Porirua boxer wins Golden Gloves

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

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.’’

SUP­PLIED

Latu Talu just won a Golden Gloves ti­tle but has his sight set on an even big­ger com­pe­ti­tion.

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