Opelu on fast track to super heavyweight success
FAIGA Opelu maintains he is in no rush to make it as a boxer, but his recent record in the ring suggests otherwise.
Opelu won the super heavyweight (91kg) Queensland Novice title at Acacia Ridge last month, a month after claiming the South East Queensland title at the same venue.
The Camira resident has only been boxing for 18 months and was playing rugby league for West End this season.
But his success and love for boxing has seen him narrow his focus, with the Golden Gloves titles in his sights next month and state titles at the end of October.
Opelu trains with Trevor Wright out of Fight Wright Gym at Bellbird Park and the 21-year-old attributes his success to his trainer's guidance and his club-mates' support.
He has had four fights for four wins, with one technical knock out (TKO).
"One of my main goals is to work my way up and make a living out of boxing," he said.
"But its early days. There's no rush. I'm still young."
Opelu weighs in at about 100kg, but standing about 180cm tall he concedes height and reach to most opponents n the super heavyweight division.
He overcomes his disadvantage with movement and power, but admits his fitness needs to improve.
"My weaving," he said when asked how he overcomes a taller fighter's reach.
"You've got to use your head.
"I come in, move, move and chop from the bottom to the top."
Opelu has Samoan heritage but grew up in New Zealand, which is why David Tua is his role model as a boxer.
But it is his grandfather, who boxed back in Samoa, who is his inspiration.
"I just love the sport," he said.