‘Sport saved me’: Tevita makes plea to troubled youth amid talk of Broncos return


“Sport saved me. Even in the NRL I’ve been in trouble hanging out with the wrong crowd, and I’ll openly admit that.

“I’ve always seen the good in people and people can change, so let’s hope these young kids can change.”

Pangai jnr was at his talkative best in front of a media scrum to promote his fight card ‘The Fists and the Furious’, which will also feature Ipswich product and Olympian Paulo Aokuso, undefeated world title hopeful Che Kenneally and Desley Robinson.

Tevita Pangai jnr in his Broncos days.

Tevita Pangai jnr in his Broncos days.Credit: Getty

The showcase, on March 23 at the JBS Basketball Arena, will also serve as a collaboration with the Ipswich community and councillors to engage teenagers in sport.

But Pangai jnr was also pressed about his rumoured return to the Broncos after his current two-fight deal ends midyear.

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“I’ll go back if all these kids jump out of these games,” he quipped.

“My wife misses her steak and lobsters, so I might have to go back,” he responded to another query.

But while he refused to draw the line through an NRL comeback, suggesting he could inevitably line up under Souths Logan Magpies’ coach Karmichael Hunt, his sole focus remained on his next bout, where he will take on undefeated Kiwi pugilist Raphael “Good Night” Sa’u.

So much so, he joked that his wife had kicked him out of home for the duration of his training camp.

“I know there are a lot of good heavyweights in Australia, but right now, it’s just building up and giving this sport the respect it deserves. I’m preparing as hard as I can for this next bout, and this guy’s no slouch,” Pangai jnr said.

“Obviously, there’s a great coach there in Karmichael Hunt [at Souths Logan] – I was lucky enough to play some games [with him] before the big Broncos bosses kicked me out.

“I’ll probably go back to Souths Logan, hopefully get a win and then two weeks after that go back to play some footy.”

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