TECHNICAL ADVANTAGE: Right-handers Austin Aokuso and brother Paulo learned to fight southpaw from their father because he was a natural lefty and it was the only way he knew how to teach them.
TECHNICAL ADVANTAGE: Right-handers Austin Aokuso and brother Paulo learned to fight southpaw from their father because he was a natural lefty and it was the only way he knew how to teach them.

Father’s influence drives duo to games

BOXING: International boxers Ipswich's Aokuso brothers have much for which to thank their father Tigilau.

While there is no doubt they and their sister Filoi, an Australian track and field representative in her own right, owe their physical attributes at least in part to his genetics, it is mentally where he had the greatest impact on the brood.

After encouraging the boys to enter the sport he loves, Tigilau set about teaching them the art of boxing.

Drawing on his own experience, he also drilled into them the need for mental fortitude and strict discipline.

 

BLOOD BROTHERS: Paulo Aokuso has absolute faith his brother Austin will join him on the Australian team for the Tokyo Olympics.
BLOOD BROTHERS: Paulo Aokuso has absolute faith his brother Austin will join him on the Australian team for the Tokyo Olympics.

Paulo said his father had not only taught him to fight but had also prepared him psychologically and emotionally for the challenge of stepping into the ring and testing his will against an opponent's.

"Dad taught us that boxing is all mental," he said.

"That was his sport.

"He pushed us hard.

"He was a hard dad.

"But if he didn't do that for us we would still just be mucking around.

"He taught us that boxing is not just a sport.'

Tigilau's astute instruction has paid off, propelling his sons into Olympic contention at a remarkable rate of progress.

After just five years in the sport Austin is knocking on the door of selection, while Paulo is already on his way to Tokyo having completed a mere 30 fights.

It is extremely rare for a fighter to reach the games after so few bouts, let alone two from the same family.

Should the brothers achieve the incredible feat, it will have much to do with their father's influence and his emphasis on the need to be disciplined.

 

ELITE PERFORMER: Paulo and Austin Aokuso’s sister Filoi was a champion athlete in her own right.
ELITE PERFORMER: Paulo and Austin Aokuso’s sister Filoi was a champion athlete in her own right.