Regional | Boxing

Daniella Smith's Boxing Hall of Fame surprise: 'I'm sorry, I can't stop crying'

Credit: Jason Oxenham / NZ Herald

The first ever IBF women's world champion, Northland's Daniella Smith (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahungunu), is set to be inducted into the International Women's Boxing Hall of Fame in October.

"I just started crying - and it's made me emotional again," Smith who received the news today told Te Ao Māori News on Sunday.

For the past five years, New Zealand boxing writer Benjamin Watt has been nominating Smith without much success so it came as a huge shock to the former world champion when she discovered the bid had finally been successful.

"I actually forgot all about it, I've been busy babysitting my moko. It's my daughter that said 'it's about time, all the sacrifices you did for women's boxing in New Zealand'."

"Both my children knew the sacrifices, they were part of that."

"I'm sorry, I can't stop crying."

Smith says she feels so emotional because she had put boxing behind her.

"I thought that journey had closed. To get the news today and know I'll be rubbing shoulders with people on the world stage again, it's a beautiful feeling."

"I guess when I retired and got involved in coaching the journey still continued (for a time). But now I've moved up north and pivoted to working with rangatahi in Kaikohe. It's more about empowerment than training people to fight."

Smith dedicated herself to uplifting women in boxing.

"I took that responsibility very seriously. For it to be acknowledged, you forget about that stuff when life goes on.

"All those sacrifices were worth it, seeing other women succeed on the world stage.

"Māori women that are doing it now - like Lani Daniels going for a world title. It's so cool."