Porirua boxer wins Golden Gloves
A win at Australasia’s biggest boxing event was a brilliant result for a Porirua boxer with his eyes set firmly on the next Olympics.
Latu Talu won his weight class of Elite 60kgs in Australia’s Golden Glove’s competition last weekend, the same time the All Blacks won the Bledisloe Cup.
‘‘We beat them in rugby and I smashed them in the ring, that feels good.’’
There was a last minute scramble for a visa to let him fight in Australia because, despite living in New Zealand for 18 years, the Tuvalu-born Talu didn’t have a Kiwi passport.
‘‘My manager is working on getting me one because I need one so I can have the New Zealand flag in my corner.
‘‘Even though I don’t have a passport I feel like I’m fighting for the country who made me.’’
The paperwork was especially important because Talu was set on representing his adopted country in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
‘‘I’ll do the Commonwealth Games first but after that comes the big games.’’
Talu, head coach at Cannons Creek Boxing Academy, beat Australia’s Richard Knox to take the title.
The toughest part of the four day competition was making weight for his class, he said.
‘‘The night before the fight I still weighed 63 kgs and I had to be under 60 kg in the morning...I went for three runs, I’d run, come back and weigh myself then head out for another run.’’
He won the fight and already had his eye on another prize, and fighter, at New Zealand’s Golden Gloves, next month.
‘‘I’ve won nationals but people still think he’s the number one ranked fighter because he won’t fight, he’s running scared.
Coach Billy Graham said Talu had come of age this year and he fought ‘‘brilliantly.’’
‘‘He’s 25 now and that’s when boxers come into their own with their talent and their strength.’’
He said it was a sweet victory to beat Australia in their ‘‘precious’’ competition.
‘‘He made a big impression, all the other coaches were commenting he looks like a little Joe Fraser with the way he moves.’’
He said his fighters didn’t compete after the age of 30 which gave Talu just five years to make it big.
‘‘He’ll work to the Olympics and retire after that. He’ll always have a job running the gym.’’
Latu Talu just won a Golden Gloves title but has his sight set on an even bigger competition.