Analysis | SPORTS

Leone Cabenatabua: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

The recent opening of the Captain Stan Brown Boxing Gym (formerly known as the PWD Canteen) in Walu Bay, Suva, could hopefully augur well for amateur boxing in the country in 2020.
12 Dec 2019 17:45
Leone Cabenatabua: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
Referee Allen Harris attends to heavyweight boxer Jonasa Kavika after he was knocked out by James Singh in Nadi on November 30, 2019. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Relatively, it has been a challenging year for boxing in the country. There had been some promising signs and disappointments as well.

The recent opening of the Captain Stan Brown Boxing Gym (formerly known as the PWD Canteen) in Walu Bay, Suva, could hopefully augur well for amateur boxing in the country in 2020.

That is for a regular weekly programme which didn’t happen this year as the Fiji Amateur Boxing Association (FABA) found it hard to secure a venue.

For the professionals, there had been regular promotions, which is all thanks to South Pacific Boxing Promotion and Kiran Boxing Promotion for hosting the final event of the year.

However, there have been a lot of happenings in the sport compared to previous years.

So, let’s take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly of boxing in 2019.

THE GOOD

  • Regular promotions with SPBP hosting a number of events. This brought back the excitement and kept our boxers busy.
  • New appointments of the Boxing Commission of Fiji directors, which saw academic Subhash Appana taking over from Bulutani Mataitawakilai as chairman. A special mention of Usman Lale Ali for his tireless efforts and commitment in the sport.
  • The emergence of boxers James Singh and Savenaca Naliva have brought a new lease of life to the sport.

Singh stopped Fijian heavyweight champ Petero Qica Jnr in the 7th round in a non-contest fight and is now after a title shot. This could happen next year.

Naliva is the country’s light heavyweight champion after knocking out top favourite Joseph Kwadjo in the 11th round.

In the lighter divisions we congratulate Sachin Mudaliar for winning the Australian National Boxing Federation’s Australasian super featherweight title. Also, Shamal Ramanuj for winning the Fijian bantamweight title.

A special mention of Nathan ‘The Hornet’ Singh who has turned pro and is making a lot of noise so expect a fiery competition in the lightweights next year.

THE BAD

  • Right now, there’s no rankings (which is based on boxers results) and has seen a number of mismatches taking place.
  • Embarrassing record of local-based boxers while participating overseas. They are used as stepping stone of Australian and New Zealand boxers. So far, Mudaliar was the only local boxer that has won on foreign soil.
  • The BCF directors failure to come down hard on boxers, promoters, clubs or ring officials who fail to comply with the regulations.

THE UGLY

  • Promising boxer Sebastian Singh’s failure to meet the weight he has signed for in his contracts. He has done it several times and is losing a lot of credibility. No amount of apologising or promises will do the job, Seb has to buckle up and meet the weight.
  • For all this time, people in the Central Division have been deprived from the sport. There has been no promotion in Suva, this year and hopefully there could be one or two next year.
  • No gold medal at the Pacific Games. A lot of promises and training in Sydney, Australia, before the Games but sadly our amateur boxers failed to produce the goods.

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj

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