CAPTION: Team Samoa – Vaitele, Pele, Leti & Warren.
Samoa professional boxing have been very quite in the last six months, nor have we heard any news of upcoming fights for Samoan champs like Vaitele Soi and Warren Fuiava.
But according to Pa’u Edwin Puni of local boxing promotion company Event Polynesia, “It’s the calm before the storm.”
Mr. Puni has confirmed that a deal has been signed for Pele Faumui to fight Rohan Murdoch of Australia in the Cold Coast in Queensland for the WBO Super Middle Weight Asia Pacific Youth Title on 2nd of March.
“We also have a deal on the table right now for Warren Fuiava of Samoa to fight Australian prospect Blake Caparello for one of the recognised regional world title in the light heavyweight division in Melbourne on the 18th April.”
Pa’u is excited about 2013, “We’ve come a long way on the smell of an oily rag in establishing and developing a pathway for Samoan boxers to earn a living after their amateur careers like in professional rugby and rugby league.”
This year is the final stage of a five year plan that started in 2007 by default with the Monty Betham Jr debut fight in Samoa which Event Polynesia co-promoted with local travel company Polynesian Xplorer in association with local sanctioning bodies, the South Pacific Boxing Inc (SPBI) and Samoa Amateur Boxing Association (SABA).
In the beginning of 2008 Event Polynesia became a licensed promoter with the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) to stage the WBO Asia Pacific cruiserweight title fight between Laurence Tauasa and Charles Baou of New Caledonia in Apia. Lawrence won the title, got the purse money while Event Polynesia tolled for another twelve months paying off all the expenses.
October 2008, Event Polynesia secured fight for Samoan light heavyweight champion Togasilimai Letoa to fight New Zealand champ Soulan Pounceby for the WBO Asia Pacific light heavyweight title in Auckland. Togasilimai lost the fight and have since gone on with mix success in Australia.
In 2009 Event Polynesia moved into boxer management with Vaitele Soi and Warren Fuiava as its first signing followed by a co-management five years deal for Leti Leti to train and fight in Las Vegas. Leti has returned to Samoa for family reasons and have also gone on with a second win in Australia in December last year.
Today, Event Polynesia has a good stable of about fifteen boxers after elimination bouts at the Samoa Pro-Am Fights at Faleata Gym 1 to establish local ranking. To gain experience, Event Polynesia invested in getting some of the promising boxers to fight in Fiji, Tahiti, New Zealand, China and the Philippines in the past few years.
According to Pa’u, “We are fully aware of the huge expectations to see top fights in Samoa. But that’s putting the cart before the horse. We need to have our boxing talent trained well, need to have local and regional tournaments for the boxers to develop their skills. This is why the Pacific Rim Boxing Championship (PRBC) was established last year.”
Negotiations are underway for a regional world title fight to be the main event at this year’s Samoa Independence fight night on Thursday 30th May 2013 with top fighters from the Pacific taking on Samoa’s best in the undercards of the PRBC Samoa leg.
Event Polynesia acknowledges the support from the Samoa Government over the years through TAB, the Samoa Independence committee and SSFA; its development partners JP Fitness, Motor 1 Samoa and outfitter Carisbrook NZ; sponsors Bluesky, Vailima Breweries, Agility Logistics, Pacific Ezy Money Transfer and EMAYSE, also media partners over the years Samoa Observer, TV3, TV1, Radio 2AP and support of Samoa media locally and abroad.
Pa’u is confident that the pathway been put in place five years ago by Event Polynesia will deliver at least one regional world champion from Samoa this year.