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World Boxing Federation Champions Of The Past: Carl Daniels

Posted on May 14 2014
By: Clive Baum  
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Since the World Boxing Federation was originally founded by American Larry Carrier in 1988, many of the sportís biggest names have won a WBF title, and proudly defended the blue, red and gold belt all over the world.

In the first four segments of the series we profiled former two-weight WBF World Champion Johnny Nelson, former WBF World Welterweight Champion and Hall-Of-Famer Greg Haugen, former World Super Flyweight Champion Samson Dutch Boy Gym, and former Intercontinental Super Featherweight titlist Angel Manfredy.

Now the turn has come to Carl Daniels, a Southpaw who won the WBF World Middleweight title in 1995, and fought some of the biggest names in the sport during the twenty-one years he boxed as a professional.


Carl Bryant Daniels was born in Saint Louis, Missouri on August 26 1970. As an amateur, he compiled a 170-7 record, winning the Junior World Championships and National Golden Gloves in 1987 as a flyweight. In 1988 he won the US National championships at Featherweight, and turned pro that same year when missing out on the Olympics.

Now a Light Welterweight, the 18-year-old Daniels made his professional debut on November 1 1988 in front of a few hundred spectators at Park West in Chicago, a venue normally used for smaller concerts. His opponent, the 2-10 Terry Parnham, didnít give him many problems but managed to last the four round distance.

His next four bouts also resulted in decision victories over the kind of opponents that future stars are expected to blow out with ease. When he finally recorded a stoppage in his sixth fight, it was only because Tim Payton, a journeyman whoís only link to greatness was coming from Louisville like Muhammad Ali, had to retire with a bad cut.

At 6-0 it looked as if Daniels might be one of many talented amateurs who just wouldnít be able to make it to the top of the pro ranks. Without real power, it would be very difficult for him to fulfill the potential he clearly showed as an unpaid boxer. But soon things would change.

Three weeks after the Payton fight, he found his power and stopped James Ruff in two rounds. His next eleven bouts all ended inside the distance, and, including the Payton victory, he amazingly won thirteen straight fights by stoppage in little over a year between June 1989 and July 1990.

He had shown vulnerability, getting knocked down in the first round by Jerry Grant and Anthony Bryant, but he always came back strong to win by knockout, and insiders were starting to believe that, in time, Carl Daniels just might emerge as a major player after all.

His knockout streak ended when he had to settle for a shutout unanimous decision after ten rounds against trialhorse Jake Torrance, and another points-victory followed over Argentinean fringe contender Hugo Daniel Sclarandi before Daniels stopped Gary Williamson in the first round to win the Missouri State Middleweight title in September of 1990.

Not really a Middleweight yet at only twenty years of age, Daniels quickly returned to Super Welterweight where he won another five fights in convincing fashion before a big opportunity would come his way. WBC World Champion Terry Norris (30-3) was looking for a challenger, and decided to give the now 26-0 Daniels a shot.

Daniels fought Norris, making his sixth title defense, on February 22 1992 at the Sports Arena in San Diego in front of more than 6000 spectators and televised Live on ABC Wide World of Sports. This was his first real opportunity on the big stage, an opportunity he couldnít turn down, but it probably came too early.

The champion held impressive victories over Buster Drayton (33-11-1), John Mugabi (36-2), Sugar Ray Leonard (36-1-1), Donald Curry (33-4) and Jorge Castro (67-2-2), so a 21-year-old who had not beaten anyone of note didnít exactly put the fear of God in him.

Never the less, Daniels did reasonably well against Norris. After eight rounds he was only behind by two, two and four points on the judges cards, but Norris seemed to have everything under control. In round nine he floored Daniels twice, and referee Lou Filippo waved it off.

25.000 Dollars and a lot of experience richer, but no longer undefeated, Daniels returned to the ring only two months later to win a decision over fellow American Curtis Summit in Paris, France, of all places. He scored knockouts in September and December to finish off 1992 and put the Norris defeat firmly behind him.

In March of 1993 Daniels recorded a nice victory (UD10) over Louis Howard (33-9-1), but only saw action once more that year, beating Marris Virgil in three rounds. In 1994 he only fought once, knocking out Robert Cameron in the first, but while he was not fighting as often as he would like, he would soon get another crack at a world title.

At 32-1, and agreeing to move back up to Middleweight for the opportunity, Daniels was matched with Mexican Sergio Medina (35-8-1) in a fight for the vacant WBF World title on February 22 1995, exactly three years after his first world title shot against Norris. And this time it didnít come too early.

Daniels and Medina squared off in Rochester, New York, with a good crowd cheering him on as he outboxed the rugged Mexican most of the way. Medina had some decent moments, but Daniels was on top of his game and put on a wonderful performance to win a unanimous decision.

Now a world champion at Middleweight, Daniels had gained the interest of the sports premier promoter, Don King, and stayed busy with an easy victory over James Mason on a show promoted by King at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas six weeks later.

Things was moving fast for Daniels, and in June he became a two-division world champion when he beat Dominican Julio Cesar Green (19-1) for the vacant WBA World title at Super Welterweight, still his natural weight class, on a Don King promoted card in Lyon, France.

Unfortunately, his reign would not last long as he lost the title in December of that same year to former champion Julio Cesar Vasquez (55-2) from Argentina, a fellow Southpaw. Daniels was leading comfortably on all three cards going into round eleven, when Vasquez suddenly landed a huge left hand to score a dramatic come-from-behind kayo.

Vasquez lost the title to Frenchman Laurent Boudouani, and after three stoppage victories since his devastating loss to the Argentinean, Daniels was given a shot at the new champion. On March 29 1997, at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas, he lost a clear decision to Boudouani, and at only 27 his best days seemed to be behind him.

But Daniels was not quite done yet, and between June 1998 and December 2000 he went 9-0-1 against decent opponents such as Purcell Miller (19-1), Floyd Williams (29-8-1), Robert Frazier (17-3-2), and Brian Barbosa (28-4) in a world title eliminator at Middleweight, a division he had now fully grown into.

The Barbosa victory secured Daniels a shot at unified world champion Bernard Hopkins (40-2-1), but he had to wait over a year before the fight happened. And when it did, on February 2 2002, Daniels was no threat to Hopkins, one of the best Middleweights of all time, as he lost every round before his corner retired him after ten.

While Daniels showed there was still some life in him by beating Nicolas Cervera (34-2-1) and Rico Cason (16-9), the Hopkins fight was really his last fight as a world-class operator. In December 2004 he was stopped in seven rounds by an up-and-coming Chad Dawson (15-0), and from there it just went down-hill.

In his careers last fifteen fights, Daniels went 1-14 and was stopped seven times before the final bell. He had become a name to beat for the sports future stars, and he eventually retired after a sixth round stoppage loss to Derek Edwards (22-0) at Light Heavyweight on August 29 2009, three days after his 39th birthday.

Carl Daniels compiled a total 50-18-1 (32) professional record, but he should be remembered for his fine career before the Chad Dawson fight, where his record stood at 49-4-1 (31), losing only at top-level, and he captured two world titles in two weight classes.

  Part 4: Angel Manfredy
  Part 3: Samson Dutch Boy Gym
  Part 2: Greg Haugen
  Part 1: Johnny Nelson
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