ASNABC— Some good news and some bad for Tavaka

American Samoa Super Heavyweight boxer, Alapati A’asa Jr. (L) during his 2nd round knockout win over challenger Galuega Mareko of Samoa during the Oct. 29, 2011 ‘All Samoa Mosooi Amateur Boxing Championships’ at Tafuna High School. A’asa, who will be traveling to Savai’i today, with boxers from the American Samoa National Amateur Boxing Council (ASNABC) to compete in a one-day Goodwill tournament, also has a chance to fight in March in Australia, at the Oceania qualifiers for the 2012 Olympics.

The American Samoa National Amateur Boxing Council (ASNABC), chaired by Henry Tavake is once more making the news — good and controversial.

The good is that the chair of ASNABC, who is also a coach and trainer in the sports organization will be taking five of its boxers today to Savai’i for what Tavake calls ‘Goodwill’ matches against boxers from Samoa. The matches will take place on Saturday.

The controversial is that Tavake, who is the coach/trainer of the ASNABC’s top fighter, Super Heavy Weight Alapati A’asa Jr. has not been appointed by the American Samoa Boxing Federation (ASBF) to take the fighter to the Oceania qualifiers in March for the 2012 Olympic Games; and according to Tavake, if he does not go, neither will his fighter.


“First of all, I just want all of the boxing fans out there to know about the amateur fights that I call ‘Goodwill’ matches that will be taking place this coming Saturday in Savaii,” said Tavake.

He said, “We were invited over to Savai’i to take part in local matches…The fights will be taking place on Saturday and I will take 5 of my best… One Tuala- Welterweight, Ioane Failauga- Light Heavy Weight, George Tanoa- Middleweight, Riley Tuala- Heavyweight and Alapati A’asa- Super Heavyweight.”

Tavake noted that “we still train at the Department of Parks and Recreation grounds at the Tafuna Industrial Park, thanks to the kindness of the Director Samana Semo Ve’ave’a.”

Kelepi Fata, who was the 132 lb Lightweight Champion in the ‘All Samoa Mosooi Amateur Boxing Championships’ on October 29 of last year, will not be making this trip due to a shoulder injury, Tavake said.

He said of the Goodwill matches that “I have to keep these boys active. We just can’t practice, practice, practice all of the time, we need fights. These are good guys that have trained hard and are ready.”


Tavake said he was less than pleased with the decision of the ASBF to take another coach/trainer to the Oceania qualifier, and not him.

“I can’t believe this. How they can make a decision like this. I have been with Alapati going on three years now, training him, coaching him and working with him and now the federation wants to appoint someone else to go with him to Australia for the Oceania qualifiers for the Olympics,” said Tavake.

“Alapati has a real good chance to make it to the Olympics in London, England. That is how good he is. If you send him with someone else to a big event like this, with someone who knows nothing about him, he might end up getting hurt really bad. I have been working with him for a while now and know what to do, to help guide him to the top. I am taking this personally. A coach should stay with his fighter,” he stated.

“We have a possible world champion in our midst and if you don’t do things right, then it can ruin him forever in boxing. This kid is special. He has what it takes. Some of the best fighters of all time had a special bond with their trainers and coaches.”

Tavake then said, “If I don’t get to go with him, then he is not going. I am not thinking of myself and being selfish. I am thinking of the well being of my fighter.”

He concluded, “If we don’t go together, then I have plans in turning Alapati professional, with plans on having professional bouts here in the territory and then taking him to train with Freddy Roach in California (Wild Card Boxing Club). He is one of the most well known trainers in the world.”

Alapati A’asa, who is considered one the best boxers in Oceania at this time in the Heavyweight and Super Heavyweight class and a possible future world champion, has a record of 21 wins, 2 loses, with 12 knock outs.

The last fight A’asa fought in was on October 29, 2011, when he knocked out Galuega Mareko of Samoa in two rounds, to win the “All Samoa Mosooi Amateur Boxing Championship’ in the Super Heavyweight class, to bring his record to where it stands at this time.


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