as the World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation titles.

By Ramathan Kasozi
more from author >>
First published: May 10, 2007
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Ramathan Kasozi is a member of Ultimate Media Consult (U) Ltd. . A graduate Journalist, Kasozi has more than 5 years experience reporting on sports in Uganda for different print and broadcast media houses.