Inside the West Auckland boxing gym pumping out title contenders

Tue, Mar 14

They say success breeds success; deep in Henderson Valley, New Zealand boxing fans can find exactly that.

Peach Boxing currently trains four boxers ranked in the top 10 in the world and are preparing for two world title fights with a third possibly on the way.

It’s a remarkable reputation for a humble gym in West Auckland.

“It's just an attitude thing that's just contagious in this place,” cruiserweight David Light said.

“People know that when you're here, you're here to work and become a world champ and that is just the vibe you get when you're here.”

David Light on his way to stopping Lance Bryant in Auckland in late 2020.

Mea Motu and Andrei Mikhailovich know that feeling as well.

“The number one thing here is that we all support each other, it's a family, we are very hard on each other, we know each other’s expectations and we know how far we've got to push,” Motu said.

“I love the fact that I get to spar and train with some of the best fighters in the world… being around that greatness, it rubs off,” Mikhailovich added.

When Light takes on Great Britain's Lawrence Okolie for the WBO title in the United Kingdom two weeks, it starts a hectic few months for Peach Boxing.

In April, Motu also contests a world title when she takes on Tania Walters for the IBO super bantamweight belt in Auckland and if middleweight World No.5 Mikhailovich can win his bout that same evening, he'll also be up for a title shot.

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

Trainer Isaac Peach said the gym is up for the hectic few months.

“It's satisfying but I want to win world titles, I'm not here to get to a world title fight, I'm here to win world titles, that's what I want for my boxers,” Peach said.

“We're getting to that stage but we haven't got there yet.”

In fact, even though Peach Boxing has four fighters inside their respective top 10 world rankings, all four are still part-timers.

Marcus Heywood lands a left hook on highly-rated fellow Kiwi Andrei Mikhailovich during their fight in Auckland in 2020.

Alongside the trio of title contenders, Jerome Pampellone – who was once Peach's apprentice plumber – is now also light heavyweight World No. 10.

“We’re all watching each other so we all understand what we've got to do to make it to the top,” Pampellone said.

“David is up for a world title, and we are with him every day so we've seen what he's done to get there. Same with Mea.

“It's a team effort.”


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