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Lost boxing stars

Maciu Malo
Saturday, January 18, 2014

BOXING enthusiast Mustafa Khattab is concerned with the standard of boxing in Fiji.

The Casablanca Hotel owner said over the past years no new names from Fiji had emerged on the international scene since the days of Joy Ali, Opeti Tagi and the likes.

Khattab said boxing development should start at the grassroots level such as rugby, soccer and athletics, and that having boxing competitions in schools would inspire youngsters to take up the sport.

"There is no breeding ground for boxers in Fiji and I believe we should start to develop the game at the school level," said Khattab.

"We should have boxing competitions in schools like they do for rugby, netball, soccer and athletics.

"There should be a good program set up for aspiring boxers because not all children will become rugby players in the future.

"Later on we could have provincial competitions, again just like rugby and soccer.

"It is from such competitions that we can breed and nurture good Fijian boxers."

Khattab said Fijians were blessed with their physical built and they could be groomed to become world class boxers.

"If a Samoan boxer like New Zealand-based David Tua can be a world class boxer, I strongly believe we could do the same with the many strong Fijians around us.

"It is therefore significant to have more boxing competitions because it is from there where we can identify new boxers."

Some Fijian boxers who have stamped their name on the international scene include Sakaraia Ve, Jo Ravudi and Mosese Sorovi.

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