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Big Boost For Amateur Boxing

Big Boost For Amateur Boxing
Pic on Left:Rio Bound....Winston Hill Pic On Right: Faiyaz Ali (Left) with his kickboxing student in Nadi.
July 10
13:22 2016

 

 

 

It’s after a lapse of 28 years Fiji is going to be represented at the Olympic Games. This week FASANOC confirmed that welterweight amateur boxer Winston Hill is going to participate in next month’s Rio Olympic Games.
The last time Fijian boxers went to the Olympics was in Seoul, South Korea in 1988 and they were stylish light weight boxer Apete Raiwalui, now Canadian-based Isimeli Lesi and Josateki Basalusalu. These boxers were selected from the then Monday weekly programme at the PWD Canteen in Walu Bay and did most of their training at the Suva China Club.

WESTERN REVIVAL

The announcement of Hill’s participation has brought a ray of hope to amateur boxing in the country. Western Amateur Boxing Association president Faiyaz Khan said this is the beginning of many good things to happen in the sport.
“We in Fiji have potential boxers that could bring us many international victories and medals as well,” he said.
Khan who has been instrumental in the revival of amateur boxing in the Western Division said from their first programme in Cuvu Top, Sigatoka last month, they had registered 69 amateur boxers and staged 27 fights.
“We wanted to stage more fights but we could not because of regulations like weight differences and also we could not match a novice against an experienced boxer. We had to abide to the regulations but the support from the public was overwhelming with over a thousand people turning up to watch.”
Ali pointed out the talents shown by the young people that night has challenged them to hold regular programmes and also to ensure that they are nurtured well in order participate in future international engagements as well.
“I’m a believer that amateur boxing if organised well could get us those desired medals either in the Pacific Games, Commonwealth or Olympic Games as well.”
Looking back, Ali says, through amateur boxing the country has got its first Commonwealth Games gold medal.
This was at the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Australia where light heavyweight boxer Sane Fine did the country proud. This feat was equalled at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games by judoka Nacanieli Takayawa. Our national rugby sevens team have managed two silver medals and a bronze.

NEXT PROGRAMME

Ali confirmed that their next programme is now set for August 6 at Cuvu Top. The official weigh-in and medical check-up is from 8am to 10am in Sigatoka on the day of the fight.
“For this programme we want most young people in the West to take to the ring. Also, our door is still open to any young man who wants to take up the sport.”
He said they are committed to the cause of helping young people stay out of trouble and use their sporting talents to become somebody in life.
“Boxing is a discipline sport where boxers sleep on time, eat the right food, do their daily training and are focused. These help in their development and also mould them to become ideal citizens.”
He added that they are grateful to Naidiri businessman Mohammed Rafiq for allowing them to stage their programme at Cuvu Top without any cost at all.
“We wanted to stage our programmes in other urban centres in the Western division but the cost of the venue is really high despite the fact that we are an amateur sport. However, we grateful to Mr Rafiq who not only has boxing at heart but wants to help in the development of our young people,” he added. The programme starts at 1pm.
 

 

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