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Out for a fight

Arin Kumar
Monday, December 30, 2013

FIJI-born New Zealand-based light-heavyweight boxer Taito Ratuere is willing to fight any boxer in the country for the sake of the sport.

Hailing from Nabuna in Koro, Ratuere has lived most of his life in New Zealand and has never fought in Fiji.

He said he had read on The Fiji Times website about the situation of boxing was in the country.

The 35-year-old wants to help the revival of the sport and he is willing to take on any boxer who is willing to face him.

Joy Ali and Joseph Kwadjo turned down offers from him in 2012 and 2013 respectively but he is confident someone will rise to the challenge.

"Joy Ali and Joseph Kwadjo apparently were meant to be opponents but neither fight came to fruition," he said.

"I had a word with Opeti Tagi when he was in Auckland for his last fight regarding a potential fight in Fiji which he was keen on and I've also heard that Abhay Chand was interested in defending his title early next year.

"Other than those names mentioned, I'm not overly familiar with the boxers in Fiji but would consider any opponent willing to jump in the ring with me."

Ratuere boasts a record of 12 wins (six via knockout) and one loss in his professional career which started in 2009.

"My one loss has been the most difficult fight but in hindsight that is a lesson I have learnt and an error on my part which I will remember not to repeat. I won't take any opponent for granted regardless of their experience and skill set and always prepare fully through hard work and dedication.

"I have learnt a lot from my various opponents and the difficulty being the adaptation to each one as they all have their strengths and weaknesses which my job is to expose and ultimately overcome."

Of those 13 fights, none of his opponents had been Fijian so now he would like to test himself against a man from his homeland.

"A German, an American, a Tongan and mostly Samoan boxers have been my previous opponents and I would love to add a Fijian to my repertoire as well.

"I've not seen many boxers from Fiji fight so I'm both willing and curious to test myself.

"I hope that together we (Fijian boxers) can all put on some good fights for the boxing fans and promoters and lift the profile as well as the development of boxing in Fiji."

Ratuere added Fiji needs more promotions to help bring up the profile of Fijian boxers so that they are not easily beaten by boxers from overseas.

"More promotions need to be put on.

"In order to get boxing in Fiji back on its feet there needs to be more boxing tournaments because without boxing tournaments, there's no development and future for boxers in Fiji and they will end up being 'journey-men opponents' for up and coming boxers in New Zealand and Australia."

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