Women’s boxing made its historic debut at the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea today where the semi-finals of the women’s Flyweight (51 kg), Lightweight (60 kg) and Middleweight (75 kg) weight classes took place.
The men’s Light Welterweight (64 kg), Welterweight (69 kg), Light Heavyweight (81 kg) and Super Heavyweight (+91 kg) quarter-finals were also held on Day 3.
Bout of the day
Samoa’s Afaese Hugo Fata won the Welterweight (69 kg) gold medal at the 2007 Pacific Games, and the Oceanian Continental Championships silver medallist had to fight Tonga’s Ken Stone William Hurrell for a place in the semi-finals and a guaranteed medal in the 2015 edition.
Now operating at Light Heavyweight (81 kg), Fata boxer opened the bout with effective punches and was awarded the first round by all three judges.
After receiving a warning from the referee in the second round, the Samoan boxer was forced to raise his game even more in the third frame, which led to a well deserved and entertaining victory over his tough opponent.
Team of the day
Hosts Papua New Guinea won four contests on the third competition day, while Fiji also enjoyed a perfect day in Port Moresby.
Fijian Welterweight (69 kg) Winston Hill won his opening preliminary bout in Port Moresby on Day 1, and continued his winning path in the Pacific Games by stopping Tuvalu’s Maola Itiniua.
Hill’s teammate Tina Anthony Ruata also enjoyed a brief match after he knocked out Vanauatu’s Robert Waritam in the opening round of their Light Heavyweight (81 kg) match.
Surprises of the day
In the quarter-final of their Super Heavyweight class (+91 kg) contest, Tonga’s Sepasitiano Hurrell Lavemai enjoyed a superb victory over Samoa’s Paddy Junior Leuii.
The Samoan boxer had a significant weight advantage and his lethal jabs proved dangerous in the opening minute of the bout, but Hurrell Lavemai adapted to the attacks from his opponent and knocked down his rival in the final round to earn a deserved triumph.
Federated States of Micronesia are fighting in their first ever Pacific Games boxing, and Jennifer Chieng won a brilliant semi-final bout for her nation against women’s Lightweight (60 kg) gold medal favourite Hatara Lahana Ioane.
Ones to watch
Papua New Guinea’s team captain Tom Boga won bronze in the last edition of the Pacific Games four years ago, and has already equalled that result in the current Games by defeating Royce Johnson Rott after 70 seconds of their quarter-final.
Boga’s teammate Philo Magaiva then dominated Nauru’s Rachelle Bonillo in their semi-final, and she will now meet Tahiti’s Taraina Rataro-Tuihaa for the gold medal tomorrow.
Fact of the day
The following nations have secured guaranteed medals in the 2015 Pacific Games:
Papua New Guinea: 11 guaranteed medals
Tahiti: 10 medals
Nauru: 5 medals
Samoa: 4 medals
Fiji, North Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu: 3 medals
Tonga: 2 medals
Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Kiribati and Tuvalu: 1 medal
The fourth competition day will contains 21 bouts, including the three women’s finals at Flyweight (51 kg), Lightweight (60 kg) and Middleweight (75 kg).
All of the remaining men’s semi-finals will also be held on the fourth competition day in Port Moresby.