ASBA begins its preparations to defend its Samoa 2012 Prime Minister’s Cup title
The American Samoa boxing team who won the Prime Minister’s Cup last year during the Samoa’s 50th Independence is starting their preparations to defend their title in the upcoming boxing event to be held in Samoa next month. The team’s preparation is under the supervision of the American Samoa Boxing Association (ASBA)
Speaking to Samoa News last week, the local team coach and current Manager of the Sport Complex Office, Toleafoa Henry Tavake said the team is now staring their training to defend and to become champions — again.
“We are ready,” Toleafoa said with a smile, “I know the task is really hard, but I have confidence that the team we’re putting together will try their best and train hard to that we can beat the team from Samoa and bring ‘our cup’ back home.”
Five local boxers have been selected to be part of the training squad, including one female who was also a part of the team that won the cup last year in Samoa.
Besides the team that has been selected, local professional boxer Alapati A’asa will once again be competing in one of the professional bouts in Samoa, with his opponent from Samoa yet to be confirmed. A’asa’s first professional match was against Saipeti Asiata of Samoa last year, during the Samoa Flag Day Boxing Tournament, where he lost his match in a controversial bout. He competed last year in the Super Heavy Weight Division and will do so again this year.
Toleafoa said, “The team is starting its preparations right now and the focus is mainly on fitness, and we’re hoping that in two weeks time the team will be fully ready to take up the task, and all in the team are all ready to face the team from Samoa and take the challenge.”
ASBA sent six local boxers to Samoa last year and four of them won their matches, including the only local female boxer, Onolina Viliamu.
Onolina is also a member of the Taumafai women’s volleyball team who won the Flag Day Volley Ball Tournament championship two weeks ago when they defeated the visiting women’s team from Samoa in a tough match during the finals.
Speaking to Samoa News yesterday, Onolina said that the team’s preparations to defend their title is now underway and she is quite happy about their training and the input from the team and staff.
“Its being 4 weeks now since we started our training and the team is putting all of their best in their training for only one purpose — to defend our title,” Onolina said. “I’m ready to bring the cup back home, we’re confident that we can win all of our matches.”
She noted that “we’re sacrificing ourselves to our training everyday and creating a close relationship with our team and coach, we are training hard, we put everything we have to make sure we have all the tools we need to face the challenge and right now, we’re all ready to take up the task.”
ASBA BOXING RING
In the past, the ASBA used one of the old buildings owned by the Veterans Association in Tafuna to conduct their training and tournaments, and it was something that always challenged them, because they wanted to have their own facilities to do their training and hold their bouts to make local boxers more ready to take on the competition.
Last week, the ASBA received good news from Toleafoa, who told Samoa News that one of the old buildings standing at the right side of the stadium is now being renovated to be the new boxing arena for the ASBA.
According to Toleafoa, this small building was built over 17 years ago and it was never used by the government.
“The old building is now renovated for the purpose to build a new boxing ring inside so that we can use it for our training,” he said. “If we are to have good boxers from the community, ASBA needs to have and own a boxing ring to train them physically and mentally, and that’s the main purpose of building this boxing ring, is to train our local boxers to make sure they’re ready to take up the challenge at any time.”
During Samoa’s 50th Independence celebration last year, the Samoa Amateur Boxing Association (SABA) held their first boxing competition, featuring their amateur and professional boxers, and a part of that event was the tough competition between SABA and ASBA for the Prime Minister’s Cup.
Last week, Samoa Amateur Boxing Association (SABA) announced they are starting their own preparations to challenge for the Prime Minister’s Cup the ASBA boxing team took away from them last year.
The Prime Minister’s Cup event will apply only to amateur matches, while professional matches will be mostly boxers from Samoa and possibly one boxer from Fiji, but it as yet to be confirmed.