By GABRIEL LAHOC
EIGHT amateur boxers from Morobe province, are on a mission to conquer the now deferred national boxing championships in Vanimo, Sandaun province, in June, and improve from third place behind National Capital District and Bougainville from the 2008 event in Bougainville.
The team, led by national representative boxer Hansley Thompson, started their training in January, and have been focused on this event.
The event, initially set next month has been deferred to June. It will be a lead-up to the 2011 Pacific Games.
Thompson, who moved out the nation’s capital boxing circuit, is part of a small group of senior boxers who are going out into the provinces “to boost the confidence and develop upcoming boxers” in light of the recent drop in boxing interest in PNG, compounded with the limited facilities and lack of development programmes.
“The boys have been training hard and have high hopes for the Vanimo event.
“However, we are in dire need for sponsorship and a manager, and now call upon interested organisations and individuals to assist in these two areas,” Thompson said.
He competed in the flyweight (51kg) division when he represented PNG at the Oceania championships in 2006 and the Patron’s Cup in 2003 against international fighters.
With his exposure and experience, he is adamant Morobe will beat Bougainville as the nation’s top boxing province, through the commitment from his team members.
The lightest boxer in the team is Guli Yama in the 51kg division while the heavyweight is former PNG heavyweight champion Bonnie Mosi who will be fighting in the 81kg division.
The other fighters are Gabriel Bek (51kg), Joe Ameng (57kg), Hansley Thompson (60kg), Junior Moses Ririan (64kg) and Paul Ansa (69kg) who is a PNG Games gold medallist in his division.
The team currently works out and trains at the Speedway on the Independence Drive in Lae.