Mea Motu one win away from helping write New Zealand boxing history

Mea Motu’s fists are fast – but his career is going even faster.

Motu remains unbeaten since her 2020 debut, but her next opponent, Baby Nansen, is her toughest rival yet and will threaten that unblemished status.

“I count the days and the hours,” Motu said.

“Fighting is my passion and that’s what I love…you’re going to see a different fighter. I’m coming to make a big statement, that’s my goal.”

But his biggest goal is yet to come.

After becoming the first boxer from New Zealand to win three different national weight classes, she now wants to take on the world.

Should she beat Nansen, it would create the possibility of a historic IBF Super Bantamweight title fight against Cherneka Johnson – an Australian-based, Tauranga-born fighter.

This means this could be the first-ever world title fight between not just two New Zealand women, but two Māori wāhine.

Motu says she is not only fighting for her career, but also for her culture.

“Certainly I would like to fight Cherneka because we are both Maori, both from New Zealand, we fight for where we come from and our land, she is from Tauranga, I am from Kaitaia, loud and proud of Pukeporo!”

Motu’s trainer, Isaac Peach, is convinced she has what it takes to be world champion.

“She wins this fight that we qualify,” Peach said.

“Can you imagine two Maori girls fighting for a world title fight?

“I bet no one in their wildest dream would think that would happen and it’s pretty much a reality.”

A reality for which this mother of five children has worked hard.

“She came to me a few years ago with two babies hanging in her arms and she wanted to box. In two years she did a world of good, that’s unheard of,” Peach said.

“Since I walked into my coach’s house he said ‘you are going to be world champion’ and I thought he was all lies and no,” Motu added.

“It’s not lies, he tells the truth and he sees that I have talent.”

A talent that could soon go down in sports history.