Clergyman, Baro face off

Sports

By BENJAMIN KOITAKA
FATHER Dave Smith, an Australian clergyman and boxer, arrived in Port Moresby this week for the inaugural Oceania Professional Boxing Championship, according to an official.
Papua New Guinea Professional Boxing Gym president Elvin Wafewa said Smith, pictured, World Boxing Council’s Deborah Hawkins, and international referee and judge Brad Vocale had arrived from Australia for the programme.
The Anglican priest will face off with local Luke Baro over 12 rounds at the Sir John Guise Stadium Indoor Complex tomorrow night.
“We are delighted to have them here,” Wafewa said of the Australian contingent.
He said Indonesia boxers were unable to make it yesterday due to visa issues.
“They are definitely coming tomorrow morning,” Wafewa said.
“The issue has been resolved, so they are coming.
“We are expecting four people from Indonesia — two professional boxers and two coaches.
“When the Indonesian boxers arrive, we will go straight to Vision City for the official weigh-in and the signing of contracts for all the boxers.”
The Smith-Baro fight is on the undercard of the main bout between PNG champion John Korake and Pakistani refugee Ezatullah Kakar.
On his website last week, Smith said: I travelled to Manus Island last year.
“I met with many of the men in detention there and I promised them that I would continue to work for their freedom.
“That message from Ezatullah has given me another opportunity to do just that. Ezatullah is fighting for the Oceania light-middleweight title in Port Moresby against the local champion, John Korake.
“He asked me to support him, so I asked him to get me a spot on the undercard.
“So that I could fight alongside him.
“The result is that I am now scheduled to fight Luke Baro — a local pug who is 16 years my junior, a kilo or two heavier, and has 72 fights behind him.
“I know what you’re thinking — ‘take it easy on him, Dave’.
“Don’t worry, I promise I’ll be nice.”

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