He may be up against an opponent from one of the biggest countries in the world and a traditional powerhouse of the Olympics, but Team PNG’s under 60kg male boxer, Thadius Katua, is fearing nothing when he faces his more experienced Russian opponent, Adlan Abdurashidov, who has been competing since 2009. The Russian from the Akhmat Fight Club mentions chess as one of his hobbies but it will be Katua looking to checkmate the Russian in their first round bout.
The twenty-six year old, Abdurashidov qualified for the Rio Games as a highly ranked APB competitor and is a quality orthodox boxer with a high level of skill and experience.
Some of Abdurashidov’s Russian Olympic Team athletes have not been allowed to attend the Rio Games due to the on-going Russian doping saga. The Russian team had 118 athletes banned from competing at these Games, although this will mean little to Katua as he prepares for his Olympic debut.
Katua, who was given a tripartite commission place to qualify for the Rio Olympics, has been preparing for his first round bout under the watchful eyes of Allan Nicolson and Joe Aufa.
Katua’s coaching team is confident their boxer will put on a determined performance, saying “His short preparation has gone extremely well and we expect him to rise up to the big occasion. He has no injuries or weight issues and is very confident and excited about the fight.”
The eighteen year old Bougainvillean, is looking to again turn heads with a similar performance to those which saw him win Gold medals at the Pacific Games and Commonwealth Youth Games in 2015. Undoubtedly this will be a big step up in class but despite his age Katua is an individual not easily phased by the occasion.
Thadius will compete on Sunday 7th of August in the second bout of the first session starting at 11.00am Rio time. (Port Moresby time of 12:00 am midnight on the morning of Monday 8th of August).
The Rio Centro 6 will play host to the boxing competition at the Olympics with the Venue for the tournament is the Rio Centro 6 with a seating capacity of 9000 and world-class facilities.