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Samoa tops at 2016 Mosooi Int’l Boxing Championship

Karl Apelu (left) of Samoa against Mamona Tafa (right) of American Samoa during the first bout of the 2016 Mosooi International Boxing Championships last Saturday night at the Maliu Mai Resort in Fogagogo. Apelu won his bout in a unanimous decision. [photo by AF]Two professional fighters from American Samoa — Paofe Seeti (second from left) and Ofisa Talaimalo (third from left) with their coach and trainer, Sala Sanele Etuale (left). [photo by AF]Samoa’s boxing team won the 2016 Mosooi International Boxing Championships against the American Samoa boxing team — 4- nil. [photo by AF]

The 2016 Mosooi International Boxing Championship between the two Samoas last Saturday night ended on a high note for the Samoa boxing team when they again won the “2Samoas Battle” gold medal by winning all 4 amateur bouts of the night. Samoa won last year’s Mosooi International Boxing Championship with four wins against the American Samoa team, who took three wins.

For this year, four amateur undercards battled for the “2Samoas Battle” at the Maliu Mai Resort in Fogagogo, together with two professional bouts which drew the attention of more that 100 spectators who came to watch some of the best boxers in both Samoas that night.

After an opening prayer to start off the program, a representative from the Samoa boxing team, Fata Asovale offered a big fa’amalo to Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga and members of the American Samoa Boxing Federation (ASBF) including President Paepaetele Mapu Jamias for inviting them to be part of this year’s Mosooi championship.

“This will be a huge step forward for our young fighters who are now battling for the win tonight,” he said. “Not only will they get the chance to show they have the talent, but it will also prepare them for the next challenge in life”, said Fata.

 One of the interesting bouts that caused the crowd to come to their feet cheering was the first undercard bout between two young and brave boxers from the 2Low Lava boxing club, Jeffery Tago vs. Filisi Uili for the Maliu Mai boxing club.

Tago and Uili were brought to the ring because of their enthusiasm for the sport and showed some good combinations from round one to round three. Tago fired up some good body shots while Uili responded with good combinations to the body and face which at the end; Tago won the fight by unanimous decision.

Many fans told Samoa News they were very pleased with the boxing performances and they want to see more tournaments like this in the near future, so that our youth will get a chance to show what they have.

Former local fighter, Aifili Taumaoe, a 54-year-old from Tafuna said that our young people have the potential for boxing, and all they need is someone who can train them and put together some tournaments to show to the world what they have.


The first match for the “2Samoa Battle” was between Karl Apelu of Samoa and Mamona Tafa of American Samoa in the 60kg division. Apelu of Samoa proved that he had the better engine than his opponent from American Samoa in working him to win an un-impressive 3 round unanimous decision when he used his power and strength to dominate the last two rounds of their match.

This is a really interesting first fight of the night. Apelu hit Tafa with a number of big shots but his rival was still coming forward and still a threat, but before the 2nd round end, Apelu landed a powerful right hand followed by his left-hook which caused the referee to give a count to Tafa.

In the 3rd and the last round of the match, Tafa of American Samoa dominated the first two minutes of the round with big body shots and good combination in the body and face, but Apelu was too good during the last minute of the round, when he landed another left-hook to the body which caused Tafa to stumble a little bit, and at the end of the fight, Samoa earned their first win of the night with a unanimous decision.

Samoa’s second win of the night was from Jancen Poutoa, when he defeated Falaniko Tauta of American Samoa in a split decision in the 69kg division. Tauta came on strong in the second round, trying to look for an upset to take away the win from Poutoa, by throwing some power punches to the lower body, but his opponent took the power shots while responding with right jabs and body shots until the fight ended, with Poutoa winning the fight.

One of the interesting battles of the night was the rematch between one of Samoa’s rising stars, John Peneueta against American Samoa middleweight champion, Toeaso Moetoto. Moetoto defeated Peneueta during the 2016 Flag Day Boxing Tournament in Samoa in May in a unanimous decision.

In his bout, Peneueta dominated the first round of the match, throwing some hard punches to his opponent Moetoto, which caused Moetoto to take his first count in the first round. Peneueta continued to attack his opponent with more good body shots and a combination of uppercut and right hand punches.

In the last two rounds of the fight, American Samoa’s middleweight champion looked tired and was unable to defend himself while Peneueta of Samoa looking active and throwing more hard punches to the body, caused Moetoto to almost be knocked down, but he was saved by the bell in the last moment of the fight, and Peneueta of Samoa won the fight in a unanimous decision.

The last amateur fight of the night was between Lisala Ioelu of American Samoa, and Samoa silver medalist from the 2016 World Boxing Championship in Samoa, Henry Tyrell. Tyrell used his height advantage to control the fight and score more points in the first round of the fight, which made it really hard for Ioelu to score any points, but in the second round of their bout, Ioelu used his skill and power to dominate the fight, by connecting his jab and right hand, followed by some hard body shots.

Everything changed in the last round of the match when Tyrell used his experience to dominate the first minute of the round by firing power body shots, followed by a right hand and an upper-cut, which caused the referee to stop the fight in the third round, when Ioelu was unable to defend himself from Tyrell’s powerful attack, and Tyrell won the match, which gave Samoa’s fourth win of the night.


First up in the professional fights was Paofe Seeti of American Samoa facing Malumalusa Mulipola of Samoa in a scheduled four-round fight. This was both fighters professions bouts, and both fight showed their skills and what they have during the first minute of the first round, but thing changed in the second half of the first round when Seeti connected his power right hand with his left-hook, followed by another powerful right hand, which caused the referee to gave Mulipola his first count of the fight, and at the same time, Mulipola’s coach threw in the towel to end the fight, and gave American Samoa its first win of the night.

The main event of the night was American Samoa’s Ofisa Talaimalo who fought his first professional fight against Samoa’s Hugo Fata for scheduled 4 rounds fight, who brought an impressive 5-0 of his own into the ring. Leaving the amateur boxing style with and undefeated record of 31-3 to the professional level. Fata was favored to win the fight, based on his speed and skills.

At the 2:10 mark of the second round, Talaimalo knocked down Fata with a nice power combination of jab and hook, which caused the referee to give count to Iapesa, and the Samoa fighter was able to continue the fight, where he proved to Talaimalo that he can also do the damage with his power and speed.

Fata was able to comeback in the last round of the match to win the fight in a split decision by using his skills to dominate the first half of the last round, while Talaimalo was trying his best to look for a knockout, but it was too late for the American Samoa’s rising star — in the end, Talaimalo lost his first professional fight of his career.