Australia

Former Australia detainee picks up fight for justice in PNG ring

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A former Manus Island detainee, who sought refuge in Australia, will take his fight to the boxing ring in a bid to help refugees on Manus Island and Nauru.

An asylum seeker who was rejected by Australia says he will dedicate his next fight to all refugees on Manus Island and Nauru.

Pakistani refugee Ezatullah Kakar's says his fight for justice has led him to the boxing ring, where he will go up against Papua New Guinea's champion John Korake at Port Moresby on Saturday.

The 26-year-old was held in Australia's Manus Island detention centre for more than four years and he was one of 300 men forcibly evicted from the facility in November last year when the centre was decommissioned.

He moved to Port Moresby last year to pursue boxing, winning two fights this year ahead of his attempt to take the Oceanic Light-Middleweight Title this weekend.

"I'm feeling very positive and strong," he told AAP on Friday.

The former kickboxer was a champion in Pakistan, making him an easy target for the Taliban, who didn't want him to rise up in his athletic career, he said.

Staunch supporter Father Dave with Ezatullah Karkar.
Staunch supporter Father Dave with Ezatullah Karkar.
Facebook @fatherdave007

After trying to seek asylum in Australia, he said he would use publicity from the fight for the forgotten "brothers and sisters" on Manus Island and Nauru.

"It's like a fight for justice," he said.

"PNG politicians didn't come and they didn't ask about us."

Now, he has found supporters through his boxing, including Australian Anglican priest Fr Dave Smith.

Fr Smith, who is a professional boxer, has flown to PNG to support Mr Kakar by fighting on the undercard of the main event.

The 56-year-old first met the Pakistani refugee while working for the freedom of detainees at Manus Island last year.

He said this fight was a chance to let the world know asylum seekers still need help.

"Hopefully neither of us will get too badly damaged," Fr Smith said.

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