Local boxing team heads to Apia to defend their Prime Minister’s Cup
Local boxing coach Toleafoa Henry Tavake, will be taking his team of amateur boxers to Apia, Samoa to defend the Prime Minister’s Cup which they earned last year during Samoa’s 50th Independence Day Celebrations.
The amateur boxers who train under the American Samoa National Amateur Boxing Council (ASNABC), where Toleafoa is president and head trainer, will be will be sending six highly trained amateur boxers and one professional boxer according to Toleafoa. “We are ready and set to defend the cup that we earned last year in Samoa,” he said. Toleafoa’s boxers have been training at their new site which is located at the Veterans Memorial Stadium, getting ready to defend their cup.
In speaking about the Prime Minister’s Cup and the preparations they have been going through, Toleafoa said, “The program has been going on five years now and as you can see the kids have proven themselves by winning the cup and now we are going back to defend it,” he said. “Samoa is really prepared and I know that they will be ready to try and take the cup back.”
Regarding the professional boxer, Alapati A’asa, who will be fighting in his 2nd professional fight, he said, “Alapati is one of the most unique fighters that I have ever trained since I have been involved in boxing in the last 30 years. Alapati has a lot of power and I no not want to rush him. I want to take it one fight at a time so he can mature. I know he will go a long, long way,” he said, adding that he would like to thank the public for their support and most of all “thank our Heavenly Father for his guidance as we travel to Samoa”.
Toleafoa also said that he would like to give a special thank you to Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga for his ongoing support.
The only professional boxer traveling, A’asa stated that he would like to thank everyone that helped prepare him for this fight, especially his coach and trainer, Toleafoa. “I have prepared myself physically and mentally. I know with each step up the ladder, it is going to get tougher and that is why I am training harder everyday,” said A’asa.
A’asa won his professional debut fight last year on May 31 when he defeated long time veteran of the ring, Saipeti Muga Asiata, during the inaugural Pacific Rim Boxing Championships, hosted by Samoa as part of their 50th Independence Day Celebration. The 25 year old A’asa will be fighting in the Heavyweight class.
One of the amateur fighters, George Tanoa Jr. who fights in the Middleweight class, said that he is ready and set to go. “My game plan is to stick to my jab and concentrate on my offense and try my best to work every round,” said Tanoa Jr. “I want to thank American Samoa for their support and prayers and also thank Pastor Iopu of the Malaeloa Methodist Church,” he said.
There will be one female amateur fighter making the trip. Onolina Viliamu will be competing in the Middleweight Division. The team will be departing the territory on Monday morning.
The Prime Minister’s Cup will be part of Samoa’s 51st Independence Day Celebrations.
Here is the team that will be defending the Prime Ministers Cup in Apia, Samoa on June 1st.
Alapati A’asa-Heavyweight (Professional)
George Tanoa Jr.-MIddleweight
Riley Tuala-Super Heavyweight