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1 Dec 2023

Indian boxer eyes history against super bantamweight world champion in Whangārei

1:04 pm on 1 December 2023
Chandni Mehra hopes New Zealand's Indian community will support her quest to dethrone Mea Motu.

Chandni Mehra. Photo: D&L EVENTS

Chandni Mehra knows facing super bantamweight world champion Mea Motu of New Zealand will be tough, but the 22-year-old Indian boxer isn't afraid of challenges.

On Saturday, Mehra will become the first Indian woman to fight for the IBO super bantamweight world title.

"When I started boxing, the only dream I had was to become a champion," Mehra says.

Thirty-three-year-old Motu is currently undefeated, with a 17-0 record seemingly giving her the edge.

But Mehra insists she is no walkover, promising to provide a stern challenge on the back of her own impressive record of 14 wins, four losses and one draw.

"I'm fighting (Motu) in her home town. I've seen her fight, so I know it's going to be a challenge," she says. "But I'm prepared mentally and physically. I can't wait to be in that ring."

Hailing from Darjeeling in West Bengal, Mehra was born into a family deeply rooted in sports.

"My mum was my manager for a long time," Mehra says. "She used to take me to fights back in the day."

At the age of 17, Mehra found inspiration in the achievements of Mary Kom, a six-time amateur world champion and Olympic bronze medallist from the Indian state of Manipur.

"(Mary Kom) was so magnificent," Mehra says. "I wanted to be like her."

Five years later, Mehra is on the verge of realizing her dream as she vies for the super bantamweight world title in Whangārei against Motu.

However, Mehra knows that it is not going to be easy.

Motu has held the world title since defeating Canada's Tania Walters in April, defending it against Malawi's Ellen Simwaka in August.

"Mea Motu is really strong and a very good hitter," she says. "I have studied her fights, but I've worked hard on my skills and technique, so I'm ready to fight."

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