Muay Thai fighter, Melody 'Diva' Downs has defeated South Korean fighter, Eun-Ji Choi, to win the Intercontinental World Kickboxing Association (WKA) K1 U67kg title during the weekend.
"It's always good to get titles but this one is such a big title, obviously the feeling is so much more momentous," says Downs, " Still celebrating, still on a high, still trying to process it”.
But, Korean fighter Eun-Jin Choi didn't back down- going the full length of the fight and giving it all she had in an attempt to rattle Downs.
“It was a hard fight and Mel had to work with everything that she gained on her opponent,” says corner coach, Miriam Tio.
“She was strong, stocky, came in with a lot of punches. She was a lot tougher than what we expected,” says Downs.
The Intercontinental title now under her belt, Downs is looking ahead to clinch a world title, with a possibility for the event to be held on home soil.
"At the moment it's still in the discussion stage but what we do know is that it's likely to happen at the end of the year,” says Downs.
If a world title fight goes ahead, it would be the first time Hamilton will host a fight of such a magnitude.
The event will also be an opportunity to stage a number of Māori female fighters.
“For me it's such a proud moment to be a Māori woman fighting internationally. We are so few and far between but we've got that warrior spirit. Definitely a proud moment for me and I just felt like I was over there repping not just my country, but wahine Māori as well,” Downs states.
Downs is likely to fight a top fighter from USA for the vacant world title belt at the end of the year.