SPORTS

Our Top Performers For 2016

ANALYSIS: Expect more boxing promotions in 2017. This year we’ve had three and the recent interest shown by business people who have gone ahead to acquire their promoting licences from
20 Dec 2016 11:00
Our Top Performers For 2016
Fiji middle weight champion Opeti Tagi to fight Kunal Nair on Saturday.

ANALYSIS: Expect more boxing promotions in 2017. This year we’ve had three and the recent interest shown by business people who have gone ahead to acquire their promoting licences from the Boxing Commission of Fiji has been very encouraging. This augurs well for the future of the sport and the onus is now on boxers and all stakeholders to play their part accordingly. As we wait for that to come, let’s turn our focus on how things went especially with our top performers.

 

Boxer of the Year: Opeti Tagi

He has stamped his mark as Fiji’s best pound-to-pound boxer. Tagi is now the holder of the country’s middleweight and super-middle weight titles. After controversially losing the welterweight title to Junior Farzan Ali in 2011 and was never given a chance for a rematch, Tagi showed resilience when he moved up to the middleweight and super middleweight divisions. It was not an easy move as Tagi had to pick himself up from the canvas several times against Johnny ‘Machine Gun’ Singh and Abhay Chand, but fought on to win convincingly.

 

Most Promising Boxer:

Ronald Naidu

All the way from the Mulomulo Boxing Club in Nadi, Naidu is a quiet achiever. Early this month he stopped hard-hitting Saimoni Ratu in the second round. He holds a proud record of 4 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss.

Naidu has never ducked any opponent as he fought and drew with Johnny Singh and Lautoka slugger Franco Frasier. This puts him as a leading contender for the vacant junior middleweight title.

 

Rookie of the Year:

Sachin Mudaliar

The youngest of the Mudaliar brothers, Sachin is unbeaten in his two professional fights. He has carried on that gutsy performance from the amateur to the professional ranks. Sachin has to fight in the flyweight division as the bantamweight title is held by elder brother Krishneel while Krishna has the featherweight title.

 

Referee of the Year:

Richard Smith

For the past years he has been the understudy of veteran referee Jeremaia Ledua but has improved tremendously this year. Next year should see this Lautoka man take control of the main bouts to gain valuable experience.

Smith was a former amateur boxer who represented the country at the 2001 Oceania Championship where he won a bronze medal in the welterweight division.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback:  leonec@fijisun.com.fj

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