GLOVES ON: Michael McDaniel is preparing for his February 8 fight against Luke Vella.
GLOVES ON: Michael McDaniel is preparing for his February 8 fight against Luke Vella. Sarah Harvey

Ex-basketball star in Qld title quest

AFTER six amateur fights for four wins, Warwick star Michael McDaniel has accepted a state title bout for his first in professional ranks.

After trialling for the Dallas Mavericks to play in the National Basketball Association in America and starring in the Queensland Basketball League for more than a decade, McDaniel has taken up an even tougher sport.

He will fight Luke Vella on February 8 at Emerald Town Hall in Unarmed Combat Unleashed 2.

McDaniel might be over 40 but isn't fazed going from light heavyweight to heavyweight for the toughest fight of his career.

"I was planning to turn professional, I won't have to lose five or six kilograms as a heavyweight," he said.

"I am ready for the fight."

The winner of the fight between McDaniel and Vella will win the vacant Queensland title.

McDaniel said his weight fluctuated a bit before fights in the light heavyweight division.

"I hope to stay at 100 kilograms in training for this fight."

The weight variance for heavyweight in mixed martial arts is from 94 to 105 kilograms.

He admits to a few niggles but no injuries that will stop him putting on a great show for the crowd at Emerald.

McDaniel works as a boarding supervisor at The Scots PGC College and trains most days in the John Muir Centre at the college.

"I do a lot of weights, speed work, foot work and agility training," he said.

During the school holidays, he travels twice a week to Toowoomba for extra training at Rings and Booma Thai and will make one trip a week once school starts.

"I have spars at Booma Thai."

In Warwick, McDaniel has played for the local basketball team, the Wildcats, in Darling Downs and Southern Basketball League competitions and for Toowoomba Mountaineers in the QBL..

He showed plenty of speed on court and will need to reproduce some of it as he goes for his first state pro title.



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