Mandatory challenger Sarah Long and current NZPBA Heavyweight champion Alrie Meleisea
It has just been decided that New Zealand Heavyweight female boxer Sarah Long, has been appointed as the mandatory challenger for the New Zealand National (NZPBA Version) Heavyweight title.
Sarah Long (Boxing 2-2-0, Kickboxing 5-4-0), debut as a heavyweight boxer in mid- 2016. The beginning of her boxing career didn’t start off well with losses against Tongan New Zealander Nailini Helu and New Zealand Maori Cheyenne Whaanga. However everything changed when she won her first bout last year against New Zealand Maori Tash Pakai and current NZNBF champion, Brazil New Zealander Geovana Peres earlier this year. Since winning her two boxing bouts, she has peaked at 6th in the world on Boxrec April this year.
Current NZPBA Heavyweight Champion, Samoan New Zealander Alrie Meleisea (Boxing 3-0-0, MMA 2-0-0) has accomplished much in her short career. Meleisea debuted in October last year, defeating top 10 world ranked boxer (at the time) Nailini Helu in a split decision. Meleisea took the bout on 48 hours notice.
Two weeks later, Meleisea won her second bout against Kirsty Lupeamanu by Unanimous Decision. Earlier this year, Meleisea had her much anticipated rematch against Nailini Helu for the NZPBA & UBF Asia Pacific titles. Meleisea won a very close bout by a split decision.
Since her win in March, Meleisea has peaked world rankings from 4th on Boxrec to an amazing 6th on World Boxing Association (WBA). With so much success, she has become a target for many boxers including Sarah Long, Geovana Peres and at one point even Sonya Lamonakis management team were interested.
Negotiations between Terry Tuteru (S.A.L.T/Sarah Long Manager) and Vasco Kovačević (Red Line Combat Academy/Alrie Meleisea Manager) are under way. Terry is hoping the bout can happen on his multi combat event in October, however time can only tell what will come of the negotiations. There is potential interest that a regional title could be involved but that remains to be seen.