DANIEL HAYES BIO
Daniel Hayes is a Middleweight Boxing Champion turned motivational speaker, but his journey is far from that simple. He’s been knocked down, counted out and counted himself out so many times. But Daniel’s story is one of reinvention. One of courage, perseverance and determination in the face of boxing opponents, self-doubt, depression and life’s inevitable curveballs.
Daniel inspires others to #LeanIn to life’s challenges to discover the best version of themselves.
His message is simple. We will face mental and physical struggles throughout our lives. Reinvention is not a one-time thing. Reinvention is constant. It’s a transformation of mind, body and soul. It’s an incredibly empowering feeling we have to lean into every single day of our lives to win the fight. Only we have the power to make that choice for ourselves today and every day for the rest of our lives.
Growing up in Trinidad & Tobago, Daniel played just about every sport a kid can sign up for. Basketball was his first love, but by 16 he was being recruited to play multiple sports in college. He had several D1 and D2 offers on the table and ultimately decided to attend Thompson Rivers University to play basketball alongside his childhood friend who was also recruited there.
After college, Daniel found a new passion in MMA and boxing. Many told him his shot to become a professional athlete had already come and passed but the fighter in him refused to accept that. After all, he was only 22! Over the course of the next few years, Daniel fought and won a number of amateur and professional boxing matches fighting out of world famous Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles.
Everything was going great... until his last bout of 2016. His first documentary with friend and director KB Kutz captures his preparation and mentality leading up to fight night. Daniel punched his way to victory against a hometown hero in Mexico. The win was epic! The problem was his dominant hand was shattered in the process. Daniel had surgery and two pins inserted into his left hand. He couldn't train and lost his sense of self. Thus began a downward spiral of bad choices and events full of depression and self-doubt that almost cost him his life.