“Us Samoans are built for it. I believe we are descended from Hercules himself!” says young GLORY heavyweight Junior Tafa, according to GloryKickboxing.com.
The 21-year-old is a protege of fighting legend Mark Hunt and, like Hunt, he comes from Samoan stock. And they aren’t the only ones.
“Look at all the top fighters like Ray Sefo to [boxer] Joseph Parker to Mark Hunt to David Tua. We’re built for it… I believe we are the best fighters because we’re built with something you can’t teach: heart.”
Fighting is in Tafa’s blood: not only do his two brothers fight, their grandfather was one of Samoa’s first professional boxers.
“My grandpa was one of the first Samoans ever to travel to fight. The whole village would walk to the center of the country with him to watch, or [other times] the village would stop to listen to the radio when he fought,” he says.
“I’m one of three brothers, we’re all best mates… We all fight too – my older brother is in MMA but my younger brother only fights when he wants some money!”
Tafa takes part in the GLORY 50 CHICAGO Heavyweight Contender Tournament on Friday, February 16 at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois.
He faces Brazil’s Guto Inocente in one of the semi-final matches, with Benjamin Adegbuyi facing D’Angelo Marshall in the other. The two semi-final winners will then face off in the tournament final later in the evening.