Tiana Baker-Echegaray who was crowned the New South Wales (NSW) State Boxing Champion in 54kg category with her coach Anton Shalom. SUPPLIED/ 22092014
Cook Islander Tiana Baker-Echegaray is committed to and focused on reaching her Olympic Games dream after winning another two titles in Australia recently.
Back in July, she claimed the Police Citizens Youth
Club (PCYC) state champion belt in the 54kg division. Since then, Baker-Echegaray
travelled to Brisbane for the National Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament, winning
in the open’s division in the 54 kg category.
She then took out the New South Wales (NSW) State
Boxing Champion title, winning the 54kg open division in her 12th
fight on September 1.
Baker-Echegaray will now be competing in the Nationals
Tournament in Adelaide from November 16 to 19.
“This is my next big fight and a step closer to be
considered for the Olympic trials,” said Baker-Echegaray.
“At the Nationals Tournament I could potentially fight
four days in a row depending on how many girls are in my division. A big week
Her proud mother Cook Islander Tongia Baker-Mato said:
“Tiana is so focused and determined to represent Australia/Cook Islands at the
“She is working on winning the national title, and
it’ll be pretty tough because she will be up against all the State champions to
win,” said Baker-Mato.
Baker-Echegaray, who is of Argentinian and Cook
Islands descent from Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Mauke and Mitiaro, trains under head
coach Anton Shalom and the Knuckleheads Fight Team at No Quarter Boxing and
Functional Fitness in Sydney, Australia.
She is following in the footsteps of her maternal
grandfather, the late Baker Kaitamaki, of Avatiu/Ruatonga. Kaitamaki, a highly
respected man in the Cook Islands community, was a former amateur boxer who
stacked up an undefeated record under the late Sir Pupuke Robati, KBE in 1963.
Baker-Echegaray’s mother Tongia Baker-Mato and her
Aunty Viriama Baker Chambers from Avatiu/Ruatonga were stars on the netball
court. The sisters represented Cook Islands in netball internationally.
Baker-Echegaray is competitive, patient and resilient
by nature, qualities that lead her to become a student of the sweet science of
boxing, much like her late grandfather.
In 2019 she started training as a means of fitness and
saw the immediate benefits boxing had on her physical and mental health.
Soon after, Baker-Echegaray completed a Master Trainer
course at the Australian Institute of Fitness with the intention to coach and
encourage more people into boxing.
She is now an instructor at No Quarter Boxing,
training people of all ages and backgrounds as well as a volunteer at Police
Citizens Youth Club Redfern where she trains children.
Since starting her journey in the arena of boxing
competing under the expert guidance of her coach and mentor, Baker-Echegaray
has accumulated an impressive record of nine straight wins and already holds
the following titles in Sydney NSW Australia:
2021 Novice State Title Champion 60kg, 2022 PCYC State Champion 57kg,
2022 PCYC State Champion 54kg and 2022 King of The Ring State Champion 57kg.
As a result of these impressive achievements, she was
identified by Boxing Australia as one of the elite top performers in the state
and was selected for the NSW National Futures Squad.