By Ronnie Nathanielsz
The opponent of North American Boxing Federation super bantamweight champion Bernabe Concepcion in his title defense in Queretaro, Mexico on April 26 was an alternate on the US boxing team to the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004.
Viva Sports/Manila Standard Today learned that the 33 year old Daniels who has a record of 10-3-1 with 4 knockouts has been described as a fighter “with surgeon-like skills”.
Concepcion himself told us in an overseas telephone conversation that Daniels as a good amateur boxer who had “speed but no real punching power.”
In June 2003 Daniels reached the Golden Gloves finals but settled for the silver medal losing a 5-0 decision to California ’s Sergio Ramos in Las Vegas . His coach, Staff. Sgt. Basheer Abdullah who led the US Olympic team to Athens said he “couldn’t believe the decision.”
The coach added, “ I really feel sorry for that soldier (Daniels was also a Staff Sgt.) because this was the second tournament he was ripped off.” Abdullah claimed Daniels was also cheated at the US National Championships.
Daniels won the gold medal at the Armed Forces Boxing Champinships in December 2003 and eventually earned a spot on the US team as an alternate. At the age of 33 Daniels is expected to have problems coping with the power of the undefeated Concepcion who has a record of 24—1-1 with 13 knockouts and is aiming to put on an impressive showing before Mexican fans who, according to WBC president Don Jose Sulaiman, have been impressed by the 20 year old Filipino.
Sulaiman himself said he was impressed with Concepcion ’s win over rugged Juan Ruiz in his last fight, saying the Filipino “connected with the cleaner and more telling blows.”
Concepcion ’s handlers led by his manager and former boxer Aljoe Jaro are looking at a possible title shot at IBF champion Steve Molitor with the help of Top Rank promoter Bob Arum.