Louise Heta’s entrance into boxing was fashionably late.
But the 37-year-old from Werribee has made up for lost time with a spectacular first year in the ring, notching up a 7-3 record along the way.
Heta’s career has accelerated at such a fast pace that she’s considering turning professional.
“I’ve only had 10 fights, but the experience I’ve had in that time has been crazy,” Heta said.
“I’ve got a couple of years left if I want to fight in the amateurs. But you never know – we might end up turning pro for a year or two and go for it.”
Heta, who comes from the A-Team Boxing stable in Werribee, made a name for herself at the recent 2019 Elite Australian Championships in Burwood East, claiming a silver medal.
After beating Madison Benson in the semi-final, Heta set up a dream fight with Port Macquarie boxer Jessica Messina, a long-time Australian representative and the top ranked boxer in her class.
Heta was little known, but that all changed once she stepped into the ring with Messina and held her own. Messina took the points, but Heta went the distance and had the champ’s corner worried at times.
“We went to war,” said Heta, who is coached by her husband, Kim.
“We were toe-to-toe – three rounds, three minutes, it did not stop. I fought the best I’ve ever fought.”
Heta’s willingness to get on the front foot and not back down drew plaudits from her opponent.
Messina found Heta’s style awkward because it was similar to her own.
“She came up to me in the end and said, ‘No one has really pushed me like you have in terms of being such a similar fighter to me … I feel like I’ve just fought another version of me’,” Heta said.
Heta walked away from the ring feeling her hard work had paid off – but her best moment probably came post-fight.
“Hearing my boys scream out my name, ‘Go mum’ – it was the most humbling and epic feeling that all the hard work has been worth it,” Heta said.
“She had the experience over me, but I left it all out there and I was super proud of myself in the end.
“Even though I got silver, it was like gold to me. The biggest thing for me was that I competed with her.”
Heta, who has just signed with her first major sponsor, Jols Adidas, has received invites to train at the Australian Institute of Sport and attend a training camp in Thailand.