Photo by Robert Elizondo of Boxeo Imperio
Daniel Baiz (5-0, 4 KOs) didn’t pick up a pair of boxing gloves until his early 20s but the undefeated junior middleweight will be featured on UniMas TV this weekend on May 21. It is Top Rank Promotion’s latest installment, headlined by two-time title challenger Raymundo Beltran and Ivan Najera.
Baiz hails from the southside of San Antonio, Texas, fighting in a manner that can only be encapsulated by one name, “The Beast.” It’s a nickname given to him by his trainer and manager Rick Morones Jr.
“My trainer just gave me that name so I ran with it,” Baiz told Round by Round Boxing. “I just try to become the beast. I work hard. Anything that I do, I pump my little heart out.”
Morones has made a name for himself in the sport, including training James Kirkland ahead of the slugger’s showdown with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in 2015. World champions Austin Trout and Nonito Donaire have also spent time at his gym in the Alamo City.
Baiz, 27, boasts an unblemished record, as does his upcoming opponent, the 20-year-old Even Torres (4-0, 4 KOs) out of El Paso, Texas. The San Antonio native understands he’s older than most prospects at this stage of their careers but remains optimistic.
“I still have a fresh mind,” Baiz guarantees. “I’m like a sponge. I’m the type of person you tell what to do and I’m going to do it. I’m real coachable.”
The team at the Morones Boxing Club stand behind Baiz like brothers in arms.
Benjamin Whitaker, a 32-year-old welterweight with a record of 11-2, helps Rick Morones hand down instruction. His nickname “Da Blaxican” conveys a familial bond within a predominantly Hispanic community—even joking that his name was “Juanito” upon introducing himself.
Baiz referred to Whitaker as one of his biggest heroes.
“He’s been guiding me the right way,” Baiz said. “He’s been giving me good advice and he’s just a positive person.
Whitaker’s latest ring appearance was in April, defeating Tre’sean Wiggins as a part of Showtime’s ShoBox series.
Now, in his first scheduled six-round bout, The Beast is confident he can make his team proud too.
“I feel good. I’m real excited,” he said. “I’m getting TV time. This is my time to shine.”
Baiz’s clash with Torres is the opening act of Top Rank’s card that airs at 11pm ET/PT. And he isn’t taking this opportunity to represent his city and his people lightly.
“It means a lot to me, to my family, to all the people around me,” he said. “They’re going to see me perform. I’m showing them what I’m capable of doing.
“Making everybody a believer. That’s what I’m here to do.”