Champion Isa boxer Sunny Raitava is like a bottle of wine - he just keeps getting better with age.
Just last week before all competition was cancelled due to COVID-19, Raitava completed arguably his greatest feat yet, a World Boxing Foundation title belt at 91kg in Caloundra on March 21.
Fighting out of Derrick's Boxing gym, Raitava took the belt in style with a second round knockout.
Head coach James Derrick said the event was affected by COVID-19.
"The night attracted competitors from across Queensland and interstate, however the tournament did feel the effects of COVID-19 with fighters pulling out and restrictions that began to seriously tighten days leading up to the event," Derrick said.
Raitava said he wasn't sure if the fight was ever going to take place.
"Right down to the last minute, I wasn't sure if the event would happen as the restrictions for coronavirus were getting tighter and tighter. On the night of the event, only 100 people maximum could be inside at any one time with the social distancing measures in place too," Raitava said.
"It wasn't the way I thought I'd win a title belt with all the restrictions in place, family and trainer not there, limited crowd, but thanks to the organiser for being able to continue with the event and the safety put in place like temperatures got taken at weigh-in and before entering the ring. Boxers had to stay outside and be bought in at fight time, then exit again after the fight."
After Raitava won gold at the Australian Masters Games last October, he thought he'd make the effort to nominate himself in this masters event in the south east corner and see what the competition was like there.
Raitava said he owed a lot to his trainers.
"I can't help Kerry and James Derrick enough for their guidance," he said.
"We do a lot of sparring together with the younger ones and that is of great benefit because they are a lot more agile, in that regard it was more than just a win for me, it was a win for all of us."
Having won the title, Raitava will hang up the boots and gloves for now whilst the country experiences a total ban on sports and events with COVID-19.
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