BOXING touched gloves and commenced competition to a waiting audience yesterday at the Sir John Guise Indoor complex.
The opening 20 bouts on day one drew a packed house as 40 boxers from the 48kg, 51kg, 54kg, 57kg and 60kg divisions entered the ring for their respective provinces.
Team Bougainville and Team Central won four bouts for the day, Team NCD three with Manus two ahead of tomorrows’ preliminaries before the medal contending fights.
The final bouts of the day in the 60kg division brought the crowd to its feet when clean shots were landed by the fighters in an aggressive showdown.
The second bout of the division saw a relentless standup fight from Team Wests’ Isidore Talingapua against a taller Ume Matthew from Central.
Talingapua recovered from a round one “king hit haze”, realising his disadvantage and drew his taller opponent to a low contest, before sending him to the ropes in the third round.
Matthew coming off the final break and frustrated in the mid-bout period, finally let loose in the final round, using his reach to dominate his opponent from up north, and put him out of the contest, with a better part of the round outstanding still.
The bout was declared a technical knockout (TKO) and awarded to the Matthew.
In the other 60kg bouts, Rex Wiasu of Sandaun narrowly went down 2-4 to Eric Ipautsi of Central, Manus’ Michael Kolim escaped with a 4-2 win decision over a feisty Steven Babuen from Sandaun, and Gulf’s Gabriel Presley and Eastern Highlands’ John Rexford could not continue after the first round as they lost to Bougainville’s Matthew Tepi and NCDs Elias Kolou respectively.
Session Two starts today at 9am, with weigh-ins due to have been conducted at 6am, and the introduction of the heavier weights as the day draws on.
The divisions that will take to the rings today also include the 64kg, 69kg, 75kg, and the 81kg.