LAS VEGAS — Standout Welterweight Zsolt Darayni has inked a deal with Professional Boxing Manager Cameron Dunkin and Top Rank Boxing ahead of his professional debut. The signing comes on the heels of Daranyi’s win at the Istvan Bocskai Memorial Tournament earlier this year. Daranyi beat a former 2012 Italian Olympian and world class fighters from Russia and Romania to win the international title. Widely considered to be the best amateur boxer in both Canada and Hungary, Daranyi’s amateur accolades include winning four National titles in Canada and two in Hungary, as well as becoming the Ringside World Champion in 2011.
Daranyi has been boxing as long as he can remember. He began his study of the sweet science with his father at the age of three in his native Hungary. After moving to Canada as a young child, and watching his idols, Roy Jones, Jr. and Lennox Lewis fight on television, he convinced his parents to take him to Sully’s Boxing Gym in Toronto, where he began training to compete. Daranyi had his first amateur bout at the age of ten, and had six more before meeting 1992 Olympic Bronze Medalist Chris Johnson. Johnson would become Daranyi’s coach and remains his head trainer to this day. He currently trains at Kim Gym in Mississauga.
Despite his success in amateur competition, Daranyi made the decision to become a professional after AIBA rule changes mandated that amateurs fight without headgear. Not wanting to risk injury, or shorten the length of his career, and knowing that trainer Chris Johnson had been preparing him to fight in a professional style over the prior four years, he made the decision to join the professional ranks. “I knew from the age of fifteen that I wanted to be a professional fighter,” said Daranyi. “The sport is in my blood. It is in my nature. I know this is what I’m meant to be doing.”
“It’s an honor to sign with Cameron Dunkin and Top Rank,” said Darayni of the signing. “Cameron is the best manager in the world. I get along very well with him. I know he's a good person. Top Rank is the best promoter in the world. I really believe I have all the right people around me.”
Daranyi’s faith also plays a prominent role in his life and career. “I have always believed in and prayed to God. Eight months ago, my family and I became newborn Christians. In my first fight after becoming a Christian, at the Istvan Bocskai Memorial Tournament, I felt stronger with Jesus Christ by my side. I have always believed in myself, but with Jesus by my side, I feel unstoppable. He has great plans for me, and I believe I’m going to help a lot of people, so I’m very excited.”
For his part, Cameron Dunkin is happy to see the signing come to fruition after three years of watching Daranyi grow as a fighter. “I’m very excited about Zsolt turning pro. His trainer Chris Johnson contacted me three years ago, and I’ve been watching him since that time. I have all the respect in the world for Chris, not only as a trainer, but as a man. I’m really excited because of Zsolt’s love for Jesus Christ. He is so level-headed and has his life in order. I look for really big things from him.”
On Daranyi signing with Top Rank, Dunkin said, “I think Top Rank is perfect for him. I signed another young man from Canada a few years ago with Top Rank, Mikael Zewski who is now 23-0 and they have done a great job with him. I’m really looking forward to Top Rank doing big things in Canada with both of these young men.”
Born in Budapest, Hungary, Daranyi now lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with his father, Zsolt Sr., his mother Magdi and younger sister Sabrina, 10. Daranyi also has two older siblings not living at home. Brother Tibor is 28 years old, and sister Gina is 20. Daranyi is fluent in English and Hungarian, and enjoys spending time with family.