The OCBC Oceanian Confederation Boxing Championships drew to a close on Wednesday with ten finals determining the 2017 Champions. The twenty finalists from seven nations had already confirmed their qualification for August’s AIBA Word Championships, leaving the honour of the OCBC titles to be decided. The Australia team finished the tournament with six gold medals, New Zealand earned three titles and Papua New Guinea’s Charles Keama successfully defended the Flyweight (52kg) title he won two years ago with a brilliant run in the Gold Coast.
It was Australian Light Flyweight (49kg) Alex Winwood who secured the first gold of the competition and his first continental title, the 20-year-old proving too sharp for Papua New Guinea’s experienced Maxie Tekura Mangea. Mangea’s teammate then delivered the team’s sole gold of the tournament with an excellent performance against Australian Tyler Blizzard to defend his Flyweight (52kg) title.
Following his bronze at the AIBA Youth World Championships in Saint Petersburg last year, Australia’s Sam Goodman was full of confidence going into the Bantamweight (56kg) Final against Vanuatu’s defending Champion and Rio 2016 Olympian Boe Warawara. It was an assured display from Goodman, who reduced the distance effectively to frustrate Warawara and power through to the title. The hosts’ Harry Garside then continued his excellent form to win the Lightweight (60kg) final against New Zealand’s WSB boxer Chad Milnes.
New Zealand’s Richard Hadlow won the first of his team’s three golds at Light Welterweight (64kg) thanks to some swift, accurate hands against Nauru’s top seed Colan Caleb, before Australia’s Andrew Hunt won Welterweight (69kg) gold against Fijian number one Winston Hill. New Zealand’s 20-year-old Ryan Scaife hails from a true boxing family and continued the tradition with a powerful victory over Samoa’s experienced Henry Tyrell at Middleweight (75kg), and former Junior World Champion Clay Waterman won Light Heavyweight (81kg) gold with a convincing win against New Zealand newcomer Jarrod Banks.
New Zealand’s Commonwealth Games Champion David Nyika managed to maintain his brilliant run of form with a win over Australia’s Rio 2016 Olympian Jason Whateley in the Heavyweight (91kg) Final and will be one of Oceania’s brightest medal hopes in Hamburg. Australian Joseph Goodall then secured Australia’s sixth gold of the tournament with a win over his great rival Patrick Mailata of New Zealand, their hard-fought encounter rounding off another super edition of the OCBC Championships.