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Historic days for women boxers in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
by Michael O'Neill
July 16, 2015

(JULY 16)  The 2015 multi-sports Pacific Games have been taking place since early July in Port Moresby and the historic boxing tournament has now reached the finals weekend in the PNG capital.

Insofar as the boxing is concerned, proceedings started Tuesday 14 July 2015, when boxers from the Oceania region entered the fray.

This year’s Pacific Games is yet another milestone for women boxers, as they will compete in the boxing event for the very first time in history of the Games. AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu said: “This is another step forward for the development of women’s boxing in this part of the world and a historic moment for AIBA. Women’s boxing is now taking place in every continent and I’m confident this competition will continue to showcase the best of men and women boxing in Oceania.”

As we have reported here on WBAN the key moment for women in AIBA ‘amateur’ boxing came when it was added to the London 2012 Olympic Games programme. Since 2012, women’s boxing has been featured at other multi-sport events, like the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, and at the recent 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.

“We have great nations with true boxing heritage participating in Port Moresby and I am expecting top-notch boxing performances, especially from the teams of Tahiti, New Caledonia and Nauru, who dominated largely the medal count in in the latest edition of the Games”, said Oceania Boxing Confederation President Mr. Ted Tanner.

Alas as in London 2012 and most other major International occasions to date ,women are only competing in the three Olympic weight categories, while the men will fight at 10 different weight classes. The three women’s weight classes added to the program are the 51 kg, 60 kg and 75 kg categories. A modest step forward was achieved when there were five weights at the inaugural European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan earlier this month.

WBAN welcomes the addition of the three weights in Port Moresby but will continue to press the strong claims for a minimum of five weights at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. That would be the minimum acceptable and as we have long said, there must be EQUALITY with men by the 2024 Games. The AIBA continues to say it is continuing to press the International Olympic Committee will not allow this since they do not wish to increase the number of athletes overall nor do they wish to increase the number of boxers from the present 286.

This may or may not be entirely accurate but WBAN’s view remains that if indeed there is a ‘ban’ on increasing numbers then the most obvious answer is to increase the number of women at the expense of two men’s weights. Unpopular to be sure especially among the male dominated AIBA organisation and no doubt but much pressure is being applied by countries where the male boxers reign supreme but their females are not near the top of the podium, at least for now and probably not for many years to come.

WBAN is sure that IOC President Thomas Bach and AIBA Chief Dr Ching-Kuo Wu do not need reminding of the Olympic Charter and Oath. Dr Wu continues as he has always done to press the case for more women’s weights according to AIBA Press Releases and we do accept these assurances thus can only believe that it is the powerhouse male boxing countries that are ‘ blocking’ his aims. As of now there is no female boxing champions for example in Cuba whilst some other countries though it exists it is not yet at same level as the men.

As in other Multisports boxing events, the ten men weight classes in the Pacific Games are: 49 kg, 52 kg, 56 kg, 60 kg, 64 kg, 69 kg, 75 kg, 81 kg, 91 kg and 91+ kg.

Women’s boxing made its historic entry today where the semi-finals of the women’s Flyweight (51 kg), Lightweight (60 kg) and Middleweight (75 kg) weight classes were scheduled.

Federated States of Micronesia are fighting in their first ever Pacific Games boxing, and Jennifer Chieng won a brilliant semi-final bout for her nation against women’s Lightweight (60 kg) gold medal favourite Hatara Lahana Ioane.

Papua New Guinea’s Philo Magaiva then dominated Nauru’s Rachelle Bonillo in their semi-final, and she will now meet Tahiti’s Taraina Rataro-Tuihaa for the gold medal tomorrow.

Fact of the day:

The following nations have thus far secured guaranteed medals in the 2015 Pacific Games:

Papua New Guinea: 11 guaranteed medals

Tahiti: 10 medals
Nauru: 5 medals
Samoa: 4 medals
Fiji, North Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu: 3 medals
Tonga: 2 medals
Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Kiribati and Tuvalu: 1 medal

Tomorrow’s program:

The fourth competition day will contains 21 bouts, including the three women’s finals at Flyweight (51 kg), Lightweight (60 kg) and Middleweight (75 k)

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