14-year-old Merewalesi Kolitapa is determined to make a name for herself in the boxing ring.
The Sigatoka Methodist College student has boxing in her genes, with her father Temo, a former national rep and her mother Visila a former challenger for the WBF title.
Her eldest brother, Alifereti Dodomo won the New South Wales Light heavyweight title last year while she and her elder sibling Joe have been named in the national junior squad preparing for the Oceania Championships in Tahiti.
Kolitapa says she is eager to stand out from the rest of her kin in the boxing ring.
“I got into boxing because we are like a family of boxers so my father is a boxer, my mother, my two elder brothers are boxers , I’m a boxer and so is my younger sister.”
With a solid background in boxing, she is slowly gaining a reputation as a hard-hitter, which caught the eyes of national coach Cam Todd.
“Mere is one of two or three really good girls in Fiji. I’m trying to build up the women’s squad, she is only 14 years old, I’ve seen her box a few times, she is very tidy and strong but unlike the other girls, she struggles to get opponents because there is not a lot of female boxers so I am hoping this will be a start and we get more girls doing the sport.”
Kolitapa, who will be in Year 10 this year at Sigatoka Methodist College says she will strive hard to juggle her studies and boxing aspirations well.
Given her early introduction to the sport, Kolitapa is eager to see how far she can go to achieve her dream of becoming the top female boxer to come out of Fiji.