Geovana Peres has never been one to turn down a fight.

Whatever the weight class, man or woman, the 42-year-old is happy to step between the ropes for a few rounds.

So when she told her trainer Terrence Reid-Batchelor of Auckland's City Lee Gar gym she would one day be a world champion, he didn't doubt her for a second.

"Her mentality is very different. She's very hungry for what she wanted and that set her apart from a lot of the boxers that I train. Her goal to achieve, and even though she was older, I totally believed she could do it because she was achieving goals fast," Reid-Batchelor says.

Advertisement

"She's willing to fight anyone… We've got some big heavyweights in our team and she loves to jump in with them (and) she surprises them a lot."

Now, Peres has the chance to bring her words to life as she prepares to fight for the vacant World Boxing Organisation women's light heavyweight title.

Peres will fight fellow Kiwi Lani Daniels for the vacant belt on March 30 in what will be the first time the title is contested.

Geovana Peres will fight Lani Daniels for the WBO light heavyweight title. Photo / Supplied
Geovana Peres will fight Lani Daniels for the WBO light heavyweight title. Photo / Supplied

"Having two Kiwi girls fighting for a big title like this is pretty awesome," Peres says. "(It shows) we are growing, which is good, but we could have more support – especially here in New Zealand. It's very hard of us women having a full time job and training, but despite everything we are doing pretty well. We have very talented women here in New Zealand so this is for sure going to boost women's boxing."

For the Brazilian-born Peres, the opportunity comes after a late blossoming romance with the sport. After competing in a couple of corporate bouts in her late 30s, Peres had a short-lived amateur career before turning 40, which is the age limit for the amateur scene.

Wanting to stay in the sport, she turned professional and, after losing her first bout at the next level, has pushed on to win six fights in a row.

Turning all her focus to preparing for her title fight, Peres had to take leave from work in order to train as often as possible.

The bout against Daniels will be a rematch between the two. They met in early December last year and Peres claimed a split decision victory.

Advertisement

While claiming the title would be the realisation of a massive goal for Peres, she's looking at the opportunity on a bigger scale.

"What I want with this, not only is it about winning the title, but it's about empowering people to chase the dreams. I want people to look and me and say because of her I didn't give up my dream. I want to be an inspiration for people, I want people to believe they can do, be and have everything they want.

"Of course they have to sacrifice, they have to have discipline, they have to compromise most of the time, but you can do it. It doesn't matter your age or anything.

"I want to empower people. I want to use this as a platform to empower women, and make women's boxing special in New Zealand."