Name: Daria ‘The Boss’ Smith
Gym: Legacy Leegar
Fight Record: 15f – 11w -3l – 1d, 3KOs
Titles: ISKA South Pacific Title 58.2kg
1. How long have you been training Muay Thai and what made you want to become a fighter?
I’ve been training for around 3 years so still very young in fight years (at least I’m young somewhere!). I got into muay thai accidentally on my husband’s advice after I started getting bored lifting stuff at the gym. I am naturally extremely competitive so pointless exercise was depressing, I wanted to be fit but motivating myself to do it was always a struggle. The whole idea of training towards something very tangible like winning a fight made me fall in love with muay thai. I wanted to get in the ring straight away. I have not learnt the actual spiritual aspect until very recently and it just made me fall in love with this world of muay thai even more.
It made me a stronger person mentally. I now know there are no limits to what anyone can do apart from the ones we place onto ourselves. It also made me a lot more accepting of people around me and their paths in life. Being from Russia originally, I travelled the world before finally landing in NZ and even though I thought I met a lot of people and was quite open minded, I don’t think I really got to know anyone the way you do dying in a pool of sweat alongside each other. You never get to see this raw side of anyone’s personality in any other social situations and this makes us instant fight family.
3. What has been your biggest challenge so far as a fighter?
I can name a billion things that I thought were challenging at the time: training while being 9 months pregnant, breaking my foot and ending up on the bench for months, having no social life to speak of, getting up at stupid o’clock every day to train BUT my biggest challenge every day is eating clean! I LOVE food and having to constantly battle with what I want and what I can eat is hard. Probably because all I ever want to eat is peanut butter with a spoon which probably isn’t a very sustainable diet for anyone…
4. What has been your proudest moment?
Winning my south pacific title was pretty special until very recently… my 1.5 year old son got a glove out of my gym bag, put it on and started punching me in the chest. I don’t want to pressure him into anything he doesn’t choose to do himself so this made me smile. I must be doing alright if he chose that glove over watching a cartoon and maybe one day when he is older he’ll choose to train with mummy instead of playing video games. If I can raise one child knowing that hard work is the only way to achieve anything in life, I will be pretty damn proud.
I DO! Every time! my only way to deal with it is complete denial. I just pretend I’m at the changing rooms to hang out with other fighters and my heart doesn’t start racing until I am walking up to the ring and it suddenly becomes real haha It helps to take my time with wai kru once I’m in the ring, this calms my nerves and helps me get focused again. It’s that calm before the storm.
6. Name 3 things people don’t know about you
1) I secretly eat peanut butter with a spoon after my salads
2) I try to paint my toe nails the opposite colour of the corner I am fighting from (not sure why, I’m just weird like that)
3) I hate heights! I can’t do pull-ups if my feet don’t touch the ground on my way down
7. If you could fight on any promotion in the world what would it be and why?
I am greedy so I have 3 –
Lion Fight Promotions – incredible shows with insanely talented fighters
World Muay Thai Angels – all female show in the rank of its’ own
Caged Muay Thai – muay thai with mma gloves…. does this not sound insane and fun at the same time? one of a kind show in the world and only a short flight away from NZ (hint hint)
I have a few things happening this year but the one show I have been looking forward to ever since I have been offered a spot is Extreme F1 Oceania Muay Thai Queen on 25 April. It’s a 4 women eliminator for the Oceania Muay Thai Crown – Australia vs NZ. I have nothing but utmost respect and admiration for the 3 other ladies – Bay Bee Nansen (NZ), Alicia Pestana (Aus) and Jen Cav (Aus). I just can’t wait to mix it up with them and test my skills against these amazing fighters!
9. What are your goals as a fighter?
I love fights so my goal is very simple – I want to do more of it. Becoming a pro fighter and making this my actual daytime job would be my ultimate fighting dream.
10. Any advice to anyone wanting to start up muay thai or have their first fight?
Just go for it – it barely hurts! haha Seriously though – just go for it. Life is too short to waste your time on the couch. It’s a ton of hard work and sweat but more rewarding that you could have ever imagined, your own way to leave a positive mark on this world. You are making friends, having fun, getting fit AND get to punch people in the face for trophies, what’s not to like?
First and foremost my family for being so very understanding and patient, I can be a real pain in the arse sometimes (all the time?).
My coach, Eddy, for teaching and guiding me and sometimes whacking me with a thai pad when I’m being a drama queen.
My previous trainer Mark who has introduced me into this world and is still cheering me on now.
My other trainers – Scott and Arash, my Legacy Leegar family and all the amazing people that have supported me, came to watch my fights and laughed when I got yet another black eye.
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Interview By Natasha Sky, Photos supplied. April 2015
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