From humble beginnings in his native Uganda to one of the meccas of boxing in Las Vegas, Nevada, Sharif “The Lion” Bogere (30-1, 20 KOs) is ready to make a statement in boxing.
Bogere was born and raised in Kampala, Uganda and discovered at a very young age that boxing was his calling. Raised under the careful watch of his mother, Bogere would box covertly in different gyms to avoid word getting back to his family of his activities.
“Back then, people thought boxing was for thugs,” said Bogere. “People believed that if you boxed, that meant you were learning to rob or beat people in the street and my mother didn’t want any part of that for me.”
Following his passion, Bogere continued to train despite his family’s efforts. After a while, it became clear that this wasn’t just a hobby for the young Bogere and soon he gained the support and approval of his family.
Fast forward, past an impressive amateur career that included multiple accolades and a solid record of 68-4, Bogere brought his talents to the states.
His determination brought him to Chicago, where initially he hoped to qualify for the Olympics, but elected to turn pro instead. Commencing his professional career, Bogere fought on cards for just about every promotional company out there from Top Rank, Don King and later signed with Golden Boy Promotions.
Bogere began to make a name for himself and took on tough opposition as he ascended through the Lightweight rankings. One of the standout wins on Bogere’s resume is over title-contender, Ray Beltran.
“When I fought Ray I took the fight without ever seeing him fight,” said Bogere. “I just remember seeing he had a few losses on his record and thinking this will be fine, no big deal. He was a tough fighter.”
The Lion finally gained a shot at the WBA Lightweight title but came up a bit short against Richard Abril in a decision loss. “I certainly thought I won the fight,” said Bogere. “It is what it is. You win some and you lose some. When I get that opportunity again, believe me, I will capitalize.”
It was around this time that Bogere needed a change. In came Leonard Ellerbe and pound-for-pound king, Floyd “Money” Mayweather. After witnessing Bogere’s talents, a contract with Mayweather Promotions was drawn out. “It was a great feeling. I became a hero back home,” said Bogere. “Not only that, people thought I was an instant millionaire being signed to TMT.”
Today, Bogere is riding a seven fight win streak heading into his bout this Saturday night at Sam’s Town Live. Bogere will square off against Arturo Santo Reyes (19-8, 5 KOs) in a 10-round bout that could place him one step closer to another title shot.
“Reyes is a tough guy. Most of his losses come at the hands of current or former champions and I’m not going to take him lightly,” said Bogere.
“I credit Mayweather Promotions for these opportunities. They give fighters great chances to succeed,” said Bogere. “I’m on my way to the top. As long as I stay positive and keep working, they will get me there.”
Bogere may have cruised under the radar for some years, but make no mistake, this lion is out to become the king of the Lightweight division.
Photo by Rich J. Hundley III/Showtime
Peter Nieves is a sports journalist who's been writing for Round By Round Boxing since 2012. When he's not covering the sweet science, he's busy twirling his mustache and writing a screenplays. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @pnieves90