Top New Zealand women’s professional boxer Geovana Peres is preparing for anything as she ventures into the unknown with her defence of the WBO world light-heavyweight title in Auckland this week.

Peres takes on Canadian Clare Hafner at Sky City on Friday night.

It’s Peres’ first fight since she won the vacant world title with a unanimous points decision against fellow Kiwi Lani Daniels in late March.

Peres didn’t want a warm-up fight and decided to instead maintain her relentless fitness and training routines over the past six months.

“The focus has been on defending the title and time has flown by,” she said.

“Since my last fight, I had a couple of days off but I quickly went back to training. That intensity picked up when the camp started, it’s gone to another level now.”

New Zealand’s reigning WBO light heavyweight world champion Geovana Perez will make the first defence of her title against Canada’s Claire Hafner on Friday, October 4 at SKY CITY in Auckland.

The hard-hitting Canadian is ranked the No. 2 female heavyweight on the planet by respected independent website Boxrec – and will drop down a division to contest the WBO strap.

“This is a massive challenge for me but it is one I am 100 per cent ready for,” Peres said. “It was an incredible experience to win a world title but it won’t mean much if I can’t defend it. I’m determined to make sure this fight is just another step on the road to even bigger and better things.”

Peres marked the fight announcement by conducting a training session on the Auckland Sky Tower’s SkyWalk. After a nervous start, she was soon into the swing of things, hitting the pads with trainer Terrence Batchelor on a narrow strip of the causeway over 100m in the air.

“I have to say it was terrifying, but I did what I had to do,” said Peres, who conquered a long standing fear of heights in the process.

“In the ring I am in my element. Out there I wasn’t. I was pretty scared actually. But I faced a really huge fear that I had and that for sure will help me in the ring – because I will fear no-one.”

Hafner, who fights out of Ontario, Canada, is coming off an impressive victory over veteran American Carlette Ewell in North Carolina in June. Ewell, a former IBA light heavyweight champion who has also contested the WBC and IBO heavyweight titles, was comfortably out-pointed by Hafner over eight rounds.

That victory set up Hafner for a shot at Peres’ WBO strap.

“The chance to be able to fight for a world title is something that doesn’t come along every day,” Hafner said. “The opportunity to be a part of women’s boxing on the world stage is long overdue and I can’t wait to bring that belt home to Canada.”

“For too long women have been overlooked in the boxing ring. On October 4th we will once again show the world that we deserve our spot in this sport and put on one of the best fights the WBO has ever seen.”

Perez, a naturalised Kiwi who hails originally from Brazil, captured her title with a thrilling 10-round points victory over fellow Kiwi Lani Daniels in March at a sold-out SKY CITY Convention Centre.

“That contest was rated by veteran ring announcer Lt Dan Hennessey as one of the finest he has ever witnessed – and Dan has seen some fights – but this fight could well top it,” Steve Deane of promoter Rival Sports NZ said.

“Geovana is the type of boxer who never takes a backward step so with a big, tough international heavyweight coming her way it is sure to be an explosive contest.

“With Joseph Parker now fighting off-shore, this WBO world title fight is the biggest event on the Kiwi boxing calendar this year.”

There is a lot on the line for Peres. A victory over a highly-rated international opponent would set up the possibility of a title defence on a major international card.

“We’ll certainly be talking to our friends at Duco and Matchroom about the potential for Geovana to defend her world title on co-billing with Joseph Parker at some point,” Deane said.

“But first she needs to beat Claire Hafner.”

The October 4 date for Peres’ title defence is two days before Kiwi UFC interim middleweight champion Israel Adesanya takes on Australian Robert Whittaker in a blockbuster trans-Tasman showdown for the undisputed UFC middleweight title.

“Kiwi combat sports fans are sure in for a heck of a weekend,” Deane said.

The full undercard for Peres v Hafner and broadcast details will be confirmed in coming weeks.

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Photo Credit Calden Scott Jamieson /

Geovana Peres Boxing

Geovana Peres has been crowned WBO Light Heavyweight champion of the world after seeing off Lani Daniels in a thrilling 10 round contest at SKY City in Auckland on Saturday night.

The Brazilian-Kiwi becomes New Zealand’s second WBO world champion, following in the footsteps of Joseph Parker.

Peres was a clear winner on the scorecards, earning the decision 98-92, 96-94 and 98-92, with the judges clearly preferring her relentless attack to the Daniels’ classy counter-punching in what was a relentless toe-to-toe affair.

“I’ve been working so hard for this for the last year and half,” an emotional Peres said.

“I have an amazing team behind me.

“Thank you very much to Lani. She is an amazing fighter. I had to step up my game.”

Peres said she hoped claiming the world title would empower women to chase their dreams and boost the profile of women’s boxing in New Zealand.

“Everybody please support women’s boxing in New Zealand. We have amazing fighters here,” she said.

Daniels, who could count herself an unfortunate loser after putting in a tremendous performance, was gracious in defeat.

“To Geovana, Kia kaha well done. Awesome win,” Daniels said.

Daniels pledged to rebound from the loss, saying it would make her team stronger.

“The lord brought us together for a reason. We ain’t done yet,” she said to her corner.



Saturday night’s historic WBO Women’s World Light-Heavyweight Championship bout between Auckland’s Geovana Peres (6-1-0) and Whangarei’s Lani Daniels (4-1-0) is officially a sell-out.

The pair will meet at Auckland’s Sky City Convention theatre on March 30 as the main event on a card that looks set to be one of the most significant boxing events of the year.

The two clashed previously in 2018 with Peres earning a split decision victory. However, with the chance to become the inaugural WBO Women’s World Light-Heavyweight World Champion on the line the stakes have risen considerably for their rematch.

A win will see the victor transformed into one the sports elite and with women’s boxing on the rise, will also offer the winner a pathway to future big-ticket opportunities.

Event promoter Bruce Glozier, who has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that everything comes together seamlessly this weekend, has been heartened by the enthusiastic public response.

“That was one of the big worries that I had, because putting a show of this scale on there is a huge cost involved,’ Glozier said speaking to Newsie.

“I really needed to make sure that I could cover my costs, but not just that, we really wanted to get a good crowd there as well.

“This is an opportunity for the girls, the undercard and even for myself, to showcase what I am capable of doing.”

The excitement generated by the Peres-Daniels matchup demonstrates that when given centre stage, the public is just as willing to throw their support behind New Zealand’s female fighters as they are their male counterparts.

Both boxers have had successful training camps, and Saturday’s encounter promises to be a memorable one for those fortunate enough to attend.

“I am pretty sure that with the work we have put in that the night is going to be a great night, so I am looking forward to it,” Peres said at last week’s open workout speaking to Gladrap Channel.

“Lani is a very skilled fighter, I never underestimate my opponents, I am sure she is preparing as well as she can, as I am, so let’s see what happens.”

Since her bout with Peres, Daniels has been working with well-known New Zealand trainer John Conway. The veteran coach has helped the 30-year-old Daniels reshape herself as a fighter both physically and technically, and both boxer and trainer are quietly confident that this time it be will Daniels’s hand raised at the bout’s conclusion.

“I feel it’s going to be different, mindset is different, bodies different, “Daniels said speaking to Gladrap.

Conway himself is also certain that this will not be the last time we see these two fighters sharing the ring.

“ I think there will be a third fight between these girls because their first fight was excellent, this next fight is going to be amazing, and there’s going to be talks for a third fight, I can guarantee that,” Conway said speaking alongside Daniels.

The evening’s undercard will feature some of New Zealand’s brightest up and coming talents with undefeated heavyweight Hemi Ahio and promising cruiserweight Navosa Ioata also in action.

“They are well-matched fights; the pro fights on the card and also the corporate undercard. I have worked very hard at putting these matches together,” Glozier said.

“My goal was to complement the main event. I needed a good undercard. We have put a lot of effort into the matchmaking, and I am expecting a really good night.”

The fight will be filmed by SKY television who will broadcast a recap of the night next week.

However Saturday night unfolds, come Sunday morning, the New Zealand public will awaken to find a new world champion in their midst.

Whoever emerges with the strap will find themselves at the start of a life-changing experience, one the whole country will hopefully get behind.

The epic rematch between Geovana Peres and Lani Daniels is on, but this time something more is at stake.

Geovana Peres and Lani Daniels have started their respected training camps ahead of their historic WBO Light Heavyweight World Title Championship clash on March 30th at the Sky City Convention Centre, Auckland, New Zealand.

This is the first women’s World title bout in the Light Heavyweight division for the WBO.

Brazilian born New Zealander Geovana Peres, has been non stop training since her last bout against Trish Vaka last December. Peres is part of Mayhem boxing, comes with a massive team with Terry Reid Batchelor as manager & Trainer, Alexey Papyshev as personal Trainer, Benjamin Watt as Promoting/Marketing and Alex Sua assistant coach. Geovana is well known as being a vegan, has a very strict diet, especially during training camp. Along with her support team, she sees a nutritionist to help her with her strict diet and to make sure she

Mayhem Boxing team has a big stable of boxers to help Geovana with Sparring. Some known names including Navosa “Smiley” Ioata, Commonwealth bronze medalist Troy Garton and her coach Terry Batchelor. There is a rumour that former WBO Oriental Champion and former top 10 WBO Ranked Gunnar Jackson, is interested if helping Geovana Peres out with sparring and help prepare for her World title bout. It is also believed that Geovana sparring partners are now being carefully selected due to Geovana injuring her sparring partners, mainly by concussions.

Geovana Peres sparring partners have big plans for 2019. Troy Garton will be defending her number one position in New Zealand in a couple weeks time and hoping to qualify for the olympics. Navosa Ioata will be fighting on the Peres vs Daniels undercard, scheduled against Chris Rehu. Navosa “Smiley” is also scheduled to fight Panuve Helu on April 20th for the New Zealand National (NZPBA version) Cruiserweight title.

Whangarei, New Zealand born Lani Daniels, has been very busy in her training. Nurse by day, Boxing training by night. Lani Daniels family owns a gym in the Northland area called “Tukaha Boxing”. Training there daily and traveling to Auckland every Thursday, Friday and Saturday to train with former World Muay Thai champion John “The Rebel” Conway. Conway said “Lani train with me Thursday night Friday morning Friday night Saturday morning and Saturday after noon. The sparring is ruthless and often the rebel is backed up. The rebel known as a evasive fighter is often caught with lani speed”.

John Conway gym “Rebel Lee Gar” is a Boxing, Kickboxing and Muay Thai focused gym in New Lynn, Auckland. It is well known for its intense workouts, using old school type training and techniques. The training and sparring this the gym are so intense, some professional boxers have walked out half way through training. Alongside Ants Fryer who trained under John Conway for 20 years, Rebel Lee Gar is one of the best gyms in Auckland. The gym has produced a lot of amazing fighters including former WBC ranked boxer Baby Nansen, former WBA – PABA Champion Adrian Taihia, David Letele Brown Buttabean and obviously Lani Daniels.

While Lani Daniels has been with John Conway, she has won her second New Zealand title, gotten ranked in the WBA and has received multiple World title offers, including a fight in Croatia and obviously this confirmed bout against Geovana Peres in New Zealand.

Geovana Peres vs Lani Daniels a rematch from their bout back in March 2018 for the New Zealand National (PBCNZ version) title. Geovana Peres walked away with the victory by Split decision, however John Conway believes it was a controversial decision. In an interview with Gladrap Channel (Youtube channel), John Conway said “It’s such a credible sanctioning body, the WBO (World Boxing Organisation), it’s one of the Major ones. As big as the planet is and as many girls there are fighters, it just happens to be in our backyard. We have a promoter that has the balls to put the tournament on, we have two girls that are credible opponents that are prepared to fight each other… The girls have fought before, it’s a controversy decision against Lani Daniels, I thought it should have been the other way.”