WA pair will box for Australia

Heavyweight Adam Forsyth and lightweight Anthony Little fought their way into the Australian Olympic boxing team with third round stoppages at the Oceania amateur championships in Nuku'alofa, Tonga, at the weekend.

Their selection equals the record Olympic contingent from WA when Danny Green and Erle Wiltshire represented Australia at the Sydney Games four years ago.

Forsyth, 22, overwhelmed Fijian Inia Vuli to build up a 20-point lead when the referee stopped the fight.

Little, 24, also impressively beat Fijian Martin Tamanisau in the final when the referee stopped the contest.

Forsyth, the first WA boxer to gain a full-time scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport, in Canberra last year, won the heavyweight gold medal at the Commonwealth Cup in Kuala Lumpur in September.

Australian coach Bodo Andreas has labelled Forsyth as one of the nation's outstanding amateur boxers.
Little's boxing career has gone full circle. Battling for a spot in the Australian boxing team for the Sydney Olympics four years ago, he controversially lost to South Australian James Swan.

Little then gave the sport away to play basketball. The Geraldton boxer started his comeback in boxing less than two years ago. Last year, he won the Australian light-welterweight title in Hobart and the Oceania crown at Tahiti.
Wiltshire lost his flyweight final to NSW fighter Bradley Hore on points.

WA coach Geoff Peterson has trained Forsyth for a number of years and coaches Little when in Perth.

Australia, which won nine of the 11 finals, will have its biggest team at an overseas Olympics, at Athens. The winners of the Oceania titles automatically qualified for the Olympics. The only non-Australian boxers from Oceania to qualify are New Zealand light-heavyweight Soulan Pownceby and Tongan super-heavyweight Douglas Hawke.

The biggest shock at the titles was the quarterfinal loss of Tasmanian welterweight Daniel Geale. He was considered one of Australia's best Olympic medal chances. Grahame Cheney's silver medal in 1988 is Australia's last Olympic boxing medal.

WA fighters Erin McGowen and Claire Ghabrial also won Oceania women's titles.


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