Two wāhine Māori climb world boxing rankings

By Kelvin McDonald
Lani Daniels. Photo / File

Wāhine Māori boxers Lani Daniels (Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi) and Sequita Hemingway (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāi Tūhoe) have climbed the world boxing rankings.

Daniels, who was previously ranked fifth in the World Boxing Association, has now risen to third in the WBA light heavyweight rankings, her highest ranking with the sanctioning body. It comes after her wins this year over Hemingway and NZ amateur champion Tinta Smith.

The Taitokerau boxer is also currently ranked first on the independent computerised ranking website Boxrec and fifth by ESPN. The latest World Boxing Council (WBC) rankings are due out in the next fortnight. Daniels has never received a WBC ranking.

Sequita Hemingway.  Photo credit / Warwick Smith (Stuff)

Hemingway (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāi Tūhoe) is currently ranked sixth in the WBA and fourth on Boxrec. This follows her major win over NZ's Alrie Meleisea in July last year, who at the time was ranked third in the WBA and eighth in the WBC.

New Zealand has had two wāhine Māori world boxing champions, including the legendary Daniella Smith (Ngāpuhi) who became IBF world welterweight champion in 2010.

The other is Cherneka Johnson (Ngāti Ranginui) who won the IBF world super bantamweight title in Melbourne in April this year.