'Brutal boxer' Mea Motu on brink of world championship glory

Mea Motu, left, on her way to a first-round knockout victory over Toni Moki in Auckland in 2021.

When New Zealand boxer Mea Motu first walked into the gym of her trainer Isaac Peach she was told she would be a world champion. In Auckland in April she will get that opportunity.

Motu’s international opponent for the IBO super-bantamweight world title, and other details, are yet to be announced by promoter Dean Lonergan, but what is clear is that the 33-year-old Motu will headline the card and get a chance she has been craving since she turned professional in 2020.

“This has been the No.1 goal ever since I came to Peach Boxing. Isaac told me I’d be a world champion and now I’m here,” she said.

The 33-year-old from the Far North is undefeated after 15 professional fights, including six knockouts. She has also excelled at lightweight, super-lightweight, featherweight and super-featherweight.

“This is the first of many,” Peach said of Motu's world title aspirations. “One at a time. The first opportunity is in New Zealand, which is amazing. We get this one and on to the next.”

A victory would put her on track for challenges at the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO world titles.

“People will see what Mea Motu is about on this show,” Peach said of Motu’s all-action style. “Mea is a brutal boxer.”

Her last win was a split decision victory against the previously undefeated Nastaran Fathi in Dubai in November.

“I haven’t done this alone – I’ve done this with my team and my coaches which is more meaningful for me,” Motu said.

“People think it’s a lonely sport but it’s only lonely if you just make it about yourself. It’s about a team – I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my team and my coaches and being able to communicate and trust them.

For Peach, Motu’s challenge comes after another of his fighters, David Light, has a world title challenge of his own against cruiserweight Lawrence Okolie in Manchester on March 25.

Light, an undefeated 31-year-old from Auckland, earned the right to face Okolie after a gruelling split decision victory against the hard-hitting Brandon Glanton in Florida in December.

“I don’t know if it feels real yet,” Peach said of the opportunities awaiting Motu and Light.

“You get stuck in the training… once it’s all finished, you’ll look back and it will be pretty amazing but at the moment it doesn’t seem real.”


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