Darren Curovic Develops Muay Thai Western Australia
Darren Curovic, the man credited to help developing Muay Thai in Western Australia / Pic: Emanuel Rudnicki/Noisy Pixels

Western Australian Muay Thai expert Darren Curovic puts his heart in the development of Australian sport for over twenty five years.

Perth-born Darren Curovic, 49, hands down, is the only personality from the West side of the Land Down Under who has achieved almost the top of every thing in the industry of combat sports. Indeed, almost. He never stops the progress.

Curovic entered the world of Muay Thai in mid 90’s under the patronage of Geoff Devine at Saktienchai gym. He’s had about 30 bouts and fought for 8 years [1995-2004], gaining commonwealth, national and state titles along the way. Curovic was defeated only three times. The highlight of his fighting career is two bronze medals at world championships in Thailand – a very rare achievement for Australian team at the very beginning of 2000’s.

“I only had three losses – to world champions Dmitry Shakuta from Belarus and Mirza Magomedov from Russia, plus the famous Australian boxer Sam Soliman.”

Trainer

Curovic is a head of Kao Sok Muay Thai Gym. The camp is known for its authentic style of teaching. It has three representatives of the birthplace of the Art of Eight Limbs, who share their ‘made in centuries’ knowledge with Australians. The gym can be considered legitimate only when it produces true champions from those who start training there from scratch. This is a unique way to earn a real respect and recognition.

“This is a hard question, honestly. There are many real champions coming out of my gym,” Curovic says proudly.

“To name a few who have started from scratch and achieved the top, I would first of all outline Danial ‘Mini T’ Williams. He has won a world title against Thailand’s current Top 10”.

“The common names who gained World, South Pacific, national and state belts since the day one they have entered my gym would be Jordan Godtfredsen, Matt King, Chris Daniel, Alex James, Emanuel Rudnicki, Clint Howson, Ben Guard, Jamie Guilfoyle, Richard Woznica, Conor Clavey, Trent White, Brad Russell [RIP],”

“I apologize if I don’t name all of you guys. You know I am proud of you.”

“My fighters compete all around Australia and of course in Thailand,”

“They have also been seen in Japan and China, far away on Caribbeans Islands, and next door in New Zealand.”

Promoter

As a promoter Darren Curovic launched his career in 2002 whilst still being an active fighter. To date he has held over a 100 events. His debut shows were made in the partnership with a long-time friend Brett Dalton under the banner of ‘Big Time Thai Boxing’. Few years later ‘Muay Thai Western Progression’ saw its rise when seven leading WA promoters collaborated to take their loved sport further. In 2008 Darren Curovic partnered with Blair Smith and established internationally renowned ‘Domination’ brand. The headliner of the very first gala was a famous boxer Daniel Dawson. So far ‘Domination’ produced 17 series seeing some of the biggest Muay Thai and Kickboxing stars from all around the Planet.

“‘Big Time Thai Boxing’ with Brett was a great time. He is my true friend for life.”

“I believe MWP was the base that kicked off Muay Thai Promotions in Western Australia. It has certainly educated many.”

“With Blair we run the solid ‘Domination’ events,”

“We’ve also held many novice shows, PAMT and DDDS,”

“That’s us who in 2011 invented the ‘Development Series’ for amateurs.”

Indeed, Curovic is the man to make a ‘revolution’ for Western Australian Muay Thai scene in 2010. He is the first and only man to bring all-time celebrity John Wayne Parr to compete in Perth. Moreover, it was the first ever WKN world championship in WA that mapped this territory of Australia globally.

The following elevation for WA Darren Curovic has made in 2011. He has brought the biggest man with the ‘golden elbows’ to Perth, Nathan ‘Carnage’ Corbett himself. It will probably be a repeated content by saying that Curovic is a unique man to do so.

The ultimate result of the fourth and fifth chapters of ‘Domination’ raised a few hands of those wanting to be a part of the super shows.

Dozens of Western Australian athletes wanted to compete in the under-cards, judges and referees were asking for jobs on the events, having a desire to be affiliated with the prestigious brand of the W.K.N. that sanctioned ‘Domination’, known as the real world championship fight nights. That was one of two main reasons to establish ‘Development Series’ – to be able to fit all. As a fact ‘Development Series’ simply followed the definition – the development of sport in Western Australia. Curovic combined the best possible for that aim.

“‘Domination Development Day’ was a series that we had set up for novice fighters with the sole purpose of developing and growing the sport in WA.”

“Along with the great work from WA trainers, these shows also helped to develop and build many of today’s top professional fighters, like Roy Wills for example.”

“The events were well run in all aspects. From promoters to officials. From evenly matched bouts to comprehensive and honest judgment. From serology testing and health checks to doctors and medical staff working on the night.”

“We stopped having these sport development events because ‘some people’ decided they needed to control something they know nothing about when everything was already running smoothly in the sport of Muay Thai in WA”.

“These people have set us back as a state and are undoing all of our good work that we have done both nationally and internationally.”

“That is what they have done for the sport of Muay Thai in Western Australia.”

Further Darren Curovic reflects back on some of his own and partnered work with a mention on the world title fights. He names Ekkelboom, Parr, Corbett, Williams and Smith… However there is something that sincerely touches his heart, rather than the results of just work.

“All of the above is a great memory,” he says.

“But my biggest memory is of my first student and fighter. My friend Brad ‘Redzone’ Russell.”

“Brad was a very talented up and coming young fighter. After a few fights he bowed out of the sport for a 10-year period,”

“For him to come back from where very few do, to compete at a high level again… was outstanding.”

“Brad will never be forgotten.”

As for the current situation of the Art of Eight in Limbs in Western Australia Darren Curovic sees a positive side and certainly aims the progress.

“Western Australia has trainers and promoters who have always been working hard to develop and give exposure to our loved sport.”

“As an example, ‘Nemesis’ promotions are one of them and we work well together.”

“‘Domination’ is the big south of the river event and ‘Nemesis’ is equivalent up north. Our level of Muay Thai promotions are rarely topped in WA.”

“The ‘Nemesis’ crew headed by Patrick Talbot and Bill Seth, are great at exposing and helping the sport.”

“Bill is a former fighter, current trainer and of course is WA’s best Muay Thai referee.”

“He has refereed many big fights, including one of my favorites – JWP v Dmitry Valent for the WKN World title.”

“Patrick is a true Muay Thai fan and successful business man who understands sport and values honesty.”

“I find it productive to work with people like this, who have been in the sport from the beginning and have Muay Thai at heart.”

“Their next big event on May 21st is headlined by Toby Smith facing a French competitor.”

“It also features one of my fighters Ricardo Pisaneschi, who will be taking on JWP’s class student Ben Mahoney.”

“As for future Domination events we plan to continue to showcase to the whole World our elite along with our up and coming future champions.”

“Later on this year ‘Domination 18’ looks to be a massive gala with Toby Smith taking on Vitaly Gurkov [Vital Hurkou], multiple world champion from Belarus.

On the 6th of August 2010 in the WKN promoter bulletin, Darren Curovic stated his wish for the future as ‘Australian fighters to be well known around the world.’

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Parviz Iskenderov
Parviz Iskenderov is a muaythai fighter from Perth, Australia. He is a former national champion of Belarus, and also a finalist of IFMA European Cup. He is an editor and journalist at FIGHTMAG. He covers national and world news. Iskenderov is also the WKN (World Kickboxing Network) international coordinator for Australia.

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