Boxers head to Kokopo

Normal, Sports

The National, Wednesday July 3rd, 2013


EIGHTEEN provinces are expected  to field box­ers in the National Boxing Championship from Friday in Kokopo Vunapope, East New Britain.

Of the 18, only 15 provinces have confirmed participation.

They are Gulf, Lae, Goroka, National Capital District, Jiwaka, Kaba Association, Oro, Aitape, We­wak, Vanimo, East New Britain 1 and ENB 2, Bougainville, Milne Bay and Bulolo.

Manus, West New Britain, New Ireland and Madang have yet to con­firm their entry.

The National Boxing Championship starts on Friday at the Vunapope Hall and ends on Sunday.

East New Britain Amateur Boxing Association coordinator Joel Ki­­lengkit said the championship  would be the first tournament there since 1997.

Ki­­lengkit said their setback was largely a lack of resources like boxing rings.

He said the PNG Games in Ko­kopo last November brought in equipment for many sports and  that made it possible to bring the tournament back there.

PNG Boxing Union coach Joe Au­fa said the boxing ring in Kokopo was of Olympic standard and he was impressed with the work of the organising committee in arranging the tournament venue, accommodation and transport for boxers.

He said teams started travelling to Kokopo from Monday and registration would begin with a K25 per boxer fee.

Thanking the organising committee,  he said the tournament was a preparation for the 2015 Pacific Game.

Aufa said a team would be selected from the tournament to represent the country at the Pacific Games in Port Moresby.

He said he was looking forward to watching the host province’s Junior Ben Tami,who had been an Oceania gold medallist some years ago.

Tami had a long break from boxing but has decided to fight in the tournament.

“I have watched him train in the past few days and I am certain he is ready to make it back,” Aufa said.

“ It will be interesting to see him compete against experienced boxers.” 

He said he was looking forward to seeing bronze medallist Tony To­liman, PNG Games gold medallist Annette Kora, 18, from Bougainville and silver medallist Celine Igen fight in the tournament.

East New Britain has 16 male and 11 female boxers in the 49-81kg categories ready to take to the ring on Friday.