By Adam Jarecki
Undefeated lightweight contender Sharif Bogere (18-0, 11KOs) talks about his career, how he came to boxing, signing with Golden Boy Promotions and more in this exclusive interview.
- How did you first get to a boxing gym and when?
Sharif Bogere: Before I started boxing, in the place where I was growing up, in order to survive you had to know how to fight. We had a friend who was a little bit older than us. He used to make us fight each other. He collected a big group of kids around the area where I was growing up.
We used to take off our shirts and wrap on our hands as boxing gloves. Our friend took us to a boxing gym. However, he has never got inside the gym, he was scared of one of the boxers. He just pushed us inside the gym. We were scared because it was quite a different place. The boxers looked scary, because they were all sweaty. They asked us what we were looking for and told us to take off our shirts, so we could train. After that, they showed me good love and I developed the heart of a fighter who loves boxing.
- Could you remind us your achievements in amateur career?
SB: My amateur career was good. I defeated most of my opponents, both my compatriots or international fighters.
- What is the difference between boxing in Uganda and boxing in the United States?
SB: Boxing in Uganda is different from the one in the US. Back in Uganda we lack sponsors and promotion. We lack everything, but if we have good people with us, we can develop our talent.
- Who is your coach? How do you cooperate with him?
SB: I have an excellent trainer. Kenny Adams is a world class trainer, he’s the best. We get along very well.
- We know that the toughest fights are still before you. Could you indicate the opponent who caused the biggest trouble for you in the past?
SB: I can't choose which fight was the toughest. All of my fights have been tough. I fought only against warriors.
- How did you sign the contract with Golden Boy Promotions?
SB: Golden Boy is the best professional group on the planet. Me and my team wanted to sign a contract with Golden Boy more than anyone else.
- How would you rate your cooperation with Golden Boy Promotions?
SB: As I said, Golden Boy is the best. They work with me really good and I’m really thankful to them.
- What are your plans for 2011?
SB: My plans for 2011 will be specified by my promoter and my management. I can say that we are preparing ourselves for a great year.
- Who of current champions in the lightweight division you would like to face most?
SB: I want to face any of them because they have what I need.
- What do you do in your free time? Do you have any hobbies outside of boxing?
SB: I like helping and teaching little kids how to box.
- How did you get your ring nickname "The Lion" from?
SB: I have the nickname because I have the lion heart..
- When can we expect your next fight?
SB: My promoter hasn’t announced the date yet, but hopefully the fight will take place really soon.
- Would you like to fight with other prospects, like Brandon Rios, Mercito Gesta or Henry Lundy?
SB: I'm down for anybody they would bring me. I'm a warrior and I can fight anyone, anytime.
- Could you greet readers of our website and say a few words in the end of our interview?
SB: I would like to thank the fans of BoxingScene.com/Bokser.Org and fans around the world who are following me. God bless you and my gym back in Uganda - Kampala Boxing Club.
Adam Jarecki covers the boxing scene for bokser.org