NZ no. 1, Peres, wants WBO title

By Ruth Smith, Tamati Tiananga

She is the highest ranked boxer in New Zealand, but it wasn't the sport that brought her to the country.  

"I always have been fascinated about the culture, and then when I got here, I had the chance to having someone to put this (moko) on my body.  And I'm pretty proud of it," says Geovana Peres.

The Brazilian born Kiwi is gearing up to take on Taitokerau descendant, Lani Daniels, and at 42 years old she is a force in the ring and not unaccustomed to fighting younger opponents and coming out on top.

"This fight means everything to me because boxing is my life.  I have been training so much for three years and that title is how do you say in New Zealand, the cherry on top of the cake," says Daniels.

Peres began boxing at corporate level in a charity event winning her first bout against Teuila Laika.  She carried on her success at the corporate level before turning pro. 

"I got into boxing three years ago.  I started with a charity boxing match for kids with cancer.  That's how I started and then after this fight, the corporate fight for cancer I had another corporate bout because I loved it so much, it took over my soul."

Peres says that this title fight with Daniels is a cornerstone for women's boxing in New Zealand. 

"The WBO is one of the big boxing sanctions in the world, so, being able to fight for this belt it's an epic for the women boxing in New Zealand."

And she intends to give it all she has. 

"I want to get in that ring and don't let any doubt that I am the number one in the light heavyweight division."

Peres is training hard for in prep for her shot at the world title in March.