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Daniel “Gentle Daniel” James

Full Name: Daniel James
Born: December 26, 1922
Died on: April 08, 2006 (aged 83 years)
Birthplace: Scarborough, Tobago
Sport: , , , , , , , , ,
Division: Light Heavyweight
Stance: Southpaw

Career Highlights

1953

  • Retired from boxing, Trinidad and Tobago

1951

  • Lost by KO, vs Yolande Pompey, Round-10, Trinidad and Tobago Light Heavyweight title, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, March 16th

1950

  • Lost by Unanimous Decision, vs Yolande Pompey, Round-15, Trinidad and Tobago Light Heavyweight title, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, October 2nd
  • Draw vs Yolande Pompey, Round-15, Trinidad and Tobago Light Heavyweight title, San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago, June 30th

1949

  • Won by points, vs Cyril Francis, Round-15, West Indies Light Heavyweight title, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, December 1st
  • Won by points, vs Lloyd Barnett, Round-15, British West Indies Light Heavyweight title, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, July 29th

1945

  • Won by KO vs Ansell Adams, Round-2 Trinidad & Tobago Light Heavyweight title, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, August 30th
  • Won by KO vs Syd Brown, Round-5, West Indies Light Heavyweight title, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, June 30th
  • Won by KO vs Syd Brown, Round-6, West Indies Light Heavyweight title, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, May 24th

1938

  • Turned Professional, Trinidad and Tobago

Awards/Titles

  • Inducted into WITCO’s Trinidad & Tobago Sports Hall of Fame, 1985

Biography

Daniel James popularly known as “Gentle Daniel” was born in Tobago on December 26th, 1922.

He was a troubled youth, who was very difficult to manage, and at age ten was sent to the Belmont Orphanage, in Port-of-Spain. There, he fearlessly stood up against boys of different sizes and ages, with little trouble.

At the orphanage, James was given equipment on which he could vent his feelings and as he had learned the art of shoemaking he developed a keen interest in the sport of boxing.

He was introduced to trainer, John Massiah Douglas, a family man who had several children, and who added one more to his household when he took a personal interest in the young James.

Mr. Douglas did his best to teach James as much as he could about boxing and how to prepare for fights.

And so “Gentle Daniel” made his professional debut in 1938, when he fought against locals at various venues such as Skinner’s Park, in San Fernando, and the Princes Building Grounds, in Port-of-Spain.

James’ first title fight was against Jamaican champion, Syd Brown, whom he defeated by knockout in the sixth round to win the West Indies Light Heavyweight title, on May 24th, 1945.

He also had a mini-series of bouts against his late compatriot, Ansell “Baba” Adams. Possessing a wicked left hook and stiff jab, James, who fought at 168 lbs, defeated  “Baba” Adams for the local light heavyweight crown, on August 30th, 1945.  

On July 29th, 1949, “Gentle Daniel” went up against Lloyd Barnett for the British West Indies Light-Heavyweight title. He won the bout on points and was named champion of the British West Indies.

James fought for the West Indies Light Heavyweight title a second time, against Cyril “Easy Boy” Francis. James defeated Francis on points to claim the title.

He then faced Yolande Pompey in three (3) epic battles for the Trinidad & Tobago light heavyweight title. In 1950 he faced Pompey as the reigning champion and the fight ended in a draw on points. However, later that year he lost his title to Pompey by unanimous decision. Finally, in 1951 he lost a return bout against Yolande Pompey by knockout.

The man known as “Gentle Daniel” ended his career with a win, on points, over “Easy Boy” Francis, in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on July 23rd, 1953.

His career as a boxer spanned February 9th, 1945 to July 1953.

Daniel will be remembered for many moments in his career, like his epic bouts against Venezuelan champion, Jota Jota Hernandez, which he won at the stadium, then located at Ethel Street, St James. He also fought and defeated top American light heavyweight, Bert Lytell.

In eight years, he fought 32 bouts; winning 20, of which nine (9) were by knockout; losing seven (7), three (3) by knockout and drawing five (5).

Subsequent to retiring from boxing, he took  an interest in cricket but never strayed far away from the “sweet science” and expressed his desire to run a modern boxing gym. “Gentle Daniel” subsequently became a Government boxing coach.

As a cricketer, he was a left-handed all-rounder with unique skills. In 1945, he toured Barbados with a Pemberton League team. Later on, he played Sunday League cricket with Belmont Dodgers and when he joined the Fire Service, he played with their intermediate team until he retired.

James was inducted into the WITCO Trinidad & Tobago’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1985.

Daniel James, aka “Gentle Daniel” died at his home at Baptiste Lane, Belmont on the morning of Saturday, April 8th, 2006. He was 84 years old. Although he has passed on, he will always be remembered for his exploits in the boxing ring.

References

 Date

Opponent

Location

Result      

1945-02-09

Ansell Adams

Port-of-Spain, TT

W PTS  6

1945-03-28

Rene Sanchez

Port-of-Spain, TT

W KO   6

1945-05-24*

Syd Brown

Port-of-Spain, TT

W KO   6

1945-05-24*                 West Indies Light Heavyweight Title

1945-06-30*

Syd Brown

Port-of-Spain, TT

W KO   5

1945-06-30*                 West Indies Light Heavyweight Title

1945-08-30*

Ansell Adams

Port-of-Spain, TT

W KO   2

1945-08-30*             Trinidad & Tobago Light Heavyweight Title

1945-09-27

Kid Tunero

Port-of-Spain, TT

D PTS 12

1945-10-01

Joe Hyman

Port-of-Spain, TT

W KO   5

1945-10-20

Ansell Adams

Port-of-Spain, TT

W PTS  6

1945-11-08

Kid Tunero

Port-of-Spain, TT

D PTS 10

1946-05-17

Carlos Perez

Port-of-Spain, TT

W PTS 10

1946-08-08

J.J. Fernandez

Port-of-Spain, TT

L TKO  3

1946-10-17

J.J. Fernandez

Port-of-Spain, TT

W KO   5

1946-11-28

Carlos Perez

Port-of-Spain, TT

L PTS 10

1947-01-16

Carlos Perez

Port-of-Spain, TT

D PTS 12

1947-07-18

Ansell Adams

Port-of-Spain, TT

W PTS 10

1948-02-15

Carlos Perez

San Nicolas, AW

W PTS 10

1948-06-30

Holman Williams

Port-of-Spain, TT

W PTS 10

1948-11-01

Bert Lytell

Port-of-Spain, TT

L PTS 10

1948-12-13

Mario Raul Ochoa

Port-of-Spain, TT

W KO   8

1949-04-01

Bert Lytell

Port-of-Spain, TT

L KO   1

1949-04-30

Bert Lytell

Port-of-Spain, TT

D PTS 10

1949-06-18

Joe Blackwood

Oranjestad, AW

L PTS 10

1949-07-29*

Lloyd Barnett

Port-of-Spain, TT

W PTS 15

1949-07-29*             British West Indies Light-Heavyweight Title

1949-12-01*

Cyril ‘Easy Boy’ Francis

Port-of-Spain, TT

 W PTS 15

1949-12-01*                  West Indies Light Heavyweight Title

1950-04-03

Yova Kid

Port-of-Spain, TT

W TKO  3

1950-06-30*

Yolande Pompey

Port-of-Spain, TT

D PTS 15

1950-06-30*           Trinidad & Tobago Light Heavyweight Title

1950-10-02*

Yolande Pompey

San Fernando, TT

L UD  15

1950-10-02*           Trinidad & Tobago Light Heavyweight Title

1951-03-16*

Yolande Pompey

Port-of-Spain, TT

L KO  10

1951-03-16*           Trinidad & Tobago Light Heavyweight Title

1951-04-28

Kid Ralph

Port-of-Spain, TT

W PTS 10

1951-08-24

Bull Gilkes

Port-of-Spain, TT

W PTS 10

1952-03-06

Clair Redmond

Port-of-Spain, TT

W TKO 10

1953-07-23

Cyril ‘Easy Boy’

Francis Port-of-Spain, TT

W PTS 10

 

 

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