Samoa and Niue Face-Off in Heavyweight Semi-Final of Birmingham Games

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Samoa’s heavyweight boxer, Tupuola Seua’i Ato Plodzicki-Faoagali has advanced to the semi final of the Commonwealth Games, set to face off against Niue’s Duken Tutakitoa-Williams.

The Samoan 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medalist forced a referee stoppage in Round 2 of his quarter final bout against Grenada’s Andy Andal. Earlier in Tupuola Ato’s first round, Samoa’s Pacific Games gold medalist beat Sanjeet Sanjeet of India.

Niue’s Duken Tutakitoa-Williams had also forced the referee to stop his quarter final fight in the second round against Michael Schuster of the Cook Islands. Tutakitoa-Williams has written himself into the history books earning Niue’s first ever Commonwealth Games medal.

The two Pacific Islanders are guaranteed at least a bronze medal. In boxing, two bronze medals are awarded – one to each of the losers of the semi finals.

Ato Plodzicki-Faoagali takes out Asia Champion in first round of Commonwealth Games 2022.

21 year old Marion Ah Tong (71kg) won his first fight and had also advanced to the quarter-finals where the light middleweight was defeated on points to Kassim Mbunduke of Tanzania while Jancen Poutoa (80kg) lost his first round fight.

Marion Ah Tong advanced to the quarter-final, Commonwealth Games 2022.

All three boxers at the Commonwealth Games have been representing Samoa since they were teenagers, and were part of the clean sweep 7-Gold-Medal team of the Pacific Games 2019.

Tupuola and Marion Ah Tong had also represented Samoa to the Tokyo Olympics, training together in Australia in the lead-up.

Speaking to Samoa Global News in an earlier interview, Tupuola said he and Marion continued training after they returned from the Tokyo Olympics, in preparation for the Commonwealth Games.

 

“It is always an honour to represent Samoa and there’s no better feeling than flying our flag around the world.”

“After the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 we have been staying active in training, awaiting the National federations call up… we have never really stopped.”

As is the case for most Samoan athletes representing Samoa in amateur sports, the training and sacrifices made have all been at their own costs.

The semi-final bout between Tupuola Ato and Niue’s Duken Tutakitoa-Williams is early Sunday morning, 5am, Samoa Time.

An earlier piece by Jaleen Tupai contributed to this article.