The boxing tournament of the 17th Pacific Games kicked off today in Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands. More than 140 athletes from 17 countries are set to meet in the ring of the newly-built “Friendship Hall” venue, competing in 25 different weight categories, including 13 Olympic weight categories. The tournament serves as the Oceania continental qualifier for the Olympic Games Paris 2024, with 13 quota places to be distributed to the winners of each Olympic category.
In the first round of the tournament, Australia’s Tyla McDonald overpowered the Solomon Islands’ Tracy Koputu in less than two minutes, winning the first women’s 60kg match of the Pacific Games as her opponent abandoned 1:38 minutes into the match and advanced to the semifinal where she will meet Baby Nansen of Samoa (bye).
In the men’s 57kg category, Papua New Guinea’s Allan Oaike beat Vanuatu’s Lionel Boe Warawara on points, with a 4:1 split decision. Advancing in the tournament, he will go up against local medal hope Ron Enoch Taniveke, competing on his home turf here in the Solomon Islands.
In the same weight category, New Zealand’s Alex Mukuka advanced to the semifinals as he outscored Nauru’s Christon Amram with a neat 5:0 unanimous decision win. There, he will meet Australia’s Charlie Senior, who moved on in the brackets as David Rounds of Tonga walked over.
In the men’s 80kg weight division, Tonga’s Roman Viney outscored New Zealand’s Emile Richardson via a 3:2 split decision, moving on to the semifinal, where he will meet Jolando Taala of Samoa. In the same category, Fiji’s Aminiasi Saratibau knocked out John Kaloka of the Solomon Islands amid round one of their quarterfinal match (KO, R1 2:42). In two days, he will meet Callum Peters of Australia (who advanced through a bye) in the semifinal.
In the men’s 92kg class, Samoa’s Ato Plodzicki-Faoagali cleared the quarterfinal match as his opponent Peniteekosi Tatafu from Tonga was disqualified 1:10 minutes into round 3, setting up a semifinal match appointment with Michael Schuster of the Cook Islands (bye). In the category’s other semifinal, New Zealand’s Malcolm Preston Matthes will go up against Adrian Paoletti of Australia.
For more information and full results, including non-Olympic weight classes, check the official 2023 Pacific Games website at https://www.sol2023.com.sb/.
The tournament, held in Honiara (SOL) from November 27th to December 2nd, will resume tomorrow, with 25 more bouts to be contested. Stay tuned!