Hati takes down aggressive op­po­nent

The Northland Age - - Age Sport -

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.

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