Savai’i boy wins at home and is Pacific champion
Savai’i-born and bred boxer Jancen Sinpati Poutoa is the Pacific champion for the Middle weight 75 kg category.
The 19-year-old from the villages of Sapapali’i and Auala in Savaii felt right at home making him comfortable and confident which led him to the results he got in the finals.
Jancen secured Samoa’s third gold medal from boxing after going into war with his New Caledonian opponent, Ramses Thimoumi.
Even though it was a tough and very intense fight, Jancen fought hard and won gold for the host nation, Samoa.
Said Jancen, he was happy to be “home.”
“This is where I am from. The atmosphere and the people have been amazing and I’m just very happy and grateful to everyone in Savaii.”
With every punch he threw since the beginning of the competition, all hearts and attentions were drawn unto him.
This echoed through loud cheers and people calling him the “boy from Savaii. ”
His proud mom, Penina Seiuli Poutoa credited God for everything.
Tears of joy welled up in her eyes as she proudly spoke about his son.
“This is different from other sports, where there are other team members assisting them during games,” she told Samoa Observer.
“But all we (parents) did was encourage and push him and of course fasting and praying on our God’s good grace to be upon my son.
“We can never thank Him enough for the talent, potential and confidence he has given to my son.
“Because at times, I lose faith when I see my son in the ring. But seeing how he fights with so much courage and all so calmly takes all my nervousness away.
“We know God has put it in his heart and mind and this is all possible because of our Heavenly Father.”
Said Penina, Jancen, is a guy of not many words.
“He’s not a talkative guy. Sinapati as we call him is a very quiet person.
“But he has a big heart. His actions speak volumes.
“He is a strong person physically and mentally.
“He has a big and it really shows, not only with how he treats people and his siblings but also when he is in the ring.
“He is always calm even though I am always torn into pieces seeing him getting punched by his opponents everytime he fights”
Jancen, according to his mom Penina started boxing at a very young age.
“We come from a very humble and poor family,” she said.
“We didn’t have a proper place for him to train, but we had a back yard where his dad used as a training area for him and his son.
“If I remember correctly, my son was only 5 when my husband who also has a passion for the game started teaching him basic skills about boxing.
“My husband, Seiuli Poutoa was also a good boxer in his time and it was no surprise that his son is pursuing the same passion because he grew up seeing and learning from his dad.
“They use to bond over boxing since Sinapati was young. This is because he is our eldest son; we’ve got two older girls and Sinapati is our third child but the eldest boy in the family.
“Sinapati or Jancen as known by many started his interests in boxing at our humble home at Auala.”
Jancen was enrolled into the National University of Samoa in the beginning of last year, however, according to his mother, Jancen approached them wanting to pursue his passion for boxing full time.
“We sent him to the National University of Samoa as we know education opens up opportunities for our children.
“But he told us that he wanted to commit and dedicate his time in boxing and we agreed to it.
“It was a tough decision to make, but as parents, we know we had to support him otherwise we will be forcing him to do something that his heart is not into.
“We are very happy that we made the decision because the same year towards the end, he was on a plane to represent Samoa in the Youth Olympics which made us so happy and modest at the same time.”
Jancen’s first time representing Samoa was during the Youth Olympics in Argentina last year where he placed fourth.
According to A.I.B.A international boxing news, Jancen wrote a new victory page on the boxing history books for Samoa after becoming the first ever athlete (from Samoa) to win a bout at a Youth Olympics Games on Day one in Buenos Aires.
It was an achievement that was celebrated through fasting and prayers, said his mother Penina.
“We don’t always show how proud we are of his achievements so far, especially his father.
“We do show him our support and cheer for him. But everytime he wins, we sit down, be humble and thank God.
“That’s what we want to instil in our son’s mind. That hard work pays off and commitment will get him the right results.
“On top of that, we always remind him to be humble and to put God above everything else as He is the one who made this possible for him.”
Penina used the opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to his son’s success so far.
She also expressed her gratitude to all their families in Samoa and all around the world for showing their love and support towards Jancen.
“As a mother, my heart breaks every time I see my son struggle in the ring.
“But I always tell him, if you don’t want to get punched, you have to keep your guard and fight hard as you take our hearts with you always.
“But the support and love from a lot of people all throughout the games for Jancen has been amazing.
“And I want to thank our families for always being there for us especially for our son.
“We also want to thank our people from Savaii for showing love and support since the beginning of the Pacific Games.
“May God bless each and every one out there.”
Jancen is the 3rd child out of 7 of them but is the eldest boy in the family.
He is 19 years old from Sapapalii and Auala Savai