Samoa boxing on the up at Champ of Champs
Over 200 boxers competed in the Champ of Champs national tournament which finished yesterday at St Joseph’s College.
Samoa Boxing Federation president Papali’i Poloa said the turnout meant what was planned as a two day tournament had to include Thursday as well.
Boxing rings from all over the country took part: Marist, Tumua ma Pule, Upolu ma Savaii, Plantation Boxing and Itu o Tane boxing ring from Savaii.
Samoa Boxing Federation vice-president Fesolai Va’aiga Tuigamala said boxing has grown in the last few years.
“We’ve seen this with the introduction of the secondary school boxing competition, which has had huge turnouts.”
“There’s a lot of raw talent, they just need a bit of polishing up.”
“There’s no reason why our boys can’t do well on the international circuit, if given opportunities.”
Fesolai said those opportunities are expensive, and boxing in Samoa is still in the infancy stage.
“Samoa Boxing Federation has gone through quite a bit over the last couple of years.”
It took a recent court case to reconcile issues between the former and current administrators.
“I think we’ve come out very well, big ups to all the fighters and parents for their support,” Fesolai said.
“Boxing is going in the right direction, it’s been through the valleys and the tough times but we’re coming through.”
He believes a special era is coming for boxing in Samoa, for which the Pacific Games in July will be the perfect showcase.
“We are very blessed to host it, and we’re really excited.”
“There was a time when boxing was our national sport.”
“Some people criticise the sport for being very violent, but if you come and watch the boys train, watch the art, the skill, the talent.”
“You realise it’s more than just beating each other up.”
Midget 32kg - Joe Galumalemana (Upolu ma Savaii)
Mosquto Jr 35kg – Sa Fineaso (Tumua ma Pule)
Mosquito Sr 38kg – Daniel Alofipo (Upolu ma Savaii)
Pinweight 45kg – Lotu Hall (Upolu ma Savaii)
Light Flyweight 49 kg – Hans Lemalu (Tumua ma Pule)
Light Bantamweight 52kg – Last Tuna (Upolu ma Savaii)
Featherweight 57kg – Niko Toma (Itu o Tane)
Light Welterweight 63kg – Mika Opetaia (Plantation Boxing)
Light Middleweight 70kg – Salauati Tuautu (Itu o Tane)
Light Heavyweight 80kg – Joseph Tanoa (Upolu ma Savaii)
Heavyweight 81kg+ - Benjamin Itai (Upolu ma Savaii)
Light Welterweight 64kg – Paulo Sagato (Upolu ma Savaii)
Welterweight 69kg – Alai Faauila (Upolu ma Savaii)
Middleweight 75kg – Jancen Poutoa (Upolu ma Savaii)
Light Heavyweight 81kg – Isaako Fiti (Upolu ma Savaii)
Heavyweight 91kg – Tufatu Tuna (Upolu ma Savaii)
Middleweight 75kg – Repeka Alofipo (Upolu ma Savaii)
Light Heavyweight 81kg – Faafetai Iosia (Upolu ma Savaii)
Light Welterweight 64kg – Nuuuli Mose (Upolu ma Savaii)
Welterweight 69kg – Faasala Livai (Upolu ma Savaii)
Middleweight 75kg – Uilaomatagi R Sinapati (Tumua ma Pule)
Light Heavyweight 81kg – Ato Plodzicki-Faoagali (Marist)
Heavyweight 91kg – Henry Tyrell (Marist)
Super Heavyweight 91kg+ Filimaua Hala (Marist)