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.
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.