SPORTS

Wrestling Revival Planned Alongside Ba Boxing

South Pacific Boxing Promotions promoter Freddy Chand said yesterday they are working to have an exhibition wrestling match on July 11 at the AD Patel College ground in Ba.
24 Mar 2020 14:29
Wrestling Revival Planned Alongside Ba Boxing
From left: Alivereti Kauyaca guards against Filimoni Naliva Jnr as they’re confirmed for July 11 programme in Ba.

Plans to revive wrestling in the country are now underway.

South Pacific Boxing Promotions promoter Freddy Chand said yesterday they are working to have an exhibition wrestling match on July 11 at the AD Patel College ground in Ba.

“Wrestling was part of every boxing promotions from the 1970s to the 1980s before it stopped,” he said.

“If it happens then it will be after more than 35 years we’ll be having wrestling in the country.”

The country’s initial body was known as the Professional Boxing & Wrestling Association (PBWA) which was once headed by Mumtaz Shah, then later it was continued by Sitiveni Niumataiwalu, Dr Jone Raibevu, Lepani Wilson and Rakesh Martin,

In the 1980s, wrestlers like Labasa’s Rahiman Kutty, Tiger Vijay Singh of Ba along with the George Sukanaivalu and Shiu Chand also of Namara, Labasa ruled the heavyweight division.

“Anyone interested to wrestle in the programme or come from a wrestling family should give me a call,” Chand added.

He also confirmed that for the main bout the International Boxing Organisation’s (IBO) international lightheavyweight title will be on the line.

“Right now, the IBO officials in Australia led by Justin Kennedy are helping us out.

“They’ve submitted three contenders which Savenaca Naliva’s camp are deliberating on before we finalise his opponent.

“We’re taking Naliva step-by-step and we’re not rushing him at all.

“All boxers fighting for the IBO international title are in the world’s top 100. Winning the title pushes them up the rankings to probably the world’s top 15.”

Chand said as of now they are still waiting for the Boxing Commission of Fiji (BCF) to sanction the programme.

“For the Fijian heavyweight title fight we’ve top contender James Singh confirmed but we’ve a few names on our list but the Commission is going to make a ruling on that.

“There are heavyweight boxers like Jonacani Kavika and even veteran Opeti Tagi has showed interest.

Chand said other confirmed fights is the cruiserweight showdown between Filimoni Naliva Jnr and unbeaten Eroni Ligaloa.

Edited by Simione Haravanua

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