MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, Canada - Undefeated Canadian boxer "Dangerous" Denton Daley (12-0, 6 KOs) is positioned to bring the world cruiserweight title back to North America after a seven-year hiatus.
The last North American-born cruiserweight champions were Hall of Famer Virgil Hill and O'Neil Bell. Europeans and Russians have since dominated the underappreciated weight class situated between light heavyweight and heavyweight.
Currently rated No. 5 by the World Boxing Association (WBA), Daley has lost only one round in his 12 professional fights to date.
The 32-year-old Daley made his professional debut January 16, 2010, stopping Irving Chesnut in the third round. He first displayed his unlimited potential in his seventh pro fight against two-time Canadian National champion Jason Douglas. Daley destroyed Douglas, the 2002 Commonwealth Games gold medalist and Pan-American Games semifinalist, in four dominant rounds.
Under the guidance of his head trainer, two-time world title challenger Syd Vanderpool, Daley has dramatically progressed fight by fight, particularly in the past 1 ½ years, going right through former world champion Richard Hall (DEC10) to capture the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) title, Faisal Ibnel Arrami retired after four rounds for the vacant North American Boxing Association (NABA) championship, and then shutting out Jean Marc Monrose (DEC10) and Andres Taylor (DEC12) in successful NABA title defenses.
Daley's promoter, Don MacDonald (United Promotions) negotiated a fight in Mississauga, Canada between Daley and WBA No. 1 Pawel Kolodziej, of Poland, but the WBA cruiserweight division was recently thrown into flux because Champion in Recess Guillermo Jones was suspended for two years. Rather than take a risky fight with Daley, Kolodzeij decided to remain in the No. 1 spot in hopes of challenging WBA champion Denis Lebedev, of Russia.
Meanwhile, Lebedev was supposed to fight Jones but that was recently canceled when the latter failed a pre-fight drug test for the second time. The question now is will Lebedev defend his title against Kolodzeij, or prove he is a true world champion by fighting a challenger from outside his European and Asian comfort zone?
"We definitely want to fight Lebedev and we'll do it in Russia," MacDonald said.
Daley is a well-spoken college graduate with exceptional athleticism for a boxer, as well as a fresh face among cruiserweights who've tended to recycle the same group of opponents during the past few years. Lebedev vs. Daley can increase popularity and build credibility for the cruiserweight division as a whole, reopening an invaluable North American market for a weight class generally overlooked there for many years