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Boxing: 11th Indian Ocean Islands Games 2023 – Madagascar   |24 April 2023

Boxing: 11th Indian Ocean Islands Games 2023 – Madagascar   

A show of sportsmanship between two young fighters (Photo: Neil Sirame)

Making the cut for IOIG


Local boxers are looking forward to the forthcoming 11th Indian Ocean Islands Games 2023 scheduled to take place in Madagascar from August 23 to September 3, following the qualifier held on Saturday at the Victoria Gymnasium boxing arena.

Sponsored by the Gran Kaz Casino, the event began with youth fighters taking to the ring first to put into action what they have learned in practice. The first fight was between two fighters from Praslin-based Roch Boxing School, namely Micheal Bristol and Nathan Dingwall, under the guidance of former pugilist Roch Pirame.

It was a more aggressive Dingwall who convinced the judges to win the bout 3-0.

In the second fight, Trevor Uranie from the Rival Boxing School and coached by Rival Payet, earned a 3-0 win against Leo Palin from the Roland Boxing School under coach Roland Raforme.

The third bout was even more entertaining with Anil Brutus of Rival Boxing School taking on Jade Micock of Gerry Boxing School. The fight was very exciting as both fighters made good contacts in the first two rounds.  In the third and final round, Micock took control with big blows and eventually won 2-1.

The final match-up for the youth boxers was between prolific athlete Saïd Nibourette of the Rival Boxing School and Michael Salom of the Roland Boxing School. Both boxers took part in the 12th Commission de la Jeunesse et des Sports de l'Océan Indien (CJSOI) Games held from December 4-11 last year in Mauritius.

CJSOI gold medallist in the 50kg category, Nibourette gave his opponent no room to catch his breath with his constant punches and eventually won the bout 3-0.

After the youths had showcased their skills, it was time for the elite fighters to step into the ring with the aim of earning their spot at the 11th IOIG.

The first bout was between Ivan Rachel known as ‘Dokter’ and Jovanie Bouzin in the 71kg category. Both pugilists put on a show for the spectators in attendance, with the evenly matched Rachel and Bouzin producing good some performances, but Bouzin won the fight by the tight score of 2-1.

The second bout was in the 51kg category between Tino Gabriel and Denis Dine.  In the first round, both fighters exchanged punches, ending on equal terms, while in the second Gabriel had the upper hand, dropping his opponent with a blow to the head and Dine retired from the fight.

The next bout on the programme was between Romano Moustache and Dario Gabriel in the 57kg category. Gabriel started the first round in command by landing strong punches to his opponent’s body. However, Moustache, wanting a spot at the IOIG, step up his game up in the second round to land some good combinations to influence the judges. Evenly matched in the third round, both fighters gave it their all, but in the end the judges scored the match 2-1 in favour of Moustache.

In the 60kg category, Fabio Roselie was up against Dario Victor, with the former throwing strong punches in the first round, and it was obvious that he would win. In the second round, things got worse for Victor who was knocked out by Roselie from a surprised cross jab.

The 69kg fight was between Shalil Dubel and Perry Lucas, with Dubel scoring with some sharp blows, while his good footwork allowed him to evade some of Lucas’ power punches. In the end, it was Dubel who booked his spot at the IOIG, defeating Lucas 3-0.

The last fight on Saturday’s card was between Shaine Boniface and Edrian Volcère in the 69kg category.

Looking fit as a fiddle, Boniface overpowered his opponent from the first gong, landing some heavy body blows to convince the judges for a 3-0 score card.

Commenting on the competition, coach Payet said he was satisfied with the performance of his athletes, adding that he was confident his boys were going to make the cut for the IOIG.

“I always target to win and we did that,” said coach Payet who added that he forecasted that all of his six fighters would qualify, and that was exactly what they did.

He explained that the formalities will be made to organise training for the qualified boxers ahead of the Games.

Speaking to Sports NATION, Tino Gabriel who trains with coach Legras, said he was confident he would win and make it to Madagascar, and to show that he is not afraid to compete at the IOIG.

“I am sure of a positive result in Madagascar,” Gabriel added.

Victor, who lost to Moustache in the 57kg, felt that his loss was a controversial decision. He said he landed more punches than his opponent and it was obvious that he was winning.

Having had only three weeks to prepare for the qualifiers, Victor said he is going to train harder and hope for a rematch to prove his ability.

“In my heart I know that I am a winner, knowing that I made more contacts, and I am going to train harder to get a better result next time to make my fans happy,” he said.

Among the spectators was former World Boxing Organisation (WBO) champion, Canadian Brian Whalen who has offered his knowhow to help the boxers in their preparations for the IOIG.

He noted that there was a lot of desire and heart from the boxers during the competition, but however, they are still lacking in composure and skills.

“After the first round, they are throwing haymakers and the body attack is non-existent,” noted Mr Whalen who added that “they have not learned to kill the body, then the head and there was too much head hunting. But overall, he said, the fighters did great.”

He added that this is a learning process in amateur boxing, and the more exposure they get, fighting against experienced international fighters, they will acquire more knowledge and learn these techniques.

With fighters being selected for the national team, the boxing entourage has a general idea of what to expect in Madagascar.


 Neil Sirame


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