Matagi Petelo lands a heavy blow on Tonga’s Kanongataa Atonio that eventually stopped the fight in Round 3
BY Staff Reporters
APIA, SAMOA: THURSDAY 18 FEBRUARY 2016: Samoa’s Olympic boxing qualifier Petelo Matagi last night defeated Tonga’s Elite Champion Kanongataa Atonio in a third round TKO.
The main event of the Vailima Fight for Marist at Gym One of the Faleata Sports Complex saw the feisty young Tongan put up a challenge and did expose Petelo especially in his counter attacks.
However the more experienced Matagi got the edge and had the determined Tongan standing eight counts in the first and second rounds.
Matagi himself had a standing eight count in the third round before he landed a major blow to Atonio’s abdomen and saw the Tongan champ fail to continue the fight.
Matagi thanked his opponent for coming over to fight which gives him fight time ahead of the Olympics in September.
Atonio on the other hand will fight in the Asian Games in two weeks in his efforts to qualify for the Rio Olympics. Before the fight, Atonio presented a gift to Samoa’s Prime Minister.
The main event of the inaugural Vailima Fight for Marist saw a renewed commitment from the Marist St. Josephs Sports Club to revive its boxing ring in a drive to return Samoan boxing to its past glory as a major force for boxing in the region.
Sports Club Patron and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi laid down the challenge last night and reminded the Sports club of Marist’s significant role in introducing the sport of scientific boxing in the past years – producing some of Samoa’s best in the Pacific region and the world.
He reminded the audience that when Samoa hosted the South Pacific Games for the very first time in 1982, Samoa won Gold in all the divisions in boxing except for one.
He donated the Cup to the annual tournament and the prize money of $2,000.
The colourful and fun event was interspersed with the National Amateur Boxing championships and corporate bouts between a lawyer and an accountant, the competing sports codes and The Battle of the Big Boys that really entertained the crowd.
World Heavyweight contender Lupesoliai Joseph Parker’s signed boxing gloves were auctioned at $1,300 as well as other items and memorabilia to raise funds for the Clubs charity.