LIHUE — Fite Nite, Inc., a Kaua’i-based non-profit organization, will promote a boxing show on Sept. 28 at the Veteran’s Center Hall in Lihue.
With enough entrants, the show will go on.
“There has definitely been a brain drain going on in Kaua’i, you can see the effects,” said an unnamed Fite Nite spokesperson. “But fortunately where boxing is concerned there is great talent still here and we hope to bring them to [Veteran’s Hall] September 28.”
Fite Nite, Inc. was formed with the sole purpose of creating a good program to help kids of both genders to realize their dreams and ambitions in boxing without having to move to Oahu, Maui or the Big Island, where boxing for all ages is featured.
“There is unrealized potential here,” said Kaua’i Boxing coach Ken Oki. “For example, when Kenny Melchor walked into the Hanapepe gym a couple of years ago and showed me his moves I thought I saw the next “Sugar.” With all the powers invested in me by a long string of former coaches, I had to instantly dub him “Sugar Ken Melchor.”
Oki also mentions six-footer “Bamboo” Forrest as a top notch boxer. “When he walks into the gym weighing just 150 pounds, he makes me wonder where he got all that talent,” said Oki. “He loves to videotape boxing and probably picked it up after studying the tapes. Forrest gives heavyweights like Jon Bonachita, Hell’s Angel Santiago and Romell Balbin a very hard time. It’s hard for them to catch up with him.” Oki added that Forrest hands out bloody noses and puffy eyes with abandon.
Forrest and Melchor aren’t the only Kauaian boxers worthy of noting. “The Ilocos Tiger” Pablo, the fastest human on Kaua’i two years ago, has that sprinter power in his hands which Oki says “a coach can feel through the focus pads.”
“These boys are like killer whales frolicking in Waita, not knowing that the Pacific Ocean and the world is within a few miles,” said Oki. “The difference is that they know the world is out there but they lack big enough dreams. Fite Nite, Inc. hopes to bring them a peek of the glitter.”
Applications for boxing can be obtained at Oki Diner. Call Vincent Sonoda (639-4610) or Mark Ozaki (635-6707) for more information.