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Daisee has her head in the game

Rising star Daisee Omundsen is proving she has what it takes in the boxing ring. PHOTOS/EVA de JONG

Eva de Jong

Behind Daisee Omundsen’s sweet smile lies a killer punch.

The 15-year-old rising star took out the gold medal in the 54kg female category at the North Island Golden Gloves tournament, held at Queen’s Birthday weekend.

At the same competition, Daisee was the first junior female athlete [under 16] to be awarded the Johnston Memorial Shield, presented to the most scientific youth or elite female boxer.

Going into the final match for her category, Daisee was not the favourite to win the fight – as she had lost three previous times to her opponent, Arohina Dean from New Plymouth.

Daisee with coach Laurence Titter at the North Island Golden Gloves. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Wairarapa Boxing Academy [WBA] founder and head coach Laurence Titter said the fight was an “amazing battle” – with Daisee winning by unanimous decision.

When Daisee overcame her opponent, she was elated.

“I cried – it felt amazing to finally win,” the Wairarapa College student said.

“It felt like I was getting the reward — I’d fought her so many times before and I’d put in all that work, and then it did pay off.”

Watching Daisee take out the title was a memorable moment for father Matthew Omundsen.

“I’m big-time proud. It’s a pretty big moment for me every time she hops in the ring.”

Matthew said his daughter’s intelligence in the boxing ring sets her apart from her opponents.

“She’s really skilled and coordinated – and she’s clever. Boxing is a thinking game.”

Coach Laurence Titter said Omundsen has come a long way from when she first began boxing.

Daisee first tried boxing at school and, through her parents’ connection to Titter, later she joined the WBA.

“When I first did it, I knew I liked it. I just realised that I quite like punching things,” Daisee said.

“I didn’t think I was that good but when I came to the gym, Laurence thought I had something.”

Eventually, Daisee went to represent the WBA as its first competitive female boxer, winning a silver medal at the 2020 North Island Golden Gloves competition.

She won gold at the 2021 Golden Gloves, followed by a second gold medal in the competitive female 52kg category at the Wellington Novice and Open Championships.

She also received a scholarship from the Wairarapa Sports Education Trust, presented at last year’s Wairarapa Times-Age Sports Awards.

Titter said that when Daisee came to him four years ago, he soon realised she had the grit it takes to compete.

“You could be the most talented person in the world and jump in a boxing ring – and suddenly the exhaustion, throwing punches, and trying to avoid strikes gets too much. You need that threshold for pressure.”

Over their years of training together, Daisee gained more confidence.

“It’s not just about physical toughness – you have to be mentally tough. She’s had to build on her toughness through practice,” Titter said.

“She worked her butt off over the past three years to get to where she is now.”

Despite training at least six days every week, Daisee has found it easy to balance school and boxing commitments.

“I’m used to it – going to school then straight to training has just become my daily life.”

She also gives back to the Wairarapa Boxing Academy through helping coach the younger fighters.

Daisee has her eyes set on competing at the Australian Golden Gloves in Brisbane in August.

After that, her next challenge to tackle will be the Boxing New Zealand National Championships, to be held in Whanganui in October.

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