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Video: Local fighters punch their way to victory

The “Rising Stars” Fight Night fiesta this past Saturday brought together more than 800 spectators to the Veterans Memorial Stadium, to witness the first ever professionally coordinated fight between “Motu o Fiafiaga” and “Tumua ma Pule” in American Samoa.


The well coordinated event was presented by the American Samoa Boxing Council’s Tole’afoa Henry Tavake.


There were 8 amateur bouts held during the event, and 80 percent of the American Samoa team dominated over the Samoa Amateur Boxing Association’s visiting fighters.


The first victory of the night went to Tony Iapesa of Samoa, after he went toe to toe against Michael Fonoti, also from Samoa, but from different fight clubs. Iapesa won with a Technical Knock Out (TKO) in the third round of the match when the official stopped the fight as a very disappointed Fonoti held on to his right shoulder with 2:13 remaining in the third round.


To’o Mita’i of Samoa added a victory to his record without breaking a sweat after American Samoa’s Alema Vaele failed to show up for Saturday’s match. (Samoa News should point out that Vaele also failed to show up during the weigh ins last Friday morning).


Competing in the Semi-Event match up was American Samoa’s Henry “Bad News” Wells who not only defeated Gogosina Ulutoa in the last round by points, but destroyed and dominated his opponent.


The bout was scheduled for 4 three-minute rounds, with Wells dominating throughout, to win in a unanimous decision victory.


The Main Event of the evening had the crowd on their feet, and roaring out American Samoa’s Alapati A’asa’s name, as he was entering the ring to begin the first round. In the beginning of his bout against Sigapoa Asiata, A’asa managed to land heavy and brutal body shots that had Asiata shaken in the second minute of the round, when A’asa caught him with a left hook.


Referee Lautapa’a Wong King counted eight seconds before Asiata stood up from the first knock down of the fight, with Sigapoa assuring the referee he was ready to go.


When A’asa came back in an attempt to finish the round, it only took him 5 punches to end the fight with a strong left hook finish that sent Asiata to the floor in an unconscious state.


That was enough to get Lautapa’a to signal the end of the fight.


Samoa News asked A’asa to comment about the early conclusion of the fight and he responded, “I am really surprised he fell that early. I wasn’t expecting him to go down that fast, and I was conserving my energy, stamina, and power to go all 6 rounds with him.”


He added, “at the end of the fight, I felt very sorry for Sigapoa, about the results of the fight. He seemed to be a very down to earth guy in reality, and we bonded, we have a good relationship not only as fighters, but as friends and as normal human beings just like the rest of the people out here.”


A’asa said Asiata should’ve been ready. “When I fought him before, we went through all the rounds, and he was strong throughout the fight that I won by points. But tonight, I never thought this would happen. But when it’s time to play in the ring, we can’t expect nothing more nothing less than trying to create some good numbers for our professional record.”


Samoa News also __asked A’asa how he prepared for the fight and he responded, “the way I trained for this fight, and the way I train for every match I have to fight in, I prepare for all of the rounds scheduled for that showing. Tonight’s fight, I trained very hard to last throughout all six rounds because I know Sigapoa is strong. But how things ended tonight is shocking to me as well how he was done in the first round.”


Samoa News was unable to get an interview with Sigapoa Asiata after the fight but one of our staff approached a member of the Samoa Team who replied, “it’s not the right time.”


As for American Samoa’s “Bad News” Henry Wells, he told Samoa News this fight was dedicated to his father, “I want to dedicate this fight to my Dad, who is in the Correctional Facility right now. I love you Dad, and I did my best to try and make you proud. This fight and this win is dedicated to you.”


Wells added, “I tried my best to try and finish him in the second round. I saw that he was dazing very bad, and his punches towards me were all weak, and automatically I thought to myself, that he was ready to be knocked out. But when I tried, he not once fell to the ground.”


Wells was the victor of the 4-round pro-fight Semi Event in which he caused his opponent’s right eye to swell and busted his nose.


“As hurt as he looked tonight, he was a strong competitor who wouldn’t give up until the bell rang. He gave his best, I did mine, and I want to thank him for this opportunity to add another win to my record,” Wells said.


The Pro-Fighters from American Samoa highlighted an acknowledgement to their coach and trainer Tole’afoa Henry Tavake.


“I want to thank him for everything that he has done for me, all his time spent on training me. All his experience and knowledge bestowed upon me in the past years paid off tonight, so I want to thank my coach Henry for believing in me and never giving up,” said A’asa.


Wells told Samoa News that he has been blessed with a coach who provides time for his preparation. “Thank you coach Henry for your endless service and effort into getting me to where I am now. I know you have a lot of things on your hands but you always try to find the time to make things perfect not only for me, but for the rest of us, so I want to say thank you for everything you have done for us and for training us to get this far.”