Lani Daniels: Talks underway for potential historic world title fight

By Kelvin McDonald
Lani Daniels (left) is in talks for a possible world title fight. Photo credit: Calden Jamieson Photography / NZ Herald

Negotiations are understood to have begun for a potential world title fight between New Zealand heavyweight boxers Lani Daniels (Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi) and Alrie Meleisea (Samoa).

If all the right boxes get ticked, this could be a historic occasion representing not only the first all-New Zealand-born world title fight but also the first between Māori and Pasifika boxers for a world crown. 

Talks are underway between the boxers' representatives and will also include the sanctioning bodies. Currently, the IBF and WBO have vacant world titles in this division.

Negotiations may take several months but both boxers are understood to want the fight and want to be world champion.

Daniels is ranked 1st in the WBC, 2nd in the WBA and 1st on BoxRec. Meleisea is 3rd on BoxRec and is the current New Zealand heavyweight champion.