American Samoa boxing team scores three medals in Oceania Championship

PAGOPAGO, 03 SEPTEMBER 2015 (SAMOA NEWS) ----American Samoa’s boxing team to the 2015 Oceania Confederation Boxing Championship in Canberra, Australia last weekend, will be bringing home three medals, after outstanding performances by all three.

According to a report from the team in Australia, Pasefika Ikitau, who was competing in the light heavy division won silver, after losing to his opponent from Australia in the gold medal match, while George Tanoa Jr., who was competing in the middle weight division and Rob Toilolo who was competing in the heavy weight division — each won a bronze medal.

Thirty boxers from eight nations were competing at the Oceania Championship this year, where besides Australia and New Zealand, the emerging countries such as American Samoa, French Polynesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Vanuatu made their appearances.

After the first day of the 4-day tournament, Team Australia dominated when four of its boxers won four of their five semi-finals.

In the light heavy division, Ikitau of American Samoa showed his skills and power throughout the whole 3 rounds. Being in the ring for the first time, Ikutau looked active and smart in the ring, but he lost to his Australia opponent in points, winning the silver medal.

Ikitau and his Australia opponent were the only two boxers in their division, according to the schedule from the AIBA website.

For the middle weight division where Tanoa Jr was competing, he lost his first fight to his opponent from PNG, Jonathan Keama, the same boxer that defeated him at the 2015 Pacific Games in PNG this past July.

Keama, the Pacific Games gold medalist endured difficulties in the first round against Tanoa Jr, but turned up the heat in the closing stages of an entertaining bout to win the match.

Toilolo lost his first fight to his opponent from New Zealand, Patrick Mailata in a tough match.

Before the team left for Australia, Jamias told Samoa News that if our team did not qualify for the 2016 Olympics after the 2015 Oceania, there will still be another qualifying tournament that they can attend. It will be held in Australia next year, and our team will have to compete again to qualify.

Speaking to Tanoa Jr. he said that their team is doing fine and they are now ready to return back home this Thursday....PACNEWS


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