Hawkes Bay rangatahi wants world Muay Thai title shot

By Aroha Treacher
Ropata "The Buster" Lewis busts out his championship belts / Source - File

Sixteen-year-old Ropata “The Buster” Lewis is the current Siam Cup Oceania Featherweight Champion. Hailing from Hawke’s Bay, the young fighter is ready to defend his title in 2020 and wants his shot at a world title.

“Winning that title was very important to me because I fought Oceania once and unfortunately didn’t come home with the win and so winning that was one of my other goals,” says Lewis.

Based out of Jackals in Napier his journey has seen him win multiple medals and trophies including Siam Cup FlyWeight Championships.

“In terms of ability and skill he’s way up there at world class level and it’s just about keeping him going and giving him opportunities when they come,” says his coach, Andrew Banham.

Originally a rugby player, he tried Muay Thai when he was in primary school, and since then has had 24 fights and 17 wins.

“My goal would probably be going over to IFMA [International Federation of Muay Thai Associations] worlds and fight for the gold medal and hopefully bring it home,” says Lewis.

“It’s his last year as a junior so we’re looking at world champs in July August in Thailand and after that it’s either looking to defend his Oceania title or looking for another step up and fight for a world title hopefully at some point,” says Banham.

That’s the big goal, but for now it’s keeping on the grind, one day at a time.