The National, Friday August 2nd, 2013
By JACK AMI
PAPUA New Guinea professional boxing referee and judge Alex Rihatta is now certified and recognised by the World Professional Boxing Federation (WPBF) and United State Boxing Council (USBC).
Rihatta is the first Pacific Islander to receive a certificate of recognition as a qualified referee and judge (R&J) in the Oceania region.
The man from teh Autonomous Region of Bougainville was presented his certificate by WPBF and Australian professional referee Brad Vocale on behalf of USBC president David Young during the recent world titles in Port Moresby.
Vocale said Rihatta, 43, was the only local international referee and judge in the country.
The veteran third man said Rihatta acquired the certification after six years of commitment and dedication to the sport. “I never got this kind of certification, or recognition, in the amateurs (as a referee or judge).
I’ve got this recognition only after I made the move to professional boxing, and attended regular seminars and clinics conducted by the WPBF and Brad (Vocale),” Rihatta said.
“This is a big achievement for me and I’m willing to impart my knowledge to the up and coming R&J’s to bring them up to the standard required in pro boxing.”
Rihatta said the politics between professional and amateur boxing was unnecessary as the two needed to work together as it was essentially the same sport.
Rihatta, from Hanahan, North Bougainville, is currently the chairman of R&J for pro boxing in the country and also the vice-president of PNG Boxing Federation.