The National, Friday 7th June 2013
By JACK AMI
FIVE PNG Boxing Federation title fights are set to take place at Port Moresby Country Club next Sunday.
This is the moment of truth as the defending champions in their respective divisions maintain their form or surrender their titles.
The fighters, all regulars on the PNGBF ledger, have been in training for three months and are set for another round of action.
The PNGBF was the recipient of funding allocation from the Sports Ministry through the Sports Enhancement Programme to develop boxers leading to 2015 Games in PNG.
The PNGBF includes amateur bouts on its undercard.
The majority of fighters have not fought for five months so the show Sunday week will be a survival-of-the-fittest contest.
In the main challenge Manus’ Jason Hayeu locks horns with Eugene Keto for the vacant bantamweight (54kg) title.
This fight serves as a lead-up for Hayeu to prepare for the July 14 rematch against Filipino champion Dado Cabintoy who stopped the Hayeu in the nine rounds last year at the Sports Inn.
It also features champions John Deklam at middleweight and Joe “Bullet” Kara against two Australians names yet to be confirmed by the PNGBF.
In the main bout Hayeu must get past Keto, a former Oceania bronze medalist on the comeback after a long layoff due to work commitments.
Hayeu, with the support of Manus MP Ronnie Knight, has highlighted the bout with Keto as a tune-up and a win would be good to build form and momentum for the rematch with Cabintoy
For the light heavyweight (79kg) bout John Korake takes on Peter Pora. The hard hitting Korake has been training for the past three months at his Mirigeda base outside Port Moresby and is favoured in the match-up.
Defending light welterweight champion (63. 5kg) Kevin “Ironman” Baki faces challenger Paul Lare of Buka.
Another Buka boxer Kevin Ragu defends his title against Douglas Walo in the welterweight division (66kg).
The other bout is an Engan affair, a rematch between defending champion Johnson Kapus and Thomas Kagili in the lightweight (60kg).
PNGBF vice-president Alex Rihatta said the programme will start with the juniors (13-18 years) followed by the seniors.
Other undercard fights are Agone Raio-John Kalau, Ali Ipai-Andaripa Mon, Dickson Dii-John Harris, Andy Emex-Jimmy Andrew.