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Raka to host second Martin Beni’s Cup tournament

In commemorating the memories of legendary boxer late Martin Beni, the Raka Boxing Club will be hosting ‘Martin Beni’s Cup 2023’ for the second time, running next week on the 16th-17th in remembrance of the late boxer’s contribution to Papua New Guinea’s boxing and independence history all together.

“Martin Beni’s Cup tournament will be running for its second year now and we (Raka Boxing Club) will be managing it. The first time we did was last year,” said Head Coach Raka Boxing Club and Tournament Director for NCD Boxing Association Jr. Kauko Raka.

In explaining the reason for hosting the event on Independence Eve Raka said: “Martin Beni passed away a year before that in 2021 before 16th September which was in October 27, 2021.”

“We want to stage this tournament in his name because sometime in 1975 late Beni contributed to PNG’s independence through Sports leading up to the independence,” said Raka.

“Beni’s story was not only told in the world of boxing but with the PNG’s road to independence as well,” he said.

Flashback to September 21, 1976, according to boxing and independence history, the late Beni had his famous fight at Sir Hubert Murray Stadium against lightweight champion Colin Cassidy (Australia) where he won the fight. It was his highlight because former prime minister, late Sir Michael Somare had adjourned the House of Assembly early in order to watch him fight.

According to Raka, the first Martin Beni’s Cup was hosted last year here in Port Moresby and this year will be the second tournament without a sponsorship.

“I didn’t receive sponsors from a company or government to support this but because I want to start this tournament in remembering the boxing legend, I am doing this with the help of the Raka Team,” stated Raka.

“Maybe in the future, we can do it properly. We started it so I must continue it,” he added.

“Any interested companies or business houses that can support me to make this an annual and a continuous event, just to keep the legacy of Martin alive in the boxing fraternity of PNG, is welcome to do so,” said the lightweight champion and professional boxer Kauko Raka.

With that, Raka is calling to business houses to partner with Raka Boxing Club to host this tournament going forward.

Meanwhile, NCD Clubs are urged to register their clubs before Sunday 10th in order to compete in the tournament. The five categories that boxers will compete in are cadets (9-12 years), juniors (12- 14 years old), youths (15-17 years old), novices (18- 32 years old), and seniors.

The most gold medalists from the registered clubs starting from cadets all the way to the seniors will be crowned winner of the ‘Martin Beni’s Cup’ at the end of the tournament.

For clarification, the late Beni collapsed due to a heart issue while officiating at an Oceania Fight Promotion (OFP) show at the Sir John Guise Indoor Complex Stadium when the incident happened and died shortly upon arrival at the hospital.

Photo Credit: Raka Boxing Club

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