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Boxing: Youth Olympic Games

In this photo are the two young boxers at the airport with their families this past Monday as they prepared to leave for their training camp.  [Photo: EM]

The World Amateur (Olympic-style) International Boxing Association has chosen two American Samoa boxers, who recently won medals in a Pacific Games boxing tournament held in Samoa, to represent American Samoa at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018, and will fund their further development with other boxers in the Oceania regions to help them better prepare for the world boxing stage at the YOG. 

The tournament in Samoa had boxers from New Zealand, Australia, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa and American Samoa participating; and American Samoa returned with two gold medals, a silver medal and bronze medal.

According to Sala Sanele Etuale, head coach for the American Samoa Amateur Boxing Association (ASABA), the funding that AIBA received is from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) within the framework of helping to develop the skills of these young boxers, in preparation for the Youth Olympics next year.

 The two young boxers are Falaniko Tauta and Jeffrey Tago, who have been boxing and training with their coaches going onto their second year.

Tauta said to Samoa News, “I am very excited for this opportunity, because it’s something that is not offered to many. So to be selected to represent American Samoa with many other boxers worldwide in Australia is a great honor.”

The training camp is for 8 days in Canberra, Australia, and Tauta is training as a welterweight, while Tago is training as a light heavyweight.

Escorting the two young boxers is the vice president of the ASABA, Okesene Malala. The president of the ASABA selected Malala as he will be attending the Youth Olympics Buenos Aires next year to referee in the boxing division.