About Speaker Daniel Hayes
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. Now he uses that story to inspire others to #LeanIn to life’s challenges and uncover the best version of themselves.
Daniel’s message is simple. Reinvention is not a one-time thing. You will face mental and physical struggles throughout your life. Reinvention is constant. It’s a transformation of mind, body and soul. It’s an incredibly empowering feeling you have to lean into every single day of your life to win the fight. Only you have the power to make that choice for yourself.
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 with 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.
Daniel’s speech about perseverance and courage in the darkest of struggles has since gone viral. His speech given at the 2019 Speaker Slam in December has over half a million views and counting on social media.
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