In the coming months, this will be his objective once again but in a different arena when he makes his professional boxing debut as a heavyweight.
“For about the last year, we’ve been working together toward a pro debut,” trainer Barry Richardson said. “Now, we are on the cusp of it and about to do it. He’s training hard, putting in four hours a day. Carlos has transitioned very well.”
“I’ve always wanted to box since I was a kid,” Daniels said. “I wouldn’t necessarily say it was my first love but I watched boxing all the time. I always watched boxing from a perspective that I wanted to get in it.”
So after his three-year career with the Wisconsin Badgers and brief stints with the Minnesota Vikings and three Arena Football teams, Daniels started to pursue his dream of becoming a fighter in 2007.
“When I started fight training, I learned different forms of mixed martial arts, but boxing was my thing,” Daniels said. “I was just more attracted to it so I spent more time with it and the other stuff I just let go.”
Even though Daniels, who is left-handed, knows the history of the sport, his focus isn’t to remind fans of a previous boxer but to adopt the good habits from the greats.
“No style is emulated except training hard,” he said. “I emulate that style—work out every day, train every day, focus and exercise. That is the style I’m picking up from people. Whoever fits in that category is me.”
With this attitude and his history of seeking physical contact on the football field, Daniels could make things tough for his first opponent.
“Since I’ve always been a football player, I’m going to go hard and just fight,” Daniels said. “…At the end of the day, my job is to render the next man unconscious.”
Richardson also believes Daniels will be ready to brawl.
“I expect to see a really explosive, strong and aggressive guy,” he said. “Hopefully, we can take some of it and bridle it and put skills along with the tendencies that he has learned with football.”
Daniels, who is from Farrell, Pa., is also a personal trainer.