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Knocked out

Arin Kumar
Monday, December 16, 2013

THE New Zealand National Boxing Federation has threatened not to give Fijian boxers any more fights in future.

This was after Opeti Tagi was knocked out in the second round of his bout against Gunner Jackson in Auckland on Friday night.

Federation official Faiyaz Khan said the knockout loss brought to question the credibility of the fitness of Fijian fighters.

Khan said the promoter of the event, David Rafaili told him after the fight that Fijian boxers needed to understand what they signed for in a contract because it was important for their purse.

"Fijian boxers must be fit if they want any more overseas fights, otherwise promoters will not even bother," he said.

"This is the second time a Fijian boxer has been outclassed within months.

"Last month (Junior) Maku was knocked out within minutes of his appearance in the (David) Tua fight undercard."

Khan, who arranged the fight for Tagi said the Naitasiri boxer was overweight which almost got the fight cancelled.

"Opeti was supposed to fight at 72.5kg but tipped the scale at 79.5kg, some 7kg over limit.

"The contract was 72.5kg but when Tagi was 7kg extra, it was only good that Gunner accepted the fight and we would like to thank him for that because 7kg is a big difference in a title fight.

He said Tagi lost the chance of his life to win the middleweight WBO title and $800.

"The first round started well with both boxers exchanging blows but when the second round came, Gunner hooked Opeti in the ribs coming over with some quick cross shots that saw Tagi go down for the eight count.

"Within 30 seconds Gunner sent Opeti out of the ring with a solid left right combination which saw Opeti fly out of the ropes. Opeti could not beat the eight count and lost the fight on KO."

Boxing Commission of Fiji director Malakai Veisamasama said it was a lesson learnt for the BCF and for the local boxers.

"On another note, the bout was moved from October to November and then to December and so Tagi was on and off with his training," he said

"Also after the weigh-in he lost some weight and he felt that shedding so much weight just a day before the fight contributed towards his loss."