Known throughout his illustrious boxing career as “Gentle Daniel,” Daniel James died at his home at Baptiste Lane, Belmont home on Saturday morning. He was 84. Inducted into the WITCO Hall of Fame, Daniel will be remembereed for his epic bouts with Venezuelan champion Jota Jota Hernandez which he won at the stadium then located at Ethel Street, St James, and when the top purse locally was $1,000.
He also fought and beat top American light heavyweight Bert Lytell among his many victories, fighting in the mid-1950s into the 1960s.
Daniel also had a mini-series of bouts against his late compatriot Ancil “Baba” Adams. Possessing a wicked left hook and stiff jab, Daniel who fought at 168 lbs, beat “Baba” Adams for the local light heavyweight crown.
And then he stopped Jamaican champion Syd Brown in the sixth round to wrest the Caribbean title.
He fought in an era when local boxing produced stalwarts such as Carlton “Easy Boy” Francis, Boswell St Louis, Neville “Jimpy” Edwards, Rolly “Kid” Blyce, “Baby Face” Daniel and Fearless Freddie.
Daniel was discovered by then boxing impresario the late JM (John Matthias) Douglas. A church service will be held for Daniel at the St Francis RC Church, Belmont, from 10 am today. He is expected to be cremated tomorrow.