With football finished, Fa’amasino dips toes in boxing game
Now that football is in his rear-view mirror, former New Mexico State University linebacker Lui Fa’amasino of Anchorage has embarked on a new journey in the boxing game.
The 23-year-old made his amateur debut in style, with the 6-foot, 225-pound Alaskan winning a unanimous decision in the heavyweight division over New Mexico’s 6-foot-5, 205-pound Chris Okoa, a member of his state’s Golden Gloves team.
“Huge pre-fight butterflies,” Fa’amasino told me. “I think it was because it was my very first fight and it was in front of couple hundred people. Similar to the big college football game nerves, but more intense because I go in the ring by myself and it’s all up to me to win.
“Reminded me of my wrestling days at Romig and West.”
Fa’amasino wrapped up his college football career at New Mexico State last fall after transferring from Los Angeles Harbor College. In 12 games with New Mexico State, he racked up 70 tackles, one forced fumble and two recovered fumbles.
In 2017, he helped New Mexico State win in its first bowl game in 57 years.
The sheer physicality and violent collisions on a college football field are not for the faint of heart, and neither are contact sports like boxing or mixed martial arts.
It requires beast mode, something that comes naturally for Fa’amasino.
“It’s in my DNA,” he said. “Polynesian people our warriors with a fearless fighting spirit.”
Fa’amasino isn’t a combative person by nature. “I’m super laidback.” But he turns the switch when it’s time to compete. He is very competitive.
“What gets me up to train is knowing that I’m chasing a new goal, new chapter, new doubters, chasing financial freedom for my family and me,” he said. “I’ve been fighting battles all my life to get to where I am and all glory to God he’s helped me every step of my journey.”
Fa’amasino’s next fight is scheduled for Aug. 24 in Roswell, New Mexico.
“This is a profession that I am passionate about,” he said. “I will probably have a two-year amateur career before turning pro. Without a doubt I will be on top of the fight game one day.”