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Fiji Time: 2:27 AM on Thursday 17 April

/ Front page / Sport

Puna to help boxing

Zanzeer Singh
Monday, December 16, 2013

AUSTRALIA-based boxer Taraiasi Nodrakoro Rasaubale and Zulfikar Joy Ali will join forces to promote their super middleweight clash next year dubbed as the "Rise of the Sleeping Giants".

Rasaubale, who is also known as Puna, represented the nation during the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia.

He lost in the opening round of the super heavyweight fight against David Price of England after the referee stopped the contest in the first round.

The dual international who also played for the Fiji Bati challenged Joy Ali last month which was accepted by the Nadi boxer.

Rasaubale who is based in New South Wales held discussions with Joy Ali to finalise the details of staging the program last week.

"I have reapplied for my Fiji citizenship," Rasaubale said.

"Once that is done then we will register with the Boxing Commission of Fiji. I'm looking forward to making my professional debut in Australia.

"I will certainly have to shed some weight. I will arrange for three fights before the Joy Ali program."

"I will fight in the cruiserweight and go down to light heavyweight and then to super middleweight. My first fight will be at the end of January.

"I have a couple of opponents in mind, some of whom have come out of the amateur ranks and are getting their professional career on the road.

"My last amateur fight was a year ago. I played rugby league this season down in Wollongong. Boxing in Fiji is struggling a little bit.

"Every association has their ups and downs. But I'm here to help. I'm in the process of getting back my Fiji citizenship.

"Joy Ali and I will be promoting the fight ourselves. We are both athletes and know what happens in sports. It is all business. We are working with Anthony Mundine's management in getting some of their boxers here for our undercard.

"We will follow the process and apply for the necessary licences. I'm doing this for the sport and youths of the country."

Joy Ali, who has not fought in two years, said he had more than nine months to prepare.

He said the fight against Rasaubale would be the one to watch.

"I have started my preparations and hope to land a fight next month," Joy Ali said.

Boxing Commission of Fiji board member Malakai Veisamasama welcomed Rasaubale for his vision to hold a big program in the country.

He said they were open for talks with Rasaubale.

"Firstly he needs to organise himself by getting all his papers right," Veisamasama said.