Battle of the Pacific Warriors

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RISING STAR: Petelo Matagi.

RISING STAR: Petelo Matagi.

Is Petelo Matagi going to be Samoa’s next Joseph Parker? 

This appears to be the case judging from Petelo’s fast hands, fancy foot work and wide range of combinations. 

Petelo has already qualified for the Rio Olympics in the 81kg category. 

He fought against Hugo Fata as one of the undercards at the recent Joseph Parker fight here in Samoa. Hugo Fata is one of the best amateur fighters in Samoa. The result of their fight was a draw.

The two fighters were scheduled to fight again at the Vailima Fight for Marist event but Hugo has withdrawn from the fight. He said he wants to fight but his father has told him not to.

Petelo’s replacement opponent will now be Kanongataa Atonio of Tonga. Kanongataa is Tonga’s Elite Champion 2016 for the 81kg category. He won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games last year and is the Tongan Olympic Qualifier for the Asia Games 2016.

The two fighters have never fought each other before so it will be interesting to see Petelo’s speed versus Kanongataa’s power. Both are young fighters and would use this opportunity as part of their preparations for the Rio Olympics.

Petelo is a humble and soft spoken young man who prefers to let his hands do the talking. He sees a future in boxing and ultimately wants to become World Champion. He will get his opportunity to be on the world stage at Rio, but first he has to overcome the Tongan Champion here in his hometown.

Also to be featured at the Vailima Fight for Marist event is the finals for all categories of the National Youth Amateur Boxing Competition. These fighters are the future of boxing for Samoa and their raw talent will be showcased for all to witness. In addition will be corporate fights between Golden Oldies rugby clubs, faafafine, old pupils associations and many more.

The keynote address at the Vailima Fight for Marist event will be delivered by Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi who is also the Patron of the Marist St Joseph’s Sports Club. His aim is to revive the sport of boxing in Samoa. Officiating the fights will be SABA (Samoa Amateur Boxing Association). 

The Vailima Fight for Marist event will take place on Wednesday 17th February 2016 at Gym One, Tuanaimato. Doors will open at 6:30pm. Corporate tables (of 8) cost $1,200 each (free food and Vailima beer). General admission to be paid at the door is $5 per person. 

For more information, please contact Boxing Tournament Coordinator, Tavui Mike Lemisio on 7628769 or President, Laulu Henry Taefu on 7585450 of Marist St Joseph’s Sports Club, Inc.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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