Boxing: Kiwi champion Mea Motu targets remaining world super bantamweight titles after IBO crown

Fresh from winning the IBO's super bantamweight world title with victory over Canada's Tania Walters, Kiwi champion Mea Motu has world domination in her sights.

Last Thursday, 33-year-old Motu defeated Walters by unanimous decision in Auckland, and became only the fifth New Zealander to hold a world title.

But by no means does that mean the work stops - far from it.

The next steps on Motu's journey are already starting to take shape, with her first title defence to be held in July.

After that though, Motu makes no bones of her desire to win the five remaining titles - the WBA, WBC, IBF, IBO and Ring Magazine belts.

Mea Motu.
Mea Motu. Photo credit: Photosport

"There's still five more belts to collect," Motu told AM. "I'm going to go get them, and I'm not going to stop until I get them."

At present, the WBA title is held by Venezuela's Mayerlin Rivas (17 wins, four defeats, two draws), the WBC by Mexico's Yamileth Mercado, the IBF by Australia's Cherneka Johnson and the WBO by Segolene Lefebvre of France.

The Ring Magazine title is currently vacant, and likely to be claimed by one of the other four champions. 

Now, though, Motu's focus has to shift to her first defence of her IBO title.

While no opponent has been named, promoter Dean Lonergan of D+L Events is adamant Motu's next bout will be at home in New Zealand.

All that has to come is finding an opponent and securing the appropriate funds to stage it on home soil, Motu says. 

"Fingers crossed," she added. "I'm hoping Dean will host it here.

"It will take a lot of negotiations. Dean's got to do a lot of work to bring it here to New Zealand.

"He needs the backing, and it does cost a lot of money to bring the opponents over.

"Especially to fight me - a lot of people will ask for more. Dean and my coach Isaac [Peach] have to work really hard to get it here.

"We'd love to have it here, it showcases New Zealand, we put New Zealand on the map."

For now, Motu is content in enjoying the celebrations of her success, even if it is a lot to deal with.

Motu's story of overcoming domestic abuse and battling mental health struggles is a key part of her journey to the top. 

But now that she's there, Motu wants her story to help others on their journeys.

"It's overwhelming, I'm still trying to process it all. It's very heartwarming and very touching for me to inspire and encourage others out there.

"It's been a real struggle, it's been a tough journey. I just love being me, I don't change for anyone.

"I only change when I get in the ring and become aggressive.

"I want people to relate to me. I want people to know that no matter how hard it gets, you can get up, you can carry on, and you can be great."