ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Zack Taumafai, 54 years old, born on March 11, 1967, and passed away on October 5, 2021. We will remember him forever.
Posted by Juan Carlos Ameijeiras Ne... on October 15, 2021
Just good memories of you, your family, and the KO gym and all the time I spent there, learned to box and my son learned about sports and discipline since he was 5, almost 10 years now since I knew you.

Made loads of acquaintances and lots of friends that I still keep today, got sucked into the world of boxing and kickboxing with you, and still remember chatting as if it were yesterday; rest in peace, my dearest Zack.
Posted by Samad Awudu on October 13, 2021
I never thought our next conversation will be a tribute Zack or “Mafia” as we call ourselves .
I received the news today with a broken heart. Zack and I friendship hit off right in Ghana around 2007 Zack will not go anywhere without me.
Every morning at 8 am Zack will be at my door we will hang out until midnight, his dream his ambition and his kids he will not stop talking about it, above all the jokes and the laugh we shared .

In Dubai, he will sometimes drive down to Deira to visit and we will talk about our history in Ghana and laughed.
Today I'm in the UK all because of Zack.
I still remember my first phone Nokia 1100 which you gave me, Zack.

Rest well “Mafia”
I will miss you a lot
Posted by Anthony Alvarez on October 12, 2021
Thank you Zack and family for your patience and guidance and introducing me into the world of boxing and Thai boxing.
It was great finally getting into the ring a few times and your guidance was superb.
Still think fondly about running around doing 1-2 down.
RIP coach
Tony
Posted by Christian Klingner on October 13, 2021
A true legend! A man who touched so many people in positive ways. Always cared and above all else mentored.
Sakio Taumafai will be in my thoughts always… I believe I am the person I am today because of you!

Your next journey has begun and I’m sure you’ll smash life there as you have here!

Peace brother, forever in my thoughts!
Posted by Ujwel Ramachandran on October 12, 2021
Thank you for everything, Zack. You will surely be missed, for the Champion person that you were ! Bringing out the fighter in us, “COACH” at KO and with that always on smile and joke outside of it. Many a memory shared, which started with CHI, White Collar and so many many more.
Gone too soon, my friend. RIP ! Om Shanti
Posted by Onesmo Ngowi on October 12, 2021
WABA CELEBRATES THE LIFE & TIMES OF THE GREAT ZACK TAMAUFAI

I have worked with the late Zack Tamaufai, the head coach and part owner of the Ringside Gym Global for more than two years, starting when we were introduced by our mutual friend Claude Koume from Cameroon in 2019 and I then appointed Zack to be the WABA Commissioner to Dubai and Samoa.

Throughout that time, I have never stopped being inspired by his determination to help, train and improve people's physical and mental lives. So, October 05th, Zack passed away in the wee hours of the morning, and while so much has changed in a short while since his passing-on, his spirit of inspiration has not.

As a head coach of the Ringside Gym Global, I watched and admired the way he inspired people to physically train, especially those who have no experience. He delivered training successfully by inspiring them to train hard — all people.

From Samoa, Zack traversed the world, gaining experience, building networks and bridges, he has dedicated his life to doing just that.

When talking to Zack one day, he vividly remembers with fanfare his first experience outside Samoa when he landed in New Zealand to live with his beloved mother and siblings having been left behind in Samoa when his mother relocated. Since then, he never looked back as he continued working his way around the globe helping thousands of people in need of physical educational skills.

Zack's massive charms in making friends and attracting support made him a household name in the combat sport. He first moved to Australia as a trainer and promoter which helped to propel him to greener pastures to Dubai, Thailand and Ghana where he continued building his international experience and professional life.

Throughout his life, Zack has always been on the side of the downtrodden despite the fact that he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and grew up in a stable middle class family in Samoa.

His exuberance in turning foes into friends made his worldwide travel easy as he created lots of friendships and supporters who have constantly been supporting his ideas and aspirations.

From providing training skills and sports talents to thousands of youths and adults around the world, to continuing his childhood and adult's mission of bringing people together and building careers of thousands of youths and so much more.

Now more than ever, it is an honor to celebrate Zack's LIFE & TIMES and make his SPIRIT and LEGACY live forever!

I hope you will join me in writing pleasant messages to celebrate his LIFE & TIMES.

Sincerely,

Hon. Ky. Col.
Onesmo Alfred McBride Ngowi
President & Chair of the Board
World Alliance Boxing Association (WABA)
Posted by John Alosina Mamea-Wilson on October 12, 2021
I'm still in shock uso. You were a stubborn fella but you were very determined and did everything for your 2 great loves, your kids and your sport.

I could always count on you and I'll always be grateful to you for sharing your experience, wisdom and kindness to me. The good times were good and the tough times were tough and we went through these together. I loved how you always had big plans and dreams and like I mentioned before, these dreams always revolved around your kids and your sport.

Zack, I always hoped we would catch up again down under for some Indomie with crushed chips and happy cow cheese washed down with Mirinda. That won't happen now and I'm sad about it. What makes me okay is knowing you're having a well deserved rest with your aiga upstairs.

To the kids, faamolemole talia aʻu faamafanafanaga. O lou tama o se tagata sili, O se taimi faanoanoa tele lea. O lo tatou alofa uma ia te oe.

John, Deanne, Zinny & Zavier - Auckland, NZ
Posted by Tapaau Tesese on October 11, 2021
I Will Find You

I have a picture of you
placed on the wall of my heart
I still hear the echoes of you
in the hallway of my mind

You are gone, gone
you have left
the places, the spaces
where you sat
where you stood
where you slept

In the darkness of my grief
I am searching, searching
but I will not find you
for you are no longer
with the living

But in the light
of the blessed hope
I remember that you
are only resting, resting

Oh how I long to see
the dawn of the blessed morning
how I long to hear
the blessed trumpet sound
for there at last, finally,
in the light of His glorious return
I will find you
once again.

By Tapa'au Tesese (7th October, 2021)

With all our love from your family in Aotearoa, New Zealand:
Iosefa, Tapa'au, Emmanuel, Benjemosef, Alofa, Shekyna and Jotham TESESE

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Juan Carlos Ameijeiras Ne... on October 15, 2021
Just good memories of you, your family, and the KO gym and all the time I spent there, learned to box and my son learned about sports and discipline since he was 5, almost 10 years now since I knew you.

Made loads of acquaintances and lots of friends that I still keep today, got sucked into the world of boxing and kickboxing with you, and still remember chatting as if it were yesterday; rest in peace, my dearest Zack.
Posted by Samad Awudu on October 13, 2021
I never thought our next conversation will be a tribute Zack or “Mafia” as we call ourselves .
I received the news today with a broken heart. Zack and I friendship hit off right in Ghana around 2007 Zack will not go anywhere without me.
Every morning at 8 am Zack will be at my door we will hang out until midnight, his dream his ambition and his kids he will not stop talking about it, above all the jokes and the laugh we shared .

In Dubai, he will sometimes drive down to Deira to visit and we will talk about our history in Ghana and laughed.
Today I'm in the UK all because of Zack.
I still remember my first phone Nokia 1100 which you gave me, Zack.

Rest well “Mafia”
I will miss you a lot
Posted by Anthony Alvarez on October 12, 2021
Thank you Zack and family for your patience and guidance and introducing me into the world of boxing and Thai boxing.
It was great finally getting into the ring a few times and your guidance was superb.
Still think fondly about running around doing 1-2 down.
RIP coach
Tony
his Life

Dad’s life snippet

Compiled with love by:
Douglas Vitale, Alafia Taumafai, Emmanuel Tesese, & Damelza Vitale



Introducing in the red corner, a soldier not only of Military and Arms, but a Soldier to Service.  Service for wellbeing, mentorship, council, empathy and mateship. Coming by way of Tūlāsi’u, Papa Sataua Savaii Samoa.  Debuted on Saturday 11th of March 1967.  A proud father of 5; Douglas, Damelza, Tioa, Victor & Vaughan, Big brother to 3; Tapaau, Nikotemo & Alafia, loving son of Tautali Lautalatoa and Ferila Taumafai and a unique type of uncle to 14.


The 70’s
Zack was raised by his grandmother Leitioa Sakaio between the years 1971-1974 in Samoa. He then made the journey over to Auckland, New Zealand with his grandmother in 1974 to reunite with the rest of the family.  It was in these primary school years, Zack was introduced to combat sports, Boxing specifically, under the tutelage of Uncle Limu ‘Billy’ Opetaia.  They lived in Otara for 6 years then moved to Christchurch in 1980.


The 80’s
Zack's introduction to Muay Thai.

In 1987, Zack was looking for work in the hospitality industry. He had secured an interview with a hospitality placement agency. His interviewer was a Japanese gentleman by the name of Makoto Nagato, later discovered to be a former member of the Yakuza

At the interview, they began talking about martial arts even before they had sat down. Makato had seen Zack and his 'asian eyes' and had instinctively connected him to martial arts.

He asked Zack what discipline he had trained in. The answer was 'Okonawa-Te Karate'. Zack had previously trained in Christchurch, New Zealand. Makoto asked Zack if he had heard of Muay Thai to which Zack replied, 'no.' At the time, Zack was adamant that his learnings in the mixture of martial art styles he had been exposed to, were unbeatable. He had used his style and always came out on top in street fights and in sparring bouts

Zack was unsure of this style that he was speaking about. Makoto was testing Zack's ability. Zack was feeling certain that this Muay Thai was a weaker style. In true Makoto fashion, he opened his office closest and pulled out a kick pad, which he then asked Zack to hold in order for him to demonstrate multiple kicking techniques right there and then. In this moment, Zack was brutally indoctrinated into the explosive art of Muay Thai.

When Zack arrived home that day after the interview, he could not wipe the smile from his face. He spoke nothing of the hospitality aspects of his 'interview' but rather, spoke endlessly about Muay Thai. This day was fate, something pre-destined and ordained by God.  

Zack's lifelong journey with the sport began on this very day.  He dabbled with almost every sport presented to him including snooker, table tennis, soccer, volleyball and basketball but grew a love for martial arts and rugby and he’d be the first one to tell you how good he was at all of them.  Zack finished high school and started his family, moving to Australia in 1989 to set up for the relocation of his family in 1991


The 90’s
The 90’s were spent in Brisbane performing various roles within the hospitality industry and running evening Muay Thai classes.  At one stage Zack was the manager of Bribie Island Hotel, running hotel operations by day and running evening muay thai classes in the hotels function room by night.  It was during this time Zack became a fight night promoter and took his love for the sport to another stage.  Zack connected the sunshine coast muay thai community and had his eldest son Doug and daughter Damelza working on the fight nights with his youngest daughter doing stranger danger demos center ring.  At every turn, Zack was a family man and involved them wherever possible.


The 2000’s
Zack moved to Western Sydney and instantaneously started classes in backyards, squash courts, fitness gyms and eventually venturing into partnerships opening martial arts gyms. The 1st gym bought one of the hardest-punching light-welterweight former IBF, WBC, WBA World champion, Kostya Tszyu to officiate its grand opening.  Zack continued his Promoter role, successfully holding numerous fight night events at St Mary’s Band Club before ending this decade seeing the other side of the world and experiencing vast cultures and countries such as Germany and Ghana before settling in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In June 2008, Zacks daughter Tioa joined him in Dubai, and 7 months later they were joined by Damelza, Victor and Vaughan.  In February 2009 KO Promotions UAE was born followed by KO Gym Dubai Marina in September 2009. 


The 2010’s
Zack pioneered combat sports in Dubai as KO Gym and Promotions hosted many sport celebrities, introduced a variety of fight night styles and grew young fighters into mature and confident individuals.   By February 2011 KO held over 10 Semipro/Pro fight nights, over a dozen corporate fight nights and officiated over 30 combat events in the UAE and later to be the first ever to promote a WBC World Title fight in the Mena Region.  Also hosted K1 Star seminars with Remy Bonjasky, Fadi Merza, Ogun Sesli & Buakaw Benchamek to name a few. 


The 2020’s
Zack enjoyed his last years with the new community he, daughter Tioa and his business partner Payam Honari built at Ringside Gym.  He continued to share his love of the combat arts with people of the emirates and it was evident with the outpour of messages sent from the entire combat sport community including international heartfelt condolences the family received from the the WMC, IFMA and 146 national federations in Australia and the United Arab Emirates. 

On Tuesday 5th of October 2021, the coronavirus pandemic devastated our family and took our Dad.  The following Friday we celebrated his life with 2 services.  On the 12th of October we cremated Dad so we can eventually take him home to Australia, and onwards to his beloved Samoa to rest until Jesus returns to take us all home where we will see our Dad again.   



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