Tongan boxer Uaine Fa was the AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) boxer of the week and a week of attention was dedicated to him on the APB facebook andTwitter pages.
With a number of people posting questions to this popular athlete we were able to create yet another fan-generated interview when we spoke to the boxer yesterday.
Now training in New Zealand Fa was forthcoming, likeable and quick to laugh in this rapid-fire piece.
Do you remember when you started to think about turning pro? Why did you choose APB as your preferred option?
Basically I started thinking about going pro from the moment I took up boxing at the age of 16. I had set goals that I wanted to achieve before turning pro though. One of them was to get to the Olympic Games which I have unfortunately missed out on twice now, despite making it through to the final phase of the qualifiers. The time was right to turn pro but I still really wanted to fulfill my Olympic dream. Then I heard what APB had to offer [allowing him to continue to compete for his national team whilst competing Pro within APB], which suited me perfectly. I just can’t wait to get started.
What is the main difference for you between a pro and amateur boxer?
The main difference is in the styles. For me in the amateur styles there is a lot more movement. You see the boxers moving around a lot more and throwing a lot more punches. With the pros it’s more about planting your feet more and landing your punches with a lot more force. You also have to pace yourself more to make the 8-12 rounds. Then outside the ring, there is a lot more marketing yourself to help sell tickets, as obviously things are much more commercially orientated.
My experience in the World Series of Boxing has helped me a lot in that regard. I’m already used to pacing myself over five rounds. Now I’m not throwing as many punches as I did before, but I’m landing a higher percentage of them if that makes sense. So I am being more energy efficient.
How do you deal with jetlag and huge distance between your home and the competition venues?
That’s quite hard. Being so far away from competitions over here in New Zealand and Tonga, but it’s also a chance for me to travel. People here can only dream of travelling to the places I’ve been to. So actually I’m really grateful. But yes jetlag can be quite hard to deal with (laughs). When I am on the plane I try to eat and sleep in sync with the country I’m travelling to. Actually I am quite lucky in that I can pretty much make myself comfortable anywhere, some boxers I travel with really only feel able to sleep well at home.
If you could fight any celebrity or historical figure who would it be?
I’d have to say Adolf Hitler for obvious reasons, but sorry if that’s overly predictable! (laughs). In terms of celebrities I can’t really think of anyone to be honest.
When you train squats, how do you train: Heavy with low reps? Or light with lots of reps?
For me personally I tend to do heavier weights, but whatever weight I am doing I try to do that weight explosively because that helps keep your speed up. My rep range for strength is something like 3-5. A really high rep range for me is only about 12 reps.
Have you had any funny stories in your boxing career?
Not really, but the first time I boxed in the WSB on my debut for the Mumbai Fighters I actually forgot to bring my mouth guard to the ring with me. So my corner man ran back to the changing room for me. But he couldn’t find it so he grabbed someone else’s and I actually fought my WSB debut with someone else’s mouth guard, which is pretty gross (laughs). It was a bit disgusting but I won so that’s the important thing.