Josh Tonga – The teen with Tongan rugby roots chasing Commonwealth boxing Gold

Over the past 25 years, Jamie Roberts has trained plenty of talented young fighters. But none quite like Josh Tonga.

The Christchurch Boys’ High student first walked through the doors of Roberts’ A-Town boxing gym in suburban Aranui a decade ago, when he was a precocious six-year-old boy.

Four years later, he had his first official bout, winning the Australian Golden Gloves tournament in Queensland.

“It was just something that would keep me out of trouble, give me a bit of discipline,” Tonga said of his early introduction to the fight game, at his mother’s behest.

Now 16, he is a three-time national champion in his weight class and recently won gold in the 80kg division at the Oceania Youth Boxing Championships in Samoa, where he was also named the tournament’s best male youth boxer.

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