By Eleanor Gee
Four local boxers representing Tonga are being put through their paces by high performance coach Asipeli Fine from Mascot, New South Wales, and China’s high-level boxing coach, Chen Ju, ahead of the Pacific Games held in Samoa next month.
Head Coach Pita Kengike told Matangi Tonga the boxers are aiming to win gold at the games and have been giving “their all” at training twice a day, from Monday to Saturday.
“They have been training at Teufaiva Stadium in the mornings with other athletes and again in the afternoons at the TASANOC office in Havelu.”
The four have been learning many tips from Asipeli, who was brought in by Tonga Boxing, and Chen who was brought in by the Tonga Government sports administration to assist.
One female boxer, Fe’ofa’aki Apakau Epenisa, based in the USA will also represent Tonga and will join the team in Samoa. Fe’ofa’aki was born in Tonga and will fight in the 75kg weight division. She trains at the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas, USA.
The team will compete from July 16-18.
- Sepesitiano Lavemai (29), 91 kg + Super Heavyweight
- Won Silver at PNG Pacific Games in 2015. Lakepa Boxing Club.
- Pisope Tu’akoi (22), 91kg – Heavyweight
- Won Silver at 2018 Tonga vs Marist Samoa. Tokomololo Boxing Club.
- Ken Stone Howell (23), 81kg – Light to Heavyweight
- Reached Q finals 2015 Pac Games, won Gold at 2018 Tonga vs Marist Samoa, Won Silver 2016 Tonga vs Marist Samoa. Lakepa Boxing Club.
- Lopeti Nonu (25), 75kg – Middleweight
- National Tonga Boxing tournament held earlier this year. Patangata Boxing Club. Trained in NZ in 2015 / 16.
- Fe’ofa’aki Apakau Epenisa, 75kg - Middleweight
- Mayweather Boxing Club, Las Vegas, USA.
Head Coach: Pita Kengike