Hati takes down aggressive opponent
Quinita Hati has added another national title to a trophy cabinet which must be nearly full to overflowing after winning the WKBF Super Light Full Thai Title in Birkenhead on Saturday night.
Fighting under the banner of the grassroots, Kawakawa-based gym, Toa Ngatihine Muay Thai, Hati emerged victorious over the battlehardened Fi Sim from Queenstown and picked up the national woman’s welterweight (fighters 62.8kg and under) belt.
Her trainer, Phil Allsopp, said the bout, held over five two-minute rounds, was a brutal one but the outcome showed Hati could handle a very aggressive opponent.
“I have studied her [Sim] and she is a really strong fighter, she’s always hunting, wants to get you in a corner, keep you on the back foot, and she can take a good hit to the chin too. The game plan was to stay busy, work the ring and frustrate the hell out of her, work the in-andout, in-and-out.”
Allsopp said Hati had also developed an invaluable ability to listen to instructions from her corner whilst in the middle of a fullblooded rumble and with the crowd going nuts — “I’m her eyes and ears when she’s out in the ring,” he noted — and refused to be cornered.
While her leg was fully welted up by the third round, Hati kept on the move and eventually began to wear Sim down and win on points.
There were 14 bouts on the night’s card, which took place in front of a sold-out crowd estimated at 250-300. The Hati vs Sim match was the only women’s fight but, as one of two titles up for grabs, it curtain-raised the main event.
A large entourage from the Bay of Islands community travelled south to support Hati in her quest to secure another title, with Allsopp taking a van-load of supporters from the gym, while various other friends and whanau made their own way.
Hati was recovering earlier this week but will soon be back hard in training. She has been locked in to fight for the AMTA (Aotearoa Muay Thai Association) A-Class Light Welterweight Title in Timaru in December, and there were whispers of another New Zealand title opportunity prior to this.
A mother of three, early childhood educator and gym trainer, Hati has in the past year climbed the national rankings in both boxing and muay thai.
She currently holds the NZPBC (New Zealand Professional Boxing Commission Female Lightweight Title, the WKA (World Kickboxing Association) K1 Kickboxing U70kgs Central North Island Title and, last month, secured the NZMF (New Zealand Muaythai Federation) North Island Light Welterweight Title.
While preparing for the latter event, she was also approached to represent New Zealand at the Afora Games in Darwin but had to Quinita Hati with the WKBF Super Light Full Thai title.
respectfully decline the opportunity.
While Hati’s Kawakawa gym was muay thai-focused, options to get fighters into tournaments consistently were limited, which saw her taking on boxing challenges to stay matchfit. Allsopp said her progression and ability to mix it up and adapt to both styles of martial arts had been part of an impressive trajectory over the past few years.
“Quinita is highly driven, goalfocused and extremely effective in managing her day duties while still maintaining the level of commitment required to be the best she can be in this physically challenging yet incredibly rewarding combat sport.”
■ A feature on the recent achievements and goals of the Toa Ngatihine Muay Thai gym, established in 2011 and now based in Kawakawa, is forthcoming. For more information in the meantime, contact Sasha Rewha (021) 426-162.