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Future talent shines at fight night

Saturday 2 July 2011 | Published in Regional


Spirited fights and impressive boxing skills had the Tupapa Youth Centre crowd in roars of appreciation at Thursdays fight night.

Seven bouts were held on the night between boxers from clubs around Rarotonga plus three warriors from Atiu.

The first bout of the night was a walkover for 9-year-old Sean Angene, son of Tupapa member of parliament George Maggie.

As the fight night was run under international rules, the mini boxer had to hang out in the ring until it was official his opponent was not going to show.

For braving the large crowd and taking to the ring, Angene received a gold medal which he proudly wore all night.

The younger of the three boxers from Atiu, 16-year-old Joshua Jim, was first to take to the ring to face 13-year-old Muri boxer Harmon Royal.

With three bouts under his belt, Harmon was the more experienced of the two boxers in what was an evenly contested bout.

However it was the determined and speedy Atiu warrior who was declared the winner of the bout by jury decision.

Ina Matakino (20), also from Atiu, patiently went about his business in the ring against Muri boxer Travel Tuaputao.

While Tuaputao put up a fantastic fight it was his taller and leaner Atiu opponent that was crowned the winner of the match.

In the heavyweight division, the crowd was treated to a fantastic display of boxing when first time boxers Dion Wigmore (20) from Titikaveka and Thomas Masters (19) of Atiu took to the ring.

The two boxers were fairly even in experience but it was the left hook and jab of Wigmore that did the damage against his Atiuan opponent who suffered a bloody nose before the bout was cut short a minute into the third and final 3 minute round.

Wigmore was declared the winner of the bout and although he weighed in at 116kg compared to his opponent who was 85.9kg, he moved with grace and speed that impressed onlookers especially when he flew into his opponent with his powerful left hook.

Mongoose club boxer Mathew Titoa faced Arorangi boxer John Andrew in an exhibition match which was won by Titoa, who exhibited superior skills.

Despite losing to the more experienced Titoa Andrew landed a number of well timed shots on Titoa which he will no doubt be proud of.

Budding Muri boxer Eli Daniel was confident as he stepped into the ring to face Mongoose club boxer Michael Edwards but it was Edwards third round onslaught of fists that saw him win the fight.

One of the islands top boxers Eddy Daniel took on Marcus Jack of the Mongoose club in what was another evenly contested match.

Daniels patience and experience saw him outbox Jack to win the match.

The final bout of the night was a battle of the big boys as 132kg Titikaveka boxer Bernard Okotai took on Mongoose club boxer Osolei Hagai who weighed in at 93.7kg

Hagai toyed with Okotai as he tried to tire his heavier opponent out but he had little luck as Okotai held his own in the ring.

Hagai landed more clean shots to earn the points that saw him declared the winner of the bout.

The general consensus from the crowd and spectators was all the boxers that took to the ring have promising futures in the sport and more professionally run fight nights will be advantages to the budding boxers on Rarotonga and the outer islands.

A Pacific Games training squad was to be selected at a boxing meeting last night. The squad will face a delegation of boxers from Tahiti on July 18.

- Matariki Wilson