Bigger challenges await Mea Motu.
On Saturday night, the IBO super bantamweight world champion was dominant in scoring a lopsided decision against Indian challenger Chandni Mehra for her second successful defence of the belt she claimed back in April.
With another challenger to her throne successfully thwarted, Motu’s coach Isaac Peach backed up the comments of his young son Zen, who said post-fight that Motu would be looking to fight “Eddie Hearn’s girls” - IBF No 1 Ramla Ali and IBF champion Ellie Scotney - next.
“100 per cent. I want the biggest fights possible.” Peach told the Herald. “Obviously, it’s not as easy as them just saying yes, but where we’ve positioned her, she’ll be back at No. 1 in the IBF so I’m hoping we can get a big fight in England. If we don’t, we’ll fight again over here and defend the belt, but Mea wants big challenges.
“I just want a big name. I don’t care where it is; it can be overseas or it can be here. We want to fight the best. At Peach Boxing, we want legit challenges, we want to fight the best. We want to be the best and I think the only way to be the best is to fight the absolute best.”
With Motu ending her year with three wins in world title fights, extending her professional record to 18-0, Peach praised her progression over the past year, noting that Motu was now realising her potential and continuing to get better.
That showed in the Mehra fight as, while Mehra moved well and made it hard for Motu to string combinations together at times, the Kiwi champion stalked her counterpart from start to finish, doing plenty of damage with body shots; shifting her target higher willingly when Mehra worked harder on protecting her body.
“[Mehra], about round five, she just wanted to survive so she just held and ran, so it’s really hard to get someone out of there. She had a couple of times where she nearly got her out of there, she hurt her quite bad – I think she beat her up and hurt her quite a lot in those last five rounds, but we didn’t quite get the stoppage,” Peach said.
“[Mehra] survived and if you’re there only to survive at the end it’s very hard to get them out of there. But I was proud of Mea, she did great.”
In terms of Motu’s next move, a bout against Scotney would set up a title unification opportunity, while the Ali fight wouldn’t be a tough sell to the fans given Motu’s comments on that particular match-up leading into her bout with Mehra.
Early in the week, Ali had been promoted ahead of Motu in the IBF ranks, bumping the Kiwi down to No. 2. Motu questioned the decision, and said Ali was “not a threat” to her.
But while the team plots Motu’s next moves, newcomer to the Peach Boxing stable Roseanna Cox made a statement of her intentions when she called Lani Daniels out after Cox beat Trish Vaka on the same card.
Daniels (10-2-2), who won the IBF light heavyweight world title later in the night to become a two-weight world champion, brushed off the call out when asked in her post-fight interview - aside from crediting Vaka’s performance - however Peach was strong in his desire to get that opportunity next for Cox (2-0).
“It’s an easy world title,” Peach said of a potential bout between Cox and Daniels.
“I think it’s an easy way to grab some fame for her, but she’d drop the belt straight away and go down to super middleweight and fight legit opponents after that. But that’s the whole reason – to grab Lani’s fame.”
Christopher Reive joined the Herald sports team in 2017, bringing the same versatility to his coverage as he does to his sports viewing habits.