SPORTS

Top NZ Trainer Starts Work

“The last five or six years I’ve been wanting to help boxers from the Pacific Islands ... Cameron Todd New Zealand boxing trainer
18 Mar 2022 11:00
Top NZ Trainer Starts Work
From left: Section manager Thomas Johansen, Jone Koroilagilagi, Elia Rokobuli, Cameron Todd, and Osea Nacovu at Fantasy Island in Nadi. Photo: Ronald Kumar

A leading New Zealand boxing trainer is in the country to prepare our amateur boxers for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in London from July 28 to August 8.

Cameron (Cam) Todd, who came out of quarantine early this week, wasted no time in training our amateur boxing reps – Jone Koroilagilagi and Elia Rokobuli.

Todd told SUNsports yesterday, that he was honoured to be given the opportunity to coach the two boxers.

“The last five or six years I’ve been wanting to help boxers from the Pacific Islands because the Oceania region doesn’t really look after the islands very well, so I wanted to give something back,” Todd said.

Two years ago, Todd was invited to conduct a coaching course in Suva where he had good connection with the people, coaches and boxers.

He had warned boxers that fighting at the Commonwealth Games was no easy ride.

“It’s always difficult especially with COVID, there haven’t been much competition. So that’s always a big part as I have only three months to work. But with a lot being said, I must make sure that I can do everything I can to put them in the best position to get them to the tournament.”

Todd’s coaching career has spanned over 30 years and seen him training some of New Zealand’s pre-eminent amateur fighters.

After becoming the youngest qualified coach in New Zealand at the age of 17, he trained his first NZ champion one year later.

He also once coached world rated heavyweight boxer David Tua and the NZ team to the Women’s World Boxing Championship in the US.

Team manager Thomas Johansen said they were blessed to have Todd and local coach Osea Nanovo, from Braveheart Boxing Club.

“We do this voluntarily. It is good to have people with big hearts to take the sport up. Amateur boxing took a dive the last two decades in regards to our participation in big competitions. We’ve always fallen short when it comes to medals,” Johansen said.

Light welterweight boxer Koroilagilagi, 26, said, he was grateful to Fiji Amateur Boxing Association officials and Todd for having faith in him.

The Natoloa, Nairai, Lomaiviti, boxer has been boxing since 2016.

He made his debut at the 2017 Mini Pacific Games in Vanuatu where he won bronze medal.

Koroilagilagi won the King of the Ring competition in Sydney, Australia, in 2019 where he trained under the great Johnny Lewis.

He won a silver medal at the 2019 Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa.

Rokobuli, who hails from Namuka, Lau, has been involved in the sport the past six years.

He represented Fiji at the 2019 Pacific Games, where he won a bronze medal.

“It was good exposure and I am hoping to do well and bring a gold medal home from the Commonwealth Games,” he added.

Welterweight boxer Winston Hill won a bronze medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games while Sani Fine took out the gold medal in the light heavyweight division of the 1982 Games in Brisbane, Australia



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