International boxers are ready to come back – again

Jai Opetaia of Australia after defeating Togasilimai Letoa of Samoa in a second round technical knock out

BY Taileah Watson*

APIA, SAMOA – SATURDAY 11 FEBRUARY 2017: As the boxing comes to an end at the Marist International Sports Week, international boxers thank Samoa, and hope to return soon.

After a long week of preparation, training, and rewarding bouts, the boxing has ended for this year’s Marist sports week. With a combination of win and losses from all competing countries, the event shaped up to be successful and exciting.

In 2017 Marist was fortunate to invite and host international boxing teams, after the success of its inaugural Fight for Marist last year. Teams included Tonga, Australia, American Samoa, and New Zealand who competed against the inspiring locals from Samoa.

To some fighters, the chance to compete on a national stage was humbling. Ken Stone William Hurrell of Tonga expressed his gratitude, “I’d like to thank Samoa for supporting us, and for sponsoring us to come here to join the Marist tournament, and thank you Tonga for praying for us.”

Nu’uuli Livai of Samoa (Red) after beating Brandon Dunning of Australia in the Elite 60kgs Final

The South Australia team was keen for the international exposure which the Marist event would provide. One teammate in particular Adrian Cammarano, was impressed with the event and said, “Samoa has been awesome, I’m loving it…very nice and friendly people. The Marist event has been well organized, pretty happy for a first time experience. I’d love to come back!”

For those who didn’t walk away with a win, the experience of being in Samoa was thrilling enough. Seventeen year old Joshua Ngalu form Brisbane is excited for the rest of his holiday before he leaves Sunday.

“Samoa has been good, and so has the event. I was pretty focused before my fight… but after that, it’s a holiday now. Hopefully it’s sunny so we can go out and do some sightseeing. Samoa is beautiful. Hopefully there’s a chance I could come back.”

The main event on Friday night shaped up to be quick, but no less exciting as Australian Jai Opetaia won by technical knock out in the second round. Togasilimai Letoa stepped in four days before the fight to replace Joe Fereti who was originally scheduled to fight the 2012 Australian Olympian.

The turnout from international boxers has been fulfilling to the sport of boxing and the Marist organization. After a successful start to 2017’s Marist International Sports Week, the future of boxing in Samoa looks promising.

Winner of the Youth 91kgs Final, Damien Faoagali AUST. Trophy sponsored by TALAMUA MEDIA and presented by Angie Kronfeld-Polu in memory of her father Nero Joseph Kronfeld, a former Marist boxing champion, national boxing referee and rugby player.

RESULTS FIGHT FOR MARIST, 10 FEBRUARY 2017 GYM 1 TUANAIMATO
MARIST INTERNATIONAL SPORTS WEEK

Bout 1 Elite 64kgs-69kgs Ryan Goodes AUST (Red) vs Ropati Hall SAM (Blue):
WINNER by unanimous decision: Ryan Goodes (AUST)

Bout 2 Elite 64kgs-75kgs Adrian Commarano AUST (Red) vs Henry Tyrell SAM (Blue):
WINNER by split decision: Adrian Commarano (AUST)

Bout 3 Youth 69kgs Final: Salvation Lakifilipo SAM (Red) vs Jancen Poutoa SAM (Blue):
WINNER by unanimous decision: Jancen Poutoa (SAM)

Bout 4 Youth 81kgs Final: Jeffrey Tago AM SAM (Red) vs Eyring Su’a SAM (Blue):
WINNER by unanimous decision: Jeffrey Tago (AM SAM)

Bout 5 Youth 91kgs Final: Damien Faoagali AUST (Red) vs Mac Tuna SAM (Blue):
WINNER by unanimous decision: Damien Faoagali (AUST)

Bout 6 Elite 64kgs Female Final: Faafetai Iosia SAM (Red) vs Rebecca Burgess AUST (Blue):
WINNER by split decision: Rebecca Burgess (AUST)

Bout 7 Elite 60kgs Final: Nuuuli Livai SAM (Red) vs Brandon Dunning AUST (Blue):
WINNER by unanimous decision: Nuuuli Livai (SAM)

Bout 8 Elite 64kgs Final: Faasala Livai SAM (Red) vs Manila Hall SAM (Blue):
WINNER by split decision: Faasala Livai (SAM)

Bout 9 Elite 69kgs Kaisa Ioane AM SAM (Red) vs Terry Nicholas AUST (Blue):
WINNER by split decision: Kaisa Ioane (AM SAM)

Bout 10 Elite 75kgs Stephen Finey AUST (Red) vs Bravely Norm Meti NZ (Blue):
WINNER by split decision: Stephen Finey (AUST)

Bout 11 Elite 81kgs John Peneueta SAM (Red) vs Alema Leleisiuao SAM (Blue):
WINNER by split decision: Alema Leleisiuao (SAM)

Bout 12 Elite 91kgs Isamaeli Liaina AUST (Red) vs Aukusitino Fuatagaumu SAM (Blue):
WINNER by split decision: Aukusitino Fuatagaumu (SAM)

Bout 13 Elite 91+kgs Filimaua Hala SAM (Red) vs Ivan Leafa AUST (Blue):
WINNER by unanimous decision: Filimaua Hala (SAM)

Winner of the Youth 91kgs Final: Damien Faoagali AUST
Trophy sponsored by TALAMUA MEDIA and presented by Angie Kronfeld-Polu in Memory of Nero Joseph Kronfeld, former Marist boxing champion, boxing referee and rugby player

And there was entertainment as well in the Corporate fight between the tattooed men

Corporate Bout 1 BATTLE OF LAW SERVICING
Top Security, Mitai Mitai (Red) vs Land Transport Authority, Ianesi Seiuli (Blue):
WINNER by unanimous decision: Ianesi Seiuli (Land Transport Authority)

Corporate Bout 2 BATTLE OF THE MINDS
Samoa Audit Office, Petelo Leota (Red) vs Samoa Law Society, Posē Toma (Blue):
WINNER by split decision: Petelo Leota (Samoa Audit Office)

Corporate Bout 3 BATTLE OF THE SPORTS
Samoa Rugby Union, Tupu Lātū (Red) vs Rugby League Samoa, Sio Iosefo (Blue):
WINNER by split decision: Tupu Lātū (Samoa Rugby Union)

Corporate Bout 4 BATTLE OF THE TATAU
Tofilau Atatagi (Red) vs Unasa Tauheia (Blue):
WINNER by unanimous decision: Tofilau Atatagi

FINAL/MAIN BOUT Cruiser Weight
Jai Opetaia (AUST) vs Togasilimai Letoa (SAM)
WINNER by Technical Knock Out, Round 2: Jai Opetaia (AUST)

WINNERS of the Prime Minister’s Cup: SAMOA
This was assessed on five categories: 60kgs, 64kgs, 69kgs, 75kgs and 81kgs. President of the Samoa Amateur Boxing Association, Fesolai Vaaiga Tuigamala, receiving the Cup from former Olympic Australian Boxing Coach, Bodo Andreass.

*Taileah Watson is a media exchange student from James Cook University studying at the NUS Media School