Whateley leads opening day for Aussies on the Gold Coast
28 June 2017
BOXING: 2016 Rio Olympian Jason Whateley was among a group of Australian boxers who enjoyed first-round success at the Oceania Boxing Championships and World Championship qualifiers at Paradise Point on the Gold Coast on Tuesday.
But the most impressive performance of the day came from New Zealand’s 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, David Nyika, who took less than one round to knock out his heavyweight opponent, Papua New Guinea’s Talamoni Kami.
It was the only knockout of the day, and sets the scene for what should be a thrilling final in the men’s 91kg class after Australian captain Whateley had a unanimous points win over Samoa’s Filimaua Hala.
Elsewhere, Australia’s Campbell Somerville was a 5-0 winner over Tonga’s Australian-based Hone Huni in the 75kg division, Andrew Hunt was too strong for PNG’s Andrew Aisaga in the 69kg division, and Tyler Blizzard enjoyed a unanimous result against New Zealand’s Ivan Pavich in the flyweight division.
The only loss for Australia came in the tightest bout of the day, with Daniel Heyes losing on points to PNG’s John Ume in the 64kg division.
Along with Nyika, New Zealand also celebrated wins for Keegan O’Kane-Jones over Nauru’s Yachen Cook in the 56kg division, and Leroy Hindley over Nauru’s Mel-Lachlan Halstead in the 69kg.
Tonga had a unanimous win for John Moleni over Samoa’s Uilaomatagi Sinapati in the 69kg.
Four Australians will be in action at Paradise Point on Wednesday, with Somerville and Hunt having their second bouts of the competition, and bantamweight Sam Goodman and Queensland’s former World Junior champion, Clay Waterman, having their first bouts of the competition.
Competition gets underway at noon.
The two finalists in each weight division will qualify for this year’s men’s World Boxing Championships in Hamburg at the end of August