Smith hoping to pave way for title bout
New Zealand's Daniella Smith is hoping her Fight For Life clash with rising Australian Lauryn Eagle tonight could open doors to another world title opportunity.
There's a serious side to the boxing extravaganza that features All Blacks, NRL stars and an Olympic gold medal rower fighting out of their comfort zones.
That serious side comes in the two professional bouts. As well as Smith and Eagle, there is young Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker putting his reputation on the line against the dangerous Richard Tutaki.
But the women's fight is shaping as a world title fight eliminator. Smith's handlers have been told that if she can get past Eagle, there's every chance of a title shot next year. Smith has already held a world title, winning the IBF welterweight belt in 2010.
The 40-year-old, who has 11 wins in her 14 fights , reckons she's still got another title left in her.
"This fight is an important chance for me of getting another world title fight," Smith said, promising to bring everything she has to the ring tonight.
And she will need everything. Eagle may be a poster girl with her model looks but she's a proven sportswoman, transferring her Australian water-skiing prowess into the boxing ring.
In a rapidly growing sport, she already has the WBF super featherweight title to her name and is on a three-fight winning streak in a short career that has seen her win five of her eight fights.
The 25-year-old Sydneysider was full of respect for Smith.
"It's a big step up and I'm looking forward to it. She's very experienced but I thought I may as well give it a go," Eagle said, declaring her right hand as her "weapon".