PEACH BOXING/SKY SPORT
One of the most promising boxing talents in the country will fight to become a two-weight national champion on Saturday night.
One of New Zealand’s top boxing prospects will give away a significant weight advantage when she steps up in a bid to become a two-weight national champion on Saturday night.
Mea Motu, the NZPBA lightweight champion, will take on Christchurch’s Michaela Jenkins, in a rematch, at ABA Stadium in Auckland for the NZPBC super lightweight belt in an eight round title fight.
The undefeated Motu (8-0, 4KO’s) is a natural featherweight but has been forced to jump up the weights to get fights in New Zealand.
The mother-of-five is trained by former national super middleweight champion Isaac Peach and has aspirations of becoming a world champion.
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“I feel that every fight I have, I am just getting better and better,” Motu said.
“By next year, I want to make my mark on that world stage and showcasing my talent and what I am good at. I love it, and I am very passionate about it.”
After making her professional debut in October 2020 following a successful amateur career, Motu’s entire pro career has been fought during the global Covid-19 pandemic.
She has three further fights planned for 2021 already, but Motu knows nothing will come easy against Jenkins – a kickboxing and Muay Thai champion who fights out of South Island Lee Gar under master trainer Wayne Vaega.
Dubbed ‘The nightMea’ because she carries serious punching power in both hands and has a relentless work ethic, Motu, defeated Jenkins (1-1) via a unanimous decision victory back in May over just four rounds.
The Kaitaia product started in her usual ferocious style, exploding out of the blocks in the opening round and landing several heavy shots that would have stopped many fighters in their tracks, but the ultra-tough Jenkins didn’t buckle.
“I was like, ‘what the heck, how is she still standing?’
“I was so surprised,” Motu said. “That was something different and new to me, and I was like, ‘wow, OK, this is challenging’.”
Motu, of Te Rarawa and Ngāpuhi, is anticipating an even tougher battle this time around despite there being nothing but respect between the pair.
“I am definitely expecting a different fighter,” Motu said. “I always find if they fight me again, they are only going to come back harder and stronger. She [Jenkins] definitely has her size. I think she will use that to her advantage.
“I give her respect. It is amazing how she just wants to fight. She enjoys it whether she gets hurt or not. It is obvious to me it is the passion she has for the sport.
“You can see that she loves it and enjoys it.”