‘Missing’ Heavyweight Belt Angers Fans

Commission, promoter in ‘blame- game’ situation, Newly crowned champ wants Naliva in cruiserweight fight
14 Dec 2020 15:16
‘Missing’ Heavyweight Belt Angers Fans
Policemen escort an angry fan out of the ring as tempers flared over the missing Fiji heavyyweight title at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka, on December 12, 2020. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Confusion and frustrations over the missing Fiji heavyweight boxing title almost ended in an ugly brawl at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka, on Saturday night.

Quick action by Police calmed the situation down as the supporters of newly crowned Fiji heavyweight champion James ‘The Beast’ Singh hassled the promoter Freddy Chand and the Boxing Commission of Fiji (BCF) executives.
BCF chairman Subash Apanna said they were not aware that the belt was not with the promoter.

“We will go back and get a belt and present it to James in a special ceremony,” Appana said.

“That is the only way we can solve this and it has to be discussed at first.”

Chand said, he did his part to stage the fight and claimed to have paid the required fee for the title.

“I have done my part. BCF should be responsible for this hiccup. This is not good for the sport.

“The programme was a huge success as we brought the promotion back to Lawaqa Park.”

Singh scored a seventh round technical knockout win after referee Jone Loloma stopped the fight as Jonasa Kavika was unable to continue.

Singh was furious when declared the winner but without a belt on his waist.

He said it was a big humiliation after months of hard training.

“After a long time I have brought boxing back to Sigatoka,” Singh said.

“I thank Jonasa for a tough fight but I was tougher on the day.”

He also thanked his sponsors and family for their support.

“To my mum Eleni Dakolo of Vatukarasa and to Charan Singh of Votua, Baravi for getting me into this world. I have made them proud.”

The 25-year-old said he wanted to step down to the cruiserweight division to challenge Savenaca ‘Lighting’ Naliva who was the current Fiji light heavyweight champion.

“There are bigger things to come. I will be stepping down to the cruiserweight. Naliva is there and I’m coming for you bro.”


Learning process

In the main supporting bout Naliva retained the Fiji light heavyweight title with a third round technical knockout win over challenger Apisai Naciqa.

“I was ready for this fight,” the soft spoken champion said.

“I knew where Apisai was coming from and I just followed my game plan.

“Apisai is a young and aggressive guy which good for the sport. I’m ready for whoever is there to challenge me. Let’s do it for the love of the sport.”

Naliva’s trainer Farman Ali said the fight went as planned.

“The canvas was a bit uneven so we could not go full speed. So I don’t think the people were able to watch the real Naliva put on his full potential.

“We had to change the game plan because of the floor.

“So thereafter he just went slow throwing the big body shots that did the damage.

“The plan was to break Apisai down and then go upstairs. The fight did not last as long as we thought.”

Naciqa’s trainer Jovesa Naivalu said they were happy with the start.

“The plan was to stay away and try to use the jab because we knew that Naliva is a powerful puncher.

“But he (Naliva) was the better man on the day.

“Everything is part of the learning process. Apisai has learned from this fight and will move on.

“We need to improve on those weaknesses.”

Meanwhile, Sebastian Singh scored a unanimous points win over Robin Hazelman in a six-round super middleweight contest.

“I knew Robin was not going to be a walk in the park.

“He is a hard hitter but we stuck to the game plan. I wasn’t looking for the knockout,” he said.

Singh said his next move was to fight Siliveni Nawai in the same weight category.




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