Sport | Boxing

Pipiwai’s Lani Daniels ready to make history

Taitokerau boxer Lani Daniels (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine) is poised to create history tomorrow as she faces fellow New Zealander Alrie Meleisea in the highly anticipated IBF World Heavyweight title bout at Event Finda Stadium tomorrow night.

"I'm starting to get itchy feet," Daniels says.

This bout holds significant historical value as it marks the first world title fight between two New Zealand-born boxers and the first encounter between Māori and Pasifika boxers. Both fighters hold top rankings, occupying the No. 1 and No. 2 spots across worldwide boxing bodies, making this an authentic clash of the heavyweight division's elite.

Meleisea has the support of Joseph Parker and David Tua, largely due to their Samoan connections. However, Daniels, hailing from the small town of Pipiwai in Northland, emphasises that she will have her whānau with her both physically and spiritually.

"That's the beauty of being Māori - it encompasses not only those who are physically present but also those who have passed on... So, yes, it will be hearty".

In the lead-up to the fight, former world heavyweight champion Joseph Parker sent a video message expressing his support for Meleisea in the upcoming bout.

History in the making


  • Daniels boasts a record of seven wins, two losses, and two draws, with her only defeats coming against WBO world champion Peres. She holds the title of three-time New Zealand champion and is the sole ANBF women's heavyweight Australasian champion.
  • Meleisea has a record of six wins, one loss, and one draw. She is a two-time New Zealand heavyweight champion and a former UBF Asia Pacific heavyweight champion.

The IBF world heavyweight title fight between Daniels and Meleisea will take place at Eventfinda Stadium (formerly known as North Shore Events Centre) on Auckland's North Shore. The event will be televised on the Sky Sports Pop-up channel (either ch 600 or 601). Additionally, the fight will be broadcast internationally on PPV through FITE TV.