Ah Tong, Plodzicki-Faogali lose Olympic boxing qualifiers to Jordanian brothers
Both Samoan boxers lost their quarterfinals on Sunday night/Monday morning at the Asia-Oceania Olympic Qualification Tournament in Amman, Jordan, meaning they miss out on an automatic spot for Tokyo.
Marion Ah Tong was up first in the welterweight (69 kg) division, where he lost to hometown fighter and number-four seed Zeyad Eashash by unanimous decision.
The 19-year-old Samoan was largely outmuscled by Eashash, who was a quarterfinalist at the World Championships last year.
Ah Tong had been able to hang in against his previous opponent Iran's Sajjad Kazemzadeh Poshtiri who also brought a marauding style to the ring.
But where Poshtiri tired late, Eashash kept his momentum to take the win.
Ah Tong can still qualify for the Olympics by beating the other defeated quarterfinalists to fifth.
He will fight China’s Mehmet Tursun Chong first, the 32-year-old who represented his country at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
Only four heavyweights progress to Tokyo from the Asia-Oceania Tournament, so there is no such second chance for Ato Plodzicki-Faoagali.
The Commonwealth Games silver medalist was defeated by Eashash’s older brother Hussein Iashaish, also the fourth seed in his division.
A cut near the Samoan’s right eye caused his Round of 16 win to be stopped early, and many thought he wouldn’t be able to take his place in the quarterfinals.
Iashaish landed a couple of left hooks early to re-open the cut, and while Plodzicki-Faoagali really went for it to try and steal the fight, there was only ever going to be one winner.
After two standing counts were issued in the first round, the referee stopped the bout in the second to give Iashaish the win and the Olympic berth.