Salute To Waimanalo’s Best In National Boxing Competitions

City Councilman Ikaika Anderson (right) with coach Blane Yoshida (left) and boxers Stanford Aquino III, Ashley Perreira and Kalama Keeno. Photo from Gail Myers.

A trio of very young boxers from Waimanalo has earned applause from lawmakers and neighbors, following recent triumphs at national tournaments.

Waimanalo Neighborhood Board gave them a standing ovation at its September board meeting, followed by official recognition of their achievements from state Rep. Pohai Ryan and Honolulu City Councilman Ikaika Anderson.

“Waimanalo is proud to have in its community these three young people who have come so far in such a short time,” said Anderson at the Oct. 3 City Council meeting. He added that all three are “exceptional students at their respective schools.”

Stanford Aquino III (weighing 65 pounds, and competing in the 9-to-10-year division), Ashley Perreira (101 pounds, 11-12 years division) and Kalama Keeno (90 pounds, 11-12 years division) each took top titles in their weight class in July at the Desert Showdown World Amateur Championships in Indio, Calif., and at the National Junior Golden Gloves Tournament in Mesquite, Nevada.

All three of them are students at Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate, and they worked hard to earn travel funds for the recent competitions.

They delivered phone books, for example, and operated a booth at the Waimanalo Country Fair, to name a few of their efforts.

Aquino, Perreira and Keeno all are coached by Blane Yoshida of the East Oahu/Waimanalo Boxing Club, with help from assistant coaches Fred Perreira, Stanford Aquino Sr., Andrew Caramonte, Cassandra Poggi and Travis Tandal.

Yoshida takes his boxers each year to compete in the two tournaments.