Cook Islander Tiana Baker-Echegaray is the Australian Boxing 54kg Bantamweight champion. SUPPLIED/22112330
For Cook Islander Tiana Baker-Echegaray, boxing has been one of her hardest challenges. She is now the Australian Boxing 54kg Bantamweight Champion, winning the title last week in Adelaide, Australia.
Baker-Echegaray says winning the Australian national
title in her division is a great feeling.
“This is a big goal I set for myself this year and I
worked extremely hard to get here as quickly as I did,” she said.
Not “100 per cent clear” on what winning the title
means for her just yet, she is hoping to be picked for training camps held
around Australia and potentially overseas.
Competing in upcoming Women’s Boxing World
Championships is also yet to be confirmed.
Baker-Echegaray will compete in another Australian
national boxing tournament in 2023 which will lead a pathway for the Olympics
“I’m looking forward to improving my skills and
getting the opportunity to learn from new people and experiences I may be
involved in next year,” said Baker-Echegaray.
Baker-Echegaray took up boxing in 2019 “as a means of
fitness” and saw the immediate benefits boxing had on her physical and mental
She has been powering through boxing training under
head coach Anton Shalom and the Knuckleheads Fight Team at No Quarter Boxing
and Functional Fitness in Sydney.
Committed to and focused on reaching her Olympic Games
dream she has had a big year in amateur boxing in Australia.
In July this year, 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 the 54 kg category in the open’s division.
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.
Her proud mother, Cook Islander Tongia Baker-Mato
said: “I’m so proud and realise just how talented and skilled my daughter is as
a boxer. She has mastered this sport by understanding where to aim her punches
to win the points, she is super gifted and mentally strong, determined and
Baker Mato also extends, “a big meitaki maata to the
Cook Islands community for your immense support for Tiana”.
“Tiana is so focused and determined to represent
Australia/Cook Islands at the Olympics 2024,” she added.