Boxing: Mea Motu defends world title, Lani Daniels creates Kiwi boxing history at Whangārei fight night

  • 03/12/2023

Kiwi boxing world champion Mea Motu has continued her charge with a lopsided defence of her IBO world super bantamweight title against India's Chandi Mehra in Whangarei on Saturday.

After 10 rounds of the upperhand, Motu earned a straightforward decision on the judges' scorecards (98-91, 100-89, 99-90) to put the cherry on top of a successful night of fights for the Kiwi contingent at McKay Stadium.

Motu was far too powerful, quick, and clinical for Mehra, who gallantly remained in the contest despite being clearly outmatched.

The fleet-footed Mehra offered little in the way of power but posed some awkward questions for Motu with her movement, although often resorted to holding in attempt to stem her opponent's tide. 

Lani Daniels.
Lani Daniels. Photo credit: Photosport

Dictating the ring's real estate, the local went to Mehra's body with plenty of success and was ultimately rewarded by the judges for her much more effective strikes, which were clearly doing superior damage to anything her opposite could muster.

In the co-main event, local hero Lani Daniels created NZ boxing history, becoming the first Kiwi boxer to hold world titles in two divisions with a unanimous decision win over Australian Desley Robinson to add the IBF light heavyweight belt to the organisation's heavyweight strap she clinched in May.

In a high-paced, entertaining bout, Daniels ring generalship and composed attack earned her the edge in against a very game Robinson.

Jerome Pampellone celebrates his first-round KO.
Jerome Pampellone celebrates his first-round KO. Photo credit: Photosport

The Queenslander had plenty of moments in the contest but couldn't cash in on her reach advantage, as Daniels consistently closed the distance and kept her opponent backpeddling and in prime position as a target. 

The judges turned in scorecards of 97-93, 99-96, and 95-95 in Daniel's favour, as Pipiwai's finest sent her hometown supporters into raptures.

Earlier in the card, Peach Boxing teammate Jerome Pampellone laid down the early marker for his gym and made another undeniable statement of his class with a first-round knockout of Mexican hardman Rogelio Medina.

'The Panther' wasted no time getting into his work, swarming Median – a 50-fight veteran – with a variety of shots from the opening bell with a furious pressure his opponent couldn’t handle.

An overhand right provided the definitive blow to extend Pampellone's undefeated to 18-0 by way of a third straight first-round finish. 

The emphatic nature of victory should secure the Aucklander a significant step up in competition for his next bout.