Daria the boss in fight ring
Kickboxing champ Daria Smith was determined to prove her husband wrong when he said she wouldn’t like fighting.
Three years on the 29-year-old Muay Thai competitor has just won the 58.2 kilogram ISKA South Pacific Belt.
‘‘It was a tough fight, the girl I fought was heavier than me, she had only ever lost one fight and held seven titles,’’ the Beachlands resident says.
‘‘It was her home ring . . . I got the win in the end so that was pretty cool.’’
Smith won the South Pacific title in Sydney on a points decision at the end of five two-minute rounds.
The mother-of-one has already achieved her goal of winning a title in 2014 and has the chance to make it two before the year’s end.
‘‘It shows you if you work really hard towards anything you will get it in the end.’’
Tomorrow she takes on Miriam ‘‘Hummingbird’’ Tio for the WMC Lightweight New Zealand title as part of the Lethal Ladies Muay Thai event, which will feature 32 female fighters.
It’s a big night for the sport in New Zealand, Smith says.
‘‘When I first started there weren’t too many girls around and even earlier on there were all of 10.’’
‘‘We are still lacking experienced girls but there are a lot more novice girls that are coming through.’’
She has also been named in the New Zealand team travelling to Bangkok, the spiritual home of Muay Thai, next year to fight in the world championships.
The sport is extremely physical but Smith says there is something fascinating about it.
She trains at the Fighting Fit Academy Gym in Panmure and fell in love with the code after her first time in the ring.
‘‘With Muay Thai there are elbows to the face, knees to the face, so it can get quite intense quite quickly.
‘‘It’s brutal but it’s also quite beautiful because it is very traditional.’’
‘‘There is a certain way you enter the ring and there is an entrance dance that every fighter must do.
‘‘It shows respect for your opponent and your trainer and for everything you’ve gone through.’’
It is this respect and tradition that makes Muay Thai different to the more westernised versions of kickboxing and fighters reap the benefits, Smith says.
‘‘It teaches you a lot about yourself and for me my biggest opponent is myself.’’
Title holder: Kick boxer Daria Smith with the 58.2kg ISKA South Pacific Belt she won in Sydney.
Big kick: Daria Smith, right, in action in the ring in Sydney on her way to a title.