Fijian striker, Saula Waqa averts a tackle form Estonia's Madis Vihmaan during their international friendly at ANZ Stadium in Suva, Fiji yesterday. Fiji lost 2-0.FB pic.



Boxing’s untold mystery

Local Sports

Former Fiji boxer, Narayan ReddyFormer Fiji boxer, Narayan ReddyWHILE all eyes will be on Friday night's Canada Fiji South Pacific Promotions, Farzan 'Razor' Ali and Sebastian ‘Sniper' Singh fight, it is worth sharing boxing's’ untold.


The year was 1979. The venue, Prince Charles Park, Nadi.

The artistic, savvy and defensive Welterweight champion, Sakaraia Ve was up against skillful, and aspiring contender Loga Nadan Reddy, the South Seas Welterweight champion.

Unlike the Ali and Singh hype, the Ve and Loga fight in the Brij Sen and Bala Subarmani promotion was mediocre.

And needless to mention, this fight and most back in the days were without the trash talk.

Former Loga Nadan Reddy trainer and manager Narayan Reddy, who was up and close to the ‘fight’ said the fans were awe struck by the events of the boxing conspiracy.

Conspiracy? Well that is exactly how boxing’s best minds coined it including Narayan, said it was strange that an unknown man had the audacity to walk into the Loga change room and sucker-punch him just moments before the main bout.

Narayan said a pandemonium broke out and later through words of mouth, the man was identified as Jone, a Navoci, Nadi Villager, who was whisked away by security personnel and police.

“There was melee of sort as everyone wanted to know what had happened and if the fight would go on or not”, said Reddy, the retired Hayward, California, USA, resident.

He said the ominous feeling was the Ve camp had something to do with the no contest but it was hard to prove it.

“Loga had been on a winning streak and he would have most likely won the fight. This was Loga’s fight to lose as he was at top of his game”.

Narayan said Loga suffered serious concussion. He was ruled out by the ring side Doctor and rushed to the hospital.

"We were like OK, maybe he is someone from Ve camp who wanted to wish Loga a good fight much less inflict harm”.

"Had we known his intentions, first, he wouldn't have the opportunity to enter the room and second, if anything he would've been hurt".

Narayan said the promoters looked for a replacement in a hurry or face an angry mob.

The replacement! cometh the moment cometh the man.

Welterweight, Ambika Prasad who was in the audience was talked into by the promoters to be stand in.

Prasad, who had already lost to Ve in the 1977 title fight in Suva agreed to the fight for a $600 purse.

“I guess Prasad thought the chaos would have distract Ve and he would score the redemption but as it turned out Ve was not an easy beat.

"Prasad went head to head for three rounds but was knocked out in the fourth”.

"The feeling in the boxing circle was had Loga not been hurt, Ve would've been in for a career shock as Loga was rising up the welterweight rank with a lot of determination”.

Narayan said many believed sinister motive thwarted Loga from becoming only the second Indo- Fijian after Lautoka’s Bas Deo to win over the ‘Golden Boy’ of Fiji and go into history books.

"Jone was charged. He served a 6-month prison sentence.

“There was no other investigation into the incident. People didn’t hear anything from Jone, the man who took Loga out with a vicious hit but people in the boxing circle had their reservations”.

Loga Nadan Reddy passed away in Auckland, New Zealand at the age of 75 and certainly taking with him what is boxing's unsolved mystery.

Narayan said Ve never again gave Loga a rematch.

Sakaraia Ve went on to etch an illustrious boxing career, fighting some of the best boxers in his weight class in Fiji and overseas.

His record on Boxerec.com stands 62 career fights, 36 KOs wins, 18 losses, 10 through KO’s and 7 draws.

 

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