Samoa host boxing qualifier for world youth boxing championship


Team Australia, one of the strongest teams in the three day tournament 


By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 30 MAY 2018: Young boxers from six countries in the Oceania region are competing in the World Youth Boxing Championship Qualifier 2018 that starts tonight at Gym One at the Tuana’imato sports complex, Samoa.

Male and female boxers from Australia, New Zealand, Nauru, American Samoa, Cook Islands and Samoa will vie for qualification in the world youth champs in Hungary in September this year.

Hosted by the Samoa Amateur Boxing Association (SABA) in collaboration with the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) and the Oceania Boxing Championship organisation. Ahead of the tournament, AIBA had been running technical training for coaches and referees for the past week in order to lift the standards of the sport.

The teams were welcomed by the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, after the teams parade on Monday on Beach Road where Tuilaepa emphasized the importance of developing young talents from a young age.

For Samoa, he was pleased to know that Samoa has a chance to compete in the international championships especially the opportunity for the Coaches and Referees to participate in the workshops and training conducted by AIBA prior to the tournament.

Boxing was a sport that lifted Samoa’s standard in international competition as evident in the first South Pacific Games hosted in Samoa in 1983.

“Samoa won all gold medals except for one, but after that, the sport took a dive for the worst,” said Tuilaepa.

This he believed was due to the quality of the trainers and coaches that took over after the 1983 South Pacific Games.

Team Samoa

Despite the sports current status locally, still three boxers of Samoa descent succeeded to compete in the top international arena, and one of them went on to win one of the world heavyweight belts, which he has lost and is working to win it back.

He also referred to the personal differences among the sports officials as another downfall of the sports performances and record.

Recently a tribunal was established to resolves difference in the local Boxing Association and Tuilaepa was happy that the matter had been solved.

For the current tournament, he challenged all teams to do their best and make their countries proud.

Competing in the tournament are teams from Australia, New Zealand, Nauru, American Samoa, Cook Islands and Samoa.

The three day tournament will be streamed live on video channel starting at 6pm (Samoan time) Wednesday 30, Thursday 31 and Friday 01 June.