New Zealand welterweight "Diamond" Daniella Smith
was born in Kaikohe in the far North of New
Zealand's North Island on July 20, 1972. She is one of five children
and is of Ngāpuhi (Maori) descent. She played basketball through
and was picked for representative teams in High School.
In 1998, Daniella decided to give boxing
a try as a form of cross-training. She enjoyed it so much that she
herself and ended up having her first amateur fight in 1999.
year she won the silver medal in the 75-kg division of the national
championships, and won the gold medal in 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2004
(she was unable to compete in 2002).
In 2002 she was a recipient of
a New Zealand Maori Sports Awards scholarship.
She went on to win numerous
national titles in
various weight divisions and represented New Zealand on the
international stage from 2002 to 2004. She competed at the
2002 world championships
in Turkey and
eventually took the Oceania Games 70-kg gold medal in 2004, making her
top women's welterweight in Australasia. She finished her
amateur career with a 34-6 record
Daniella joined the professional ranks in 2005 and
made her pro debut
on the undercard of David Tua's comeback fight at Waitakere's Trusts
Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand on March 31, 2005. Daniella
(150 lbs) fought tough Sue Glassey (5'5", 147¾ lbs) who had a
title and a national pro boxing title. Daniella won all four
rounds outpointing her game opponent by a unanimous decision. ProboxNZ
reported that: "Using her reach advantage to good effect
she kept Glassey at a distance and accumulated points with her left
jab. On the few occasions Glassey was able to catch her on the ropes
she was able to quickly work clear and continue to work her stategy of
maintainig her distance and scoring from the outside. A polished
all-round performance earned her a unanimous points victory."
Glassey's pro boxing record fell to 2-1.
On December 16, 2005 at the
Coral Reef Restaurant in Auckland, Daniella (156½ lbs) won
four-round decision over New Zealand kickboxing champion
Renei Bevims (163¼ lbs) who was making her pro boxing debut.
On May 6, 2006 at Headhunters
Motorcycle Club in Ellerslie, New Zealand, Daniella won the NZPBA
Junior Middleweight title with a six-round unanimous decision in a
rematch with Sue Glassey, who fell to 2-2.
On Novermber 17, 2006 at Sky
City Convention Centre in Auckland, Daniella (149 lbs) won
a six-round split (59-55,60-54,56-58) decision over Victoria Cisneros
(5'5", 145¼ lbs) of Akbuqerque, New Mexico, USA, who fell to 3-6-2 (0
On June 8, 2007
City Casino in Auckland, Daniella (151 lbs) won a
four-round unanimous decision over pro debuter Sandra Almeida (155½
lbs) from East London, South Africa.
On November 2, 2007 at Sky City Convention
Centre in Auckland, Layla
McCarter (141 lbs) of Las Vegas, Nevada, USA won a six-round
unanimous (60-54 x 3) decision over Daniella (147 lbs).
Multiple world champion McCarter had stepped up to
in order to fight Smith, and her speed and skill delivered the New
Zealander her first loss
as a pro while she improved to 26-13-5 (5 KO's) .
In 2007 Daniella was named
Northland Maori Sportswoman of the Year.
On June 28, 2008 at the TSB
Bank Arena in Wellington, New Zealand, Daniella won a six-round split
(58-56,57-58,58-56) decision over Nive Moefaauo of Brisbane, Australia,
who fell to 0-2.
On December 13, 2008 at ABA
Stadium in Auckland, Daniella (145 lbs) won a unanimous
six-round (59-55,60-55,59-56) decision over former kickboxer Lisa
Mauala (146¼ lbs) of
New Zealand for the vacant NZPBA welterweight title.
Mauala fell to 2-1 (0 KO's) with the loss.
On March 7, 2009 at Rugby Park
in Gisborne, New Zealand, Daniella (144 lbs) won another unanimous
six-round decision over Lisa Mauala (146¾ lbs), this time by scores of
60-54, 60-53 and 60-54. Mauala dropped to 2-2 (0 KO's).
27, 2010 at the ABA
Stadium in Auckland, Daniella (142 lbs) came
back from a nearly fifteen-month layoff and won a clear eight-round
unanimous (80-75,79-73,79-75) decision over Gabriela
lbs) of Capitan Bermudez, Argentina. According
to Crispin Anderlini of NZFighters.com: "Zapata was powerful, but swung
too wildly, letting Smith unpick her defences with quick, accurate
combinations to body and head".
Zapata fell to 8-5 (3 KO's).
The bout with Zapata was
intended to help Smith prepare for her next fight, which would be a
world title shot.
“Get in there have a really good bash up and get the feel for fighting
again, and I loved it; it was so cool so I think that's helped prepare
me hugely” said
Smith, who had helped to raise funds to pay for the
November 12, 2010 at
Circusarena Alt Glienicke in Mitte, Berlin, Germany, Daniella
lbs) won an evenly-fought ten-round unanimous (96-93,96-94,99-90)
previously unbeaten Jennifer Retzke (146¾ lbs) of Berlin for the vacant
Welterweight title. Both landed solidly and cleanly
well-contested battle. Smith dropped Retzke to one knee late in the
Berliner took an eight count but continued to trade
solidly with Smith when the action
knew I had to convince the
judges that I was beating her and I was beating her well"
said Smith. Both
boxers were bruised and marked around the eyes at the end
of a hard fought contest. Retzke fell to 10-1 (7
Smith improved to 10-1 (0 KO's). [Video]
“It was a good
IBF/USBA Championships Chairman Lindsey Tucker. “We were
pleased to have such formidable female boxers fighting for our title
and we are proud to have Daniella Smith as the organization’s first
female champion.” (Retzke went on to
win the IBF's vacant Junior Middleweight title in April 2011.)
On June 11, 2011 at Carnival City, Brakpan, South Africa, undefeated Noni “She Bee Stinging” Tenge (146½ lbs) of Mooiplaas, South Africa won by a fourth round TKO over
Daniella Smith (146½ lbs) for the IBF Welterweight title. Sbu Mjikeliso reported
at DispatchOnline: "The New Zealander started the fight at
a quick tempo, showing enthusiasm by landing as many punches as she
could against the defensively astute Tenge. Smith, however, couldn’t
maintain her early blitz and soon she was exposed. She was saved by the bell in the third round after
she met a Tenge right to the face which sent her to the ropes
struggling to remain on her feet. Tenge was visibly the stronger
puncher of the two boxers. Smith, as fast as her punches were,
never made any progress in unsettling Tenge. Tenge upped the ante at the beginning of the fourth round. She stalked
her opponent, jabbed her towards the ropes until she landed a
combination of punches that exposed the dethroned champion’s leaky
defence. The knockout blow came a minute and 54 seconds into the
round." Tenge, who became SOuth Africa's first female boxing world champion, advanced to 11-0-1 (9 KO's) while Smith fell to 10-2 (0 KO's.
Daniella trains with coach
Betham at Boxing
in Auckland, a gym where she is a co-owner and a trainer. She
usually in the gym at 7 a.m. seven days a week after running
kilometers to get there.
Other Daniella Smith links
To check out fight reports, complete up-to-date boxing records, with
huge digital photos you can go to
the WBAN Records
last updated: Friday, 24 June 2011