Duo medal on Australia debuts

Published 12:00pm 30 May 2023

Duo medal on Australia debuts
Words by Nick Crockford

Pictured: Tahlea Toohey with her Best Female Youth Boxer award in Samoa.

Tahlea Toohey and Paul 'PJ' Utia, from All Star Boxing Academy in Lawnton, made stunning international debuts at the Oceania Junior and Youth Championships.

Toohey, 18, beat New Zealand’s Saskia Elliott in the 60-63kg light welterweight final to bring home gold for Australia.

The Lawnton-based fighter earned praise online and received the tournament’s Best Female Youth Boxer award to join her collection of state, national and Golden Gloves amateur titles.

Paul “PJ” Utia booked his place in the final with a clinical performance and victory over Tetuaeaa Amatamapo, from French Polynesia, in the semi-finals.

His Junior Men’s 70-75kg final against Tavita Tuiloma-Moses, from New Zealand, was desperately close and went to a split decision … unfortunately against PJ.

However, it was a great experience for the 15-year-old who brought home a silver medal on his debut for Australia.

Before the tournament in Samoa, Paul Utia Snr, All Star Boxing Academy’s Head Coach of Amateurs, said “representing Australia is a great achievement”.

“Anything on top of that is a bonus,” he said.

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