Boxer Fa'aasu Loia ready to rumble in paradise
Samoa's only female boxer Fa’aasu Loia is ready to get into the ring for the host nation in the 2019 Pacific Games.
Fa’aasu Loia, who hails from the villages of Sa’aga Siumu and Lalomanu and is coached by revered New Zealand-based former Samoan boxer To’oletai David Tua, is competing in the 75kg division.
The 22-year-old resident told Samoa Observer that she is honoured to be given the opportunity to box for her homeland.
“I was born in Samoa but now reside in New Zealand, so being able to represent Samoa is an honour for me,” she said.
Loia said having a legend like David Tua as her trainer is something she is grateful for, as she is learning from the best.
“He has pushed me to train hard and help me through it and not only has he helped me with boxing but also helped me through life. He is such a great trainer and I am blessed.”
For Loia, boxing means everything to her, and she credits the sport for her travelling and meeting different people.
“The game has made a huge impact on my life.”
When she takes the ring in Savai’i, she hopes to inspire other young Samoan girls to take up the sport.
“That’s a message I want to relay…it motivates me to be at my best and give it my all to push for more women in the game of boxing and to motivate other girls to play the sport,” she said.
“I would love to see more Samoan women in boxing. It would be really nice for our young Samoan girls to be involved with the sport. Also it would be good for Samoa to promote and encourage our young girls because trust me, there is so much talent and potential and our girls can punch.”
Loia there are a lot of potential female boxers, but they lack access to proper training facilities and the motivation to push them further.
When asked if she is nervous in the lead-up to her fight, she said: “I can’t say that I am not nervous because everyone gets nervous. What I can say is that I am ready. From all the training that we’ve done, preparing for the games both physically and mentally, I can definitely say that I am ready to box and do my best for our country.”
Samoa’s boxing squad comprise eight male boxers and Loia, the only female in the team. There are 13 gold medals on offer in the Pacific Games boxing tournament in Savai’i for the winners of three women's divisions and 10 men's divisions.