Daniel Hayes is a Middleweight Champion, top ranked boxing prospect and Trinidad & Tobago’s boxing ambassador.
Growing up Daniel played a wide variety of sports ranging from Soccer, Basketball, Football, Track and Field, Baseball and Swimming.
In 2016, Hayes worked with professional basketball player turned filmmaker KB Kutz to create The Honey Badger, a boxing documentary that closely follows the life of Hayes as he prepares for his professional bout in Mexico. The film has gone on to win awards in the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards, Festigious International Film Competition Los Angeles, and the IndieFest Film Awards, where it also received the Award of Merit for Sport and the Award of Merit for Fitness/Nutrition. The Honey Badger will be shown at North Hollywood CineFest, Canadian Film Fest and the Accolade Global Film Competition.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Optimistic, Driven, Humble
How long have you been boxing?
I’ve been around the sport for over 10 years now.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My mom without a doubt, watching her from a young age and seeing the sacrifices that she made in order to raise me is something that will never cease to amaze me. She was always one to lead by example and that is something that I try to follow each and every day of my life, as I strive to be the man that my parents groomed me to be.
What did your mom say when you first took up boxing?
To be honest my mother wasn’t entirely pleased about it. However, she has always been nothing but supportive and positive in every decision I have made. I’ve been a multi- sport athlete my entire life so competing in a sport like boxing wasn’t too much of a surprise for her.
At what point did you know boxing was going to be more than just a hobby for you?
When I truly started believing in myself.
Do you have a diet?
Generally I don’t have a diet. However, day to day I make a very proactive effort to eat clean meals that will help fuel my body and mind for performance.
What is your favorite healthy food?
Kale, Salmon, Quinoa, the list goes on!
And your favorite cheat food?
Popeye’s Fried Chicken or KFC in Trinidad. Yeah definitely KFC in Trinidad! For some reason the KFC over there just tastes so good with all the species.
What’s your routine before a fight?
My routine before a fight involves a lot of visualization, self affirmations and a series of meditated breathing exercises.
What advice do you have for young boxers?
Don’t be scared to fail! Experience is this sport’s best teacher and if you’re thinking bigger picture, failure will only lead to success.
Now tell us about The Honey Badger?
This sport documentary follows myself as I prepare for my fight in Mexico. It displays dedication and an assassin like mindset needed not just win a fight, but to be victorious in a hostile environment. As I arrive in Mexico, I quickly realize the disadvantages I’m up against — Mexican fighters are famously known for their ferocious fighting spirit and warrior like heart. Being faced against considerable odds, I meticulously prepare to perform to the best of my ability as I continue my relentless journey to achieve greatness.
How did you get approached by or where did the idea of the documentary come from?
Well, a college teammate of mine who then went on to play professional basketball, started to develop a love for filmmaking a few years back. As he grew as a director I became a big fan of his work. I had a fight coming up in Mexico and could think of no better person than him to captivate this experience. With him being a former professional athlete he would definitely understand an athlete’s mindset and mentality.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Adapt a win or learn mentality. That can apply to all facets of life.
Do you support any charities?
Yes of course. I’m a big believer in giving back and helping others. One of my favorite charities and one that I support is The Wounded Warrior Project.
What is on your bucket list?
This an ever-growing list for myself and things are constantly being added to it. I have this fear of heights and what better way to attack that fear than going sky diving.
3 things you can’t leave home without?
Keys, Wallet, Cell phone
What do you think of Social Media?
I think Social Media is great. No matter where you are in the world, it’s amazing how connected we are now.
Where can we follow you?
Nickname: D Hayes, The Honey Badger
Favorite food: Anything my mama cooks
Travel destination: Hawaii
Celebrity Crush: Zulay Henao
Actor/Actress: Dwayne Johnson
Quote: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Shoot your shot”
Movie: Glory Road
Drink: Anything Tequila
Sports Team: Miami Heat