Nicila Costello, the current Australian Flyweight champion is back in action this week, crossing the pond to fight for the World Boxing Association Oceania Championship Super Flyweight title in New Zealand.
Costello has been on a whirlwind since her boxing debut, fighting five times in 12 months. She will be taking to the ring again for the third time this year, when she fights on August 5 against fellow New Zealander Michelle Preston.
Fighting internationally was something that Costello was hoping to achieve, but not even she thought it would come around so quickly.
“I think every boxer no matter where they are in the world, that’s what they say they, want to fight internationally,” Costello told The Inner Sanctum.
“The reality is if you’re going overseas you are going there to get beaten, you’re not the A side you’re the B side.
“We definitely weren’t expecting it, it was short notice and every possible thing that was not in our favour, that’s the way it is but the opportunity was way too much to pass up.”
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WATCH: Full interview with Nicila Costello
Costello, who’s current record is (4-1 2KO) is coming off a stellar fight in May against Hannah Morgan which ended in a first round stoppage. The win against Morgan came swiftly for Costello, who had the fight stopped at 1 minute and 40 seconds.
It was the second fight in a row for Costello that ended in a knockout within the first two rounds, in a sign that she is starting to feel more comfortable in the ring.
“I definitely feel more settled, not just in the ring but everything to do with the boxing world,” she said.
“I am just as nervous every single time. You never know what you’re going into but you learn what to focus on and how to get the best out of yourself.”
The fight in New Zealand also represents a homecoming for Costello, who hails from New Zealand’s South Island and has struggled to see family during the COVID pandemic whilst living in Australia.
To make the homecoming more meaningful, this will also be the first fight where all of Costello’s family have been able to attend.
“It’s amazing, all my family are coming. It will be the first time all us siblings have been together in probably six years,” she explained.
“I come from a really small place and they’ve been so supportive of all my boxing and heaps of them are coming up to watch.”
In a twist to the homecoming story, Costello’s coach Todd Commons, who is also a New Zealand native, is set to miss the trip. Costello is set to take it all in her stride though and not let the changes to her corner affect the outcome of her preparation.
“These are all learning things, every fight we are constantly learning and this one we are learning a lot.
“I am [devastated] that he won’t be there more than anything. I enjoy having him there. I like being able to share that with him, because it’s been from the start. I am taking another coach with me from Ace Boxing Group, so I will be in good hands”
This fight is set to be one of the most challenging in Costello’s career. Her opponent Michelle Preston is a highly experienced and well decorated veteran of the sport.
Preston has been fighting since February 2007 and is a four time World Champion. With 95 fights under her belt, she helped pave the way for the current generation of female boxing.
Preston stepped away from the ring for six years and made a comeback in May where she defeated her opponent Holly McMath, who has been making a name for herself in the amateur boxing ranks in New Zealand by split decision.
“She has an extremely good record, she is extremely experienced, she has the experience and she has the calibre to go all the way. You have to do a lot better than just a good performance to win,” Costello said.
When Costello enters the arena on Friday one thing is for certain: she will soak up the opportunity and won’t let it pass her by.
“I am just enjoying the ride, this is awesome to have this opportunity and f**k I will go out there and do my best.”
Costello v Preston is set for August 5 at ABA Stadium in Auckland. The event will also be available on pay per view via Combat Sports Network NZ.
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