Boxer returns home to New Zealand to fight for National title

Supplied photos.

New Zealand-born Australian boxer Nicila Costello will be returning home to fight for the New Zealand National (Pro Box NZ version) super flyweight title.

She will take on five-time World Kickboxing Champion and two-time world title challenger Michelle Preston in August.

Born in the small town of Hawarden in the South Island, Costello moved to Australia in December 2012.

She now lives in Brisbane with her wife and their one-year-old child and runs three F45 Studios.

Costello started boxing in 2019, fighting in the amateur and corporate boxing division. 

She  made her professional boxing debut in June 2021, when she defeated Jessica Clancy by majority decision.

Since then, she has won the Queensland State Super Flyweight Title and Australian National Flyweight title.

The last time we saw her in the ring was in May, when she finished the fight in the first round against Hannah Morgan.

Currently, her professional boxing record is four wins and one loss, with two wins coming by way of knockout.

For the first time in her career, Costello will be returning home to New Zealand to fight on home soil.

If Costello wins, she will be the first female two have won both the New Zealand national title and the Australian national title and the first person since Steve Renwick, who won the New Zealand title in 1985 and the Australian title in 1986. 

Her opponent, Michelle Preston, can be described as a trailblazer in the sport of boxing.

The Uk-born New Zealander won her debut fight in February 2007. In December the same year, Preston became the first female to win the WBA - PABA title.

In November 2008, she became the first female to fight for the WBC - OPBF title (losing to Susie Ramadan).

Two years later in July, she became the first female to win the WBO Asia Pacific title, before becoming the first female to win a New Zealand national professional title by knocking her opponent out.

In July 2012, she was ranked 2nd in the world with the IBF and 20th in the world with the WBC in 2016.

Preston fought for the World IBF super flyweight title in 2012 and 2016, losing to Argentina boxer Débora Dionicius on both occasions. 

She is a five-time kickboxing champion, winning her last world title in 2017 when she defeated Fani Peloumpi for the WBC Muay Thai super flyweight title.

At the time, Preston announced that this would be her last fight in combat sports.

Recently, Preston made her in-ring return after being away from the boxing ring for six years.

She defeated New Zealand amateur champion Holly McMath at the Auckland Museum in May.

Currently, her record is nine wins, eight losses and one draw, with two wins coming by way of knockout.

Preston and Costello will face each other on October 5 at Auckland's historical boxing venue, ABA Stadium.

The promoter of the night, Craig Thomson, will also be looking to add the ANBF Australasian title to the fight; however, that depends on current champion Natalie Hill, if she decides to vacate the title.

Tickets are on sale now through Craig Thomson.