By Lorraine Genia – EM TV Sports, Port Moresby
The Fijian boxers have been tasked with a big ask, come July.
Since their exclusion in international fights and tournaments, the boxers are now under immense pressure to perform at an exceptional standard at the 2015 Pacific Games, to prove their re-entry into the international arena.
Coach, Pauliasi Ratu, has set his expectations high, indicating that he won’t settle for less than gold.
“Fiji has been out of the international arena for a long time, and in that time, the sport has grown and moved on.”
Those were the words of Assistant Coach, Napoleon Taumoepeau, after Boxing Fiji received the green light, to compete at the Pacific Games following the government’s decision to allow the association to be autonomous.
With the association’s re-entry, an enormous amount of pressure now lies on Fiji’s boxers, to ensure their performance inspires the youth of the nation.
The games will be used as a platform to propel the growth of the sport.
Coach, Pauliasi Ratu told the Fiji Times that he is expecting the Fijians to win gold in the Pacific Games as it would generate more interest in amateur boxing.
The current squad of eight will be trimmed to a final three in the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, PNG’s extended boxing squad continues training in the Philippines, with fitness their main focus.
Earlier in the year, President of the PNG Boxing Association, John Avira, had declared Fiji as one of their potential threats in the ring.