Home Boxing News Lani Daniels reveals the struggles leading up to the recent New Zealand...

Lani Daniels reveals the struggles leading up to the recent New Zealand title win

Lani Daniels

Northland’s own Lani Daniels won her third New Zealand professional boxing title on Friday night at Lake Karapiro against Tinta Smith in a close bout. Daniels revealed the struggles on social media she faced leading into the fight.

Lani Daniels (Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi) was originally scheduled to take on Sequita Hemingway (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāi Tūhoe) in a rematch, but her opponent received an injury during their first in April. Daniels would end up taking on New Zealand amateur champion Tinta Smith instead.

Shortly after the fight was announced in early May, Daniels got covid 19, which kept her away from beginning her training camp. On top of that, throughout training camp, Daniels sustained an injury that she nursed during training. The struggles leading to the fight got worse, not just for her, but also for her family when her cousin passed away a month before the fight. Daniels dedicated the fight to her cousin and the event did the 10-bell salute before the fight.

To finish up the already challenging camp, Daniels was battling the Flu in the last couple of weeks leading into the fight, as well as losing an impressive 8 kgs the last two weeks leading into the fight. The universe certainly gave Daniels all the challenges of the world, but with hard work, blood, sweat and tears, she overcame them.

The fight against Tinta Smith was a close fight which was impressive for Smith with her making her professional boxing debut, going against a former World title challenger and going the full eight rounds. Smith throughout the fight used dirty tactics including rabbit punching and kidney punches which at one point gave her the edge of the fight. But it was Daniels’s experience, boxing skills and footwork which lead to her winning the fight.

Daniels is currently ranked 1st on Boxrec, 5th in the WBA and 5th on the ESPN in the Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight rankings. She is now the second female ever to win Three New Zealand National Professionals titles with two Light Heavyweight titles (one NZPBA, one Pro Box NZ) and one Super Middleweight title (Pro Box NZ). The only person that holds more New Zealand titles than another Northland boxer, is Mea Motu who holds four titles in four different weight divisions from two boxing commissions.

Daniels now wants to keep busy and aims to get back in the world title picture. Like most women in boxing especially in New Zealand, Daniels struggles to get sponsors to maintain her boxing career. She hopes to get a major sponsor that will help her to get to the international fights again.