Mea Motu Aims To Start 2021 With A Bang

Peach Boxing's Mea Motu only entered boxing's professional ranks last October, but she has already racked up four straight wins and targets her fifth this Saturday.

The Kaitaia-born fighter is set to take on Ayisha Abied in the co-main event of Peach Boxing's upcoming fight night, to be held inside Auckland's ABA Stadium. The bout will be a rematch of the pair's first encounter after they squared off in December. Motu won that bout via unanimous decision but came into the contest on the back of a bout of pneumonia and is excited to get the chance to take on Abied at full strength.

"I feel more prepared, and I am not feeling so tired and sick, " Motu said about her upcoming fight.

"I learned that anything could happen, you could come up to a world title or anything, and at the end of the day, if you really want it, you have to push yourself, " she exclaimed.

The experience taught Motu that she has the mental tenacity to grind out wins when needed and push through barriers when her body is not operating at 100 percent. However, she also expects Abied, a kickboxer by trade, to have learned a lot in their last fight.

I think she [Abied] will come back stronger; now she has fought me, I think she has definitely uplifted and pushed her training even harder. I think her standard will be higher this time.

"I never underestimate any fighter. At the end of the day, it's different when you get in the ring."

After Abied, Motu already has another fight lined up for March 26. Her next bout will be against local veteran Tania Ried and will be for the NZ lightweight title. Motu aims to stay busy, keep learning, and get as much in-ring time as possible before looking to make her mark on the international scene.

"I just know I need that ring time to get to the world stage, as I know it will be harder, and there will be stronger girls who will go all the rounds.

"I want to get more experience and definitely to fight the best in the county—NZ champs who have held world titles. I want to fight the best to gain that experience and get that ring experience as well.

"The goal for me is to step out of NZ and go fight on the world stage and fight all the top fighters. My passion is boxing. I love the sport like people think, 'you're just in it as you want to win an NZ title,' but that's a bonus. I love the sport and the art of boxing, and you never stop learning with boxing. It's just continuous learning.

Since joining Peach Boxing in 2019, Motu's boxing style has done a complete 360-degree turn. Whereas she once favored fighting off the back foot, she is now relishing the more confrontational and aggressive style that is becoming her trademark.

"I used to be a little pitter-patter fighter, tap and run, tap and run. Always on my feet, run, run, run, catch me if you can. I was never a heavy puncher.

" I didn't know I was a forward fighter, and I could hurt people to the body; I always just head punched, and then I came to Isaac. He was drilling me continuously. " Fight forward, go forward, fight forward." It was really weird for me at the start; I struggled, " Motu said.

" I was like what the heck, I don't want to go forward; this is not my style I am not strong enough. I didn't know I was a puncher until Isaac showed me, and I started to see, and I was like, I can hit, I have got power."

It may have taken time for Motu to adjust to her, but now that she settled into her new approach, there is no looking back.

" I feel more comfortable going forward, I feel more me like I can express myself through going forward, but there are times when I know how to adjust, and I can change my style."

Fans will be looking forward to seeing how Motu expresses her skills on Saturday night as she kicks-off her 2021 campaign.

Written by Michael Clifton