PROFESSIONAL boxer Rickson Yamo, 25, is on the comeback trail and is determined to make a bigger impact in the lightweight (61kg) division.
Coming off a split decision loss to Filipino Roel Mangan last June Yamo (5-1-1, 4 KOs) had his career put on hold when authorities suspended professional boxing in PNG following the death of junior welterweight (63.5kg) Joel Hayeu.
That blanket suspension, which was ordered by the Minister for Community Development Dame Carol Kidu, forced professional boxing back into a state of hibernation indefinitely.
Now Yamo is considering bouts in Australia with Melbourne fight promoter Peter Maniatis in April.
“I feel my pro career, and maybe the careers of other talented boxers, is being wasted because we are not fighting regularly. I’ve said this before, if I am able to go down to Australia for some fights Maniatis is willing to see if I have what it takes and he can then take me on if I perform,” Yamo said.
The talented fighter is desperate to reignite his stalled career after showing promise early on with a puncher’s attitude and an outward confidence that helped conquer PNG’s amateur ranks.
A loss and a shaky performance in two of his last three bouts, all last year, has given Yamo even more reason to strive for a better, clearer and surer direction for himself in his vocation.
“My aim is to win a state title in Australia and gain a top 10 ranking so I can be in line for a bigger title fight somewhere down the line.
“It’s a big goal but I think I can do it,” he said.
Yamo’s case is not unlike that of other gifted fighters involved with the country’s fledgling professional boxing bodies.
Such impressive prospects as brothers Chavis and Vincent Kora and John Deklam have also been affected by the decision last August passed by Dame Carol upon the urging of the PNG Sports Commission and the insistence of the PNG Amateur Boxing Union.
With the sport put on hold, fighters of the calibre like Yamo, the Koras, Deklam and Francis Oaike must contend with no competition for an uncertain length of time.
This means they miss out on earning money and fulfilling their dreams in the ring.
A promised investigation, which the PNGSC was tasked to conduct into the circumstances surrounding the death of Hayeu, is yet to be made public.
Up until the present time, no information has been made available to the wider boxing community as to the progress, if any, of this inquest.
Also the appointment of a boxing control board to monitor and regulate the sport has yet to be announced, months after applications for positions were closed and a timeframe was given for its formation. Meanwhile, professional boxing stagnates after a busy last year where it revived itself after a long period of dormancy.
Unlike those involved in the sport whether casually or as devoted followers who have been made to wait for the authorities to act Yamo has already begun efforts to forge his own path towards fulfilling his fistic ambitions.
Yamo is appealing to business houses and potential sponsors to assist him in his efforts to get his career back on track. For those interested in helping the former PNG amateur welterweight champion he can be contacted on 71580226 or 71685726.