Northland’s Motu and Daniels will fight for world titles in Whangārei and Pampellone’s unbeaten record will also be tested.
Daniels currently holds the IBF heavyweight title and is looking to make history by becoming the first New Zealand boxer in the modern era to hold world boxing titles in two separate weight divisions when she drops down to light heavyweight.
Promoter and former rugby league footballer Dean Lonergan told Newstalk ZB’s Clay Wilson the reality of what these fighters are up against becomes clear once their opponents touch down in the country.
“I’m starting to get very nervous, when I look at all three fights. When you put these things together on paper it’s all very well but when they get here into the country and they’re ready to go, all of a sudden the reality hits hard.
“The closer you get to the fight, the closer you see these people and how good they are and how determined they are, the more nervous you get.”
33-year-old Motu is to defend her IBO super-bantamweight world title against 22-year-old Indian Chandni Mehra, who Lonergan says has a wealth of experience despite her age.
“Take the main fight of the night where you’ve got Mea Motu up against Chandni Mehra. Chandi’s only 22 years of age, she’s got an extensive amateur career and I’ve seen her fight in Australia - she really comes to fight well.
“She’s a lot taller than Mea. She [Motu] is a lot more thick set than Chandni. At 33 I’m really concerned about the work rate that Chandni’s going to bring to the table. I think we’ve got a really big fight there.”
Daniels will fight for the vacant IBF title against Desley Robinson out of Australia who is both a concreter and personal trainer as well as a boxer, in what Lonergan describes as an “incredible fight”.
“That’s going to be an incredible fight. The thing that concerns me most about Desley is simply her mental toughness. As a concreter, she works in 35-degree heat most days in Queensland. She does that eight hours a day, then she does both ends of the day a total of four hours PT. She’s got three kids to look after and then she also fits her boxing training around that.
“She’s [Chandni] super strong across the shoulders and I just think she’s a very powerful opponent.”
Pampellone has had a strong 2023, finishing both his bouts inside the first round, but Lonergan tells Wilson Mexican Rogelio Medina is someone you have to get through if you have world title aspirations.
“He’s fighting a guy, Medina, who has been in with no less than seven world champions. Guys who were world champions or who went on to be world champions.
“Medina throws a thousand punches a fight. He’s a Mexican who comes forward in a go-forward style and these boys come here to really fight. This is a really threatening fight for Jerome.”
While the three bouts make Lonergan nervous, he knows the Kiwi fighters are at stages of their careers where if you are ambitious, there are certain risks that have to be taken in strong opponents.
“We do have to take these risks.
“Mea wants to start unifying the division, the Super Bantamweights. For her to do that, she needs to win fights exactly like this.
“Lani trying to make to make history in a second weight class, she’s a current world champion and of course, Lani has big things ahead in her future in the division that she’s in.
“For Jerome, if he really wants to contend for world title fights he has to beat people like Medina and these are necessary risks.”
Lonergan, who has David Tua v Shane Cameron on his promotion resume, says this is as deep a card in terms of talent as he has ever seen in New Zealand.
“This would probably be the best fight night from a depth perspective that this country has ever seen.”
IBO super-bantamweight world title:
Mea Motu (17-0-0) v Chandni Mehra, India (12-4-1)
IBF light heavyweight world title:
Lani Daniels (9-2-2) v Desley Robinson, Australia (5-1-0)
Light heavyweight bout:
Jerome Pampellone (17-0-0) v Rogelio Medina, Mexico (41-9-0)
Zain Adams (4-0-0) v Patthaphi Camton, Thailand (3-0-0)
Roseanna Cox v Trish Vaka
Heavyweight corporate bout:
Matt Matich v Kurt Benney
Will Toogood is an online sports editor for the NZ Herald. He has previously worked for Newstalk ZB’s digital team and at Waiheke’s Gulf News, covering sport and events.