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Catherine Nanziri: Fighting poverty, prejudice to become Uganda’s boxing champion

Catherine Nanziri throws an undercut during training   -  
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Raziah Athman-Africanews -

Uganda

Catherine Nanziri is a sensation on the local boxing scene, which she entered in 2018. The 22-year-old who dropped out of school spends most days in the gym, sparring.

She faces a Tanzanian boxer in June, but her punches go beyond winning medals, she fights against poverty and prejudice.

_“Some people think that girls do drop out of school or do stop in form four or primary school because of pregnancy yet it is not so. What made me drop out isn’t that and I am looking forward to going back to school”
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Nanziri made history last year, fighting in Tokyo, as **the first female boxer to represent Uganda at the Olympics.**She fell to Japan’s Tsukumi Namiki in the flyweight round of 32 but has not given up since.

Ranked the country’s number one, she just stepped up from flyweight to banter-weight, the first major progression in her career as she goes professional.

_“Professional is business. So boxing is going to start paying me, roughly. Maybe if the sponsors come on board, while I do build my career that is when money comes in and you say that boxing does pay me. Because when sponsors come in you are paid per month which is very fine. In amateur, boxing wasn’t a money issue.”
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As Uganda continues to look for gold in the Olympics, Catherine Nanziri is not discouraged by the negative perception that boxing is a sport for men only.

At 52Kg, she still carries this societal weight to the ring with dreams of fighting at the World Boxing Championships and achieving higher rankings globally.

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