Tonga’s best ready to rumble

17 February 2016, 12:00AM

Tonga’s elite champion boxer Kanongataa Atonio has set foot on Samoan soil and he is ready to rumble. 

Tonight, the Tongan will take on Samoa’s very own, Petelo Matagi, in the Vailima Fight for Marist, at Gym One, Tuanaimato.

Touching down at Faleolo International Airport on Sunday, Atonio and his coach Tauala Molou were greeted by Miss Samoa, Ariana Taufao. Also accompanying them is boxing referee Miliami Lomu, who is an uncle of the late All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu.

Atonio won a Silver medal at last year’s Commonwealth Youth Games held in Apia. He will be fighting at the Asian Games next month to qualify for the Rio Olympics. 

Hours away from the fight, he said he is as prepared as he could be.

“I am here to do battle and will not disappoint the crowd, especially the Tongan community here in Samoa and back home,” he said. He also expressed his gratitude to Marist St Joseph’s Sports Club for inviting him to Samoa.

Matagi, on the other hand, has already qualified for the Rio Olympics and is grateful for the opportunity to fight Tonga’s best as part of his preparations for Rio.

Also to be featured at the Vailima Fight for Marist will be a bout between Filimaua Hala and Aukusitino Fa’afua who are among Samoa’s top senior amateur boxers.

Prior to this bout will be the finals for all weight divisions of the National Youth Amateur Boxing Competition. In addition will be corporate fights between lawyers, accountants, rugby clubs, rugby codes, faafafine, big boys and others.

Proceeds from the fight will be used for the sports club’s charitable activities and to revive its boxing ring. Officiating the fights will be the Samoa Amateur Boxing Association (S.A.B.A).

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. 

17 February 2016, 12:00AM

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