Kaitāia's 'NightMea' Motu wins fourth national title in Auckland

Kaitāia's Mea 'NightMea' Motu has confirmed she's ready for the world stage after clinching her fourth national title over the weekend.

Motu had an impressive unanimous decision victory over veteran fighter Baby Nansen as the pair headlined Glozier Boxing's Rumble in the Park event in Auckland.

The 32-year-old's win in the eight-round bout saw her claim the formerly vacant NZPBC super-featherweight title.

It was a feat made more spectacular as Motu was fighting two weight divisions higher than her natural weight class of super-bantamweight.

Nansen, 35, is the most experienced boxer Motu has faced in her career so far.

In the lead-up to the fight, the Northlander said she felt lucky to be able to go head to head with Nansen.

World-ranked Nansen has fought some of the top female boxers internationally - most notably the now unified super-featherweight world champion, Mikaela Mayer.

During the bout, Nansen used her stature to her advantage to often wrap Motu in clinches. However, Motu maintained a high work rate and unleashed powerful combinations whenever the opportunity arose.

In a post-fight interview, Motu outlined what was on her mind following a successful fight with one of the best boxers in New Zealand.

"World title," she said emphatically.

"I want to finally fight in my weight division, which is super-bantamweight. I have always stepped up weight; I have never fought in my weight division because the options over here are not available to me, but I am ready to go to my weight division and fight people my size."

The recently crowned IBF super bantamweight champion Cherneka "Sugar Neekz" Johnson is one potential opponent to catch Motu's attention.

"I would love to fight Sugar Neekz," Motu said

Johnson is an Australia-based fighter born in New Zealand of Māori heritage. A clash between the two would mark the first time two Māori female boxers have contested a world championship.

Motu's trainer, Isaac Peach, sees his fighter as a match for anyone in the super-bantamweight division. He's happy to explore all possibilities that could lead Motu to a world title.

"Cherneka Johnson is the person with the title that's closest to New Zealand, so that's the target. But if the phone rings, we will go. Now that Covid's over we can fly anywhere."

This article was first published by the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.