Women doing boxing

Sol2023 boxing finals set for Friday and Saturday

DSC00405 | February 24, 2024
Boxing has lit up Friendship Hall. Photos: Micah Alvince, Pacific Games News Service

Friendship Hall will come alive again on Friday and Saturday as the Sol2023 Pacific Games boxing competition runs down its final events.

Thursday saw 11 boxers book their tickets to Friday’s finals showdown across six men’s and women’s weight categories.

Boxers qualifying for the finals included:

  • Sheila Yama (PNG) – Women’s 70kg
  • Jamin Chung (PNG) – Men’s 54kg
  • Canin (NRU) – Men’s 54kg
  • Max Makana (SOL) – Men’s 60kg
  • Davule Jone (FIJ) – Men’s 60kg
  • Dauphin Rafael (TAH) – Men’s 67kg
  • Joshua O’oku (SOL) – Men’s 67kg
  • Saliuafi Tuautu (SAM) – Men’s 75kg
  • Steven Kendu (PNG) – Men’s 75kg
  • Duken Willians Tutakitio Holo (NIU) – Men’s 86kg
  • Gabriel Dauphin (TAH) – Men’s 86kg

The Pacific Games News Service caught up with two of Thursday night’s winners, both of whom were grateful for qualifying for the finals – others conceding they’ve had to push themselves to the limit to win their bouts.

“I felt different in the fight. It’s a real war. I had to push myself throughout the fight and kept my defence intact. I am happy about the outcome and will push myself in the final and hope to win gold for my country,” Fiji boxer and Men’s 60kg finalist, Davule Jone said.

Davule qualified after defeating Mark Ryan Garvin of Solomon Islands.

This now sets up a final meeting against Pacific Games debutant and hometown favorite Max Makana, who won his semi-final bout against the more experienced Tuienui Herehau of Tahiti.

Also sharing his sentiments on Thursday’s hard-earned victory was Tahiti’s Dauphin Rafael who outpunched his Tongan opponent, Fineasi Tuipulotu – with the referee stopping the fight two seconds from time in the second round.

“It’s a hot fight! I have to admit the fight was indeed quite tough. I’m happy I managed to beat him and win the bout. My focus now is to win gold for my country.”

Dauphine now meets another hometown favorite in Joshua Fafale O’oku who defeated Fa’auila Alai of Samoa.

Boxing continues on Friday and Saturday at Friendship Hall area. Entry is $30. By Francis Pituvaka and Steven Kamoa, Pacific Games News Service

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