Three minutes and thirty seconds.
That’s how long it took for rising boxing sensation, Jai Opetaia, to knock out his opponent, Silimai Letoa, during the main bout of the Fight for Marist II at Tuanaimato on Friday night.
Opetaia was scheduled to fight Tony Fereti.
But Letoa was a last minute replacement.
Still that didn’t dampen the spirits in what was a fabulous evening of boxing and lots of entertainment.
As a proud Samoan, Opetaia paid homage to his roots by walking out to Le Togo features on the movie Moana.
He was led by men and women dressed in traditional regalia dancing and singing as they led him into the ring.
Once inside, Opetaia looked cool and confident.
He dominated the first round with his powerful right jab and left hook.
He managed to dodge many of Letoa’s counter attacks and stayed quick on his feet.
Letoa managed to get a few nicely placed hits on Opetaia’s torso but Opetaia was hardly troubled.
Opetaia dropped Letoa late in the first round but he stumbled back on to his feet ready for more.
But then he didn’t survive for long. The second round was over before it even started. Letoa was still recovering from the last round when Opetaia dropped him again.The referee called the fight thirty seconds into the second round.
Opetaia continues his undefeated professional record, going nine for nine with six T.K.O’s.
After his triumph, Opetaia humbly thanked God for his travelling mercies and asked Samoa to get behind him in his journey.
The night was full of action, entertainment, and of course, amazing boxing.
The Marist Sports Club paused to remember their honorary member and lifetime partner that had everyone at attention clapping in his honour.
The night went on and Samoa’s best boxing talent faced tough opposition from Tonga, American Samoa, New Zealand and Australia. .
Team Samoa did the country proud coming away with the most gold medals. Filimaua Hala, Aukusitino Fuatagaumu and many others were outstanding.
There’s was only one female bout between Repeka Daniel and Faafetai Iosia.
Both of the fighters displayed an amazing amount of skill inclusion of their fight in the line-up puts Samoa in the right track towards developing the sport more inclusively.
Australian Boxer, Damien Faoagali, who is of Samoan heritage, won gold medal in the 91kg+ youth bouts and received the honour of Best Youth Boxer of the tournament. Overall, it was a boxing fans paradise.
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