The Tonga Boxing Association (TBA) hopes of sending fighters to the Olympics in Rio are on the ropes after their three leading contenders were beaten in the opening session of the Oceania qualifying tournament in China.
Pueki Fifita a female fighter who won bronze medal for Tonga at Pacific Games 2015, Sepesitiano Lavemai, a super heavy weight who won silver medal at the Pacific games 2015 and Fine Tuâipulotu, also a Pacific Games 2015 contender all lost their first-round fights yesterday.
Hiko Fungavaka, the assistant president of the TBA said he has yet to receive the results for Pouono Lopeti, a Tongan light heavy weight boxer from Australia who joined the Tongan team.
However Lopeti who goes by the name Machete Lopeti on Facebook, made an emotional comment on his page this morning and said: “Not the result we hoped for….. Humbled by the experience Sad and frustrated by the loss but definitely not defeated mentally.Â Many thanks for the support!!!”
The TBA sent two officials and four fighters to compete at the qualifying tournament.
Fungavaka said 13 boxers were trained to compete at the tournament but they finally cut them down to only four because the funding from the government was not enough to send them all to the competition.
The selection of the fighters was then forced to pick only those fighters who had fought in an international competition like the Pacific Games.