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Samoa’s Professional Boxing on the Path to Revival

By Lance Polu

APIA, SAMOA – 24 NOVEMBER 2022: The professional debut of Samoa’s two Olympians tomorrow night in Apia, is the much needed catalyst for the revival of professional boxing in the country.

This is according to the President of South Pacific Professional Boxing Inc. Ale Vena Ale who sanctioned the two professional bouts after this afternoons weigh in at the Marist Sports Club, Lotopa.

“Professional boxing in Samoa has slipped over the years,” said Ale “and this could be the timely event that would set a revival of professional boxing in the country.”

Ale welcomed Team Fiji that accompanied two boxers who will launch Samoa’s Ato Plodzcki Faoagali and Marion Ah Tongs in their professional careers.

Ale also welcomed the Pacific representative in the International Boxing Association, Seru Whippy who travelled over to ensure the bouts are within the IBAs rules.

Seru is an IBA 3 Star referee and judge and was an IBA official in the recent Commonwealth Games in Birmingham where Ato Plodzcki Faoagali won silver.

Marion Ah Tong will be facing Fijian professional, Ratu Domocokai in the Middleweight division while Ato will be going against Apisa Naciqa, also of Fiji in the Cruiserweight division.

Ato Apisai staredown
Ato Apisai staredown

Samoa’s double silver medallist, Ato Plodzcki Faoagali and Apisa Naciqa of Fiji to face off in the Cruiserweight division.

“Having my first professional fight in Samoa, really is a dream come true. No better place for a Samoan boxer to have his/her debut on home soil, in front of our own people,” says Ato.

“I am very excited to be able to debut my professional fight where my boxing life started. It has always been a dream, and for it to be happening real soon, is surreal,” added Marion.

Ato is a double Silver Medallist in the 2018 and 2022 Commonwealth Games. He also won Gold in the Pacific Games 2019. Marion won Silver in the 2018 Oceania Youth Championship, Gold in the 2019 Pacific Games and Gold again the 2020 New Zealand Amateur Championships.

Boxers and SPBInc
Boxers and SPBInc

Boxers and coaches in tomorrows professional bouts with the President of South Pacific Professional Boxing Inc. Ale Vena Ale (with red ulafala) and the International Boxing Association representative, Seru Whippy (in yellow) after this afternoons weigh in.

According to Ale Vena Ale, professional boxing is the natural pathway for Samoan boxers who have represented their country in the highest level as amateurs and need to move to the next step and where the money is.

He also stated that the IBA rules allows boxers who have turned professional to still represent their countries in the Olympics, if they have only fought five or less professional bouts.

It means, given time, even if they turn professional tomorrow night, Ato and Marion still have a chance to represent Samoa in the upcoming Olympics.

The Samoan professional debuts will be the highlight of the Next Generation Judgment Day 2022 at Gym One, Friday night will also feature 20 amateur bouts between Samoan, Australian and New Zealand up and coming boxers.

The Tournament is organized by the Marist Boxing Association in collaboration with the Samoa Boxing Federation.