Lovintz Tota confident ahead of Argentina mission
Lovintz Tota will rest his unblemished record on the line in Argentina next month in pursuit of qualification to the upcoming Olympic Games.
The 35-year-old, whose amateur records stands at 4-0, is scheduled to compete in a qualifying event at the Technopolis in Buenos Aires from May 5 to 16.
Tota is competing in the middleweight division where the eventual top three boxers will secure passage to this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
“I am excited for the opportunity to qualify for the Olympics, so I am putting in 100 per cent,” he said. “If I do well and podium, I go to the Olympics.
The versatile athlete, who has also enjoyed a successful career in athletics and football, is confident he can be equal to the task in Argentina.
“I am definitely confident of success and feel that my skill level and my athleticism have helped me to be good at boxing,” Tota said. “I feel that I’m very much prepared and confident about it.”
The former Devonshire Cougars footballer is going through his paces at Controversy Gym.
“Preparations are coming along; I’m training morning and afternoon,” Tota added. “I wake up early to go training and then go to work. Then I go training after work.”
Tota’s preparations have not gone without its share of challenges brought on by the global pandemic.
“Covid has definitely impacted training for the fact I need sparring and they don’t want us to be inside doing work with people,” he said. “I can’t bring people in so I can spar or go up to Nikki’s [Nikki Bascome] and spar with him because of the protocols and stuff like that. I’m training to represent Bermuda so it’s kind of hard.”
Tota will be accompanied in Argentina by Controversy Gym team-mate Adrian Roach, who is also attempting to qualify for the upcoming Games in the welterweight division.
The 18-year-old Roach, whose amateur record stands at 4-2, is preparing overseas at Crandall University in New Brunswick, Canada where he is enrolled as a student athlete.
Also making the trip are national coach Jermel Woolridge and Bermuda Boxing Federation secretary Chequita Simmons.
Tota and Roach are the first local fighters to compete at this stage of Olympic qualifying in more than a decade.
Bermuda was granted another opportunity to qualify after the International Olympic Committee banned the International Boxing Association from participating in the next Olympics after years of financial chaos and allegations of corrupt judging.
While boxing remains on the programme, the IOC will organise the competition itself.
Tota and Roach are competing in a sport that earned Bermuda their only Olympic medal to date.
Clarence Hill won bronze competing in the heavyweight division at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada.
Asked does Hill’s historic feat provide him with added incentive, Tota replied: “No, it doesn’t inspire me more. My inspiration solely comes from my life and the fact that I want better for myself and my family.”
Tota initially began boxing as rehab from a broken leg he sustained when he was struck by a car.
But he fell in love with sport so much that he began sparring and ultimately fighting.
“With all the sports I’ve competed at a high level and love sports to my core, but boxing changed me,” Tota added. “I found my real passion putting on these gloves.”