“How is she still up?” »Mea Motu’s exciting challenge for the second national title

One of New Zealand’s top boxing prospects will offer a significant weight advantage when she tries to become a national two-weight champion on Saturday night.

NZPBA lightweight champion Mea Motu will face 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, 4KB) is a natural featherweight but was forced to jump the weights to fight in New Zealand.

Mea Motu will look to become a national two-weight champion when she fights Michaela Jenkins.

Nick Depree / ndepree.com

Mea Motu will look to become a national two-weight champion when she fights Michaela Jenkins.

The mother of five is coached by former national super middleweight champion Isaac Peach and aspires to become world champion.

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“I feel that with every fight I have, I get better and better,” Motu said.

“By next year I want to make my mark on this world stage and show my talent and what I’m good for. I love it and I am very passionate about it. “

After making his professional debut in October 2020 following a successful amateur career, Motu’s entire professional career has been spent during the global Covid-19 pandemic.

She already has three more fights slated for 2021, but Motu knows nothing will be easy against Jenkins – a kickboxing and Muay Thai champion who fights from South Island Lee Gar under master trainer Wayne Vaega.

Mea Motu (left) and Michaela Jenkins (right) will fight in a rematch but this time for a national title.

Nick Depree / ndepree.com

Mea Motu (left) and Michaela Jenkins (right) will fight in a rematch but this time for a national title.

Dubbed “The nightMea” because she has heavy hitting power in both hands and has a relentless work ethic, Motu defeated Jenkins (1-1) via a unanimous decision victory in May in just four rounds.

Product Kaitaia started out in his usual fierce style, exploding out of blocks in the first round and landing several heavy punches that would have stopped many fighters in their tracks, but ultra-tough Jenkins didn’t give in.

“I was like, ‘What is it, how is she still up?’

“I was so surprised,” Motu said. “It was something different and new to me, and I was like ‘wow, okay that’s a challenge’.”

Motu, of Te Rarawa and Ngāpuhi, expects an even tougher battle this time around despite there being nothing but respect between the two.

“I really expect a different fighter,” Motu said. “I always find that if they fight me again, they will only come back for more and more. [Jenkins] certainly has its size. I think she will use this to her advantage.

“I give her respect. It’s amazing how she just wants to fight. She likes it whether she gets hurt or not. It’s obvious to me that it’s the passion she has for the sport.

“You can see she loves and appreciates him.”