PNG’s men’s boxers punch their way to six gold medals

Jonathan Keama (blue) won the middleweight title for PNG. Photo by Dave Buller.

Jonathan Keama (blue) won the middleweight title for PNG. Photo by Dave Buller.

PORT MORESBY​, July 18 – Papua New Guinea​ struck gold six times in the men’s boxing finals at the Caritas Technical Secondary School on Saturday.

The biggest cheers of the night belonged to PNG’s Jonathan Keama in the men’s middleweight division.

Keama brought roars of joy from the crowd when he beat his Tahitian opponent Tautuarii Nena by a technical knockout in the second round.

PNG’s other five gold medals came from Charles Keama in light fly, Lui Magaiva in the fly, Henry Uming in bantam, Thadius Katua in light and Tom Boga in light welter.

The president of PNG’s boxing union John Avira said he was overwhelmed with the country’s efforts winning eight gold medals in boxing at the Games: six in men’s and two in women’s.

“That is eight out of the 13 gold medals and now we are officially ranked number one in boxing in the Pacific,” Avira said.

“For the first time in the Pacific Games we ran the women’s boxing bouts and I am happy PNG’s women’s boxers won two gold medals out of three in the division.”

New Caledonia’s Luke Hema took gold in the light heavyweight, while Tahiti’s Heimata Neuffer won the title in the men’s heavyweight and his compatriot Ariitea Putoa was the victor in the super heavyweight class.

By Firmin Nanol, Games News Service

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