A fighter in and out of the ring – actor Daniel defies odds to make record bid

Daniel will attempt to spar 150 rounds at Liverpool’s Camp and Furnace venue and the story is set to become a feature film. Tony McDonough reports

Daniel P Lewis
Daniel P Lewis will attempt the record for the most consecutive rounds of sparring

 

Writer and actor Daniel P Lewis will this weekend will make his second attempt to break the world record for the most consecutive rounds of sparring in a boxing ring – with the result being made into a feature film.

Daniel will attempt to spar 150 rounds at Liverpool’s Camp and Furnace venue on Sunday, August 18, will the help of 50-plus professional boxers, sports people and celebrities.

It will be the latest chapter in a long journey for Daniel, who was about to make his debut as a professional boxer in 2014 when a freak accident ended any hopes of a career as a fighter with doubt cast over whether he would even walk again.

It prompted a period of deep depression. He explained: “I slipped into the deepest, darkest place, gaining five stone in weight, abused my body and tried to take my own life.”

However, he eventually fought back and turned his life around. Resurrecting a childhood ambition to become an actor. He wrote and produced a short film, Thomas, to include in his showreel. He entered the film into several film festivals around the world and won no less than five ‘best actor’ awards. BAFTA suggested to him he use it as the basis for a full-length independent feature film.

Two years clean

Daniel added: “I completely turned my life around, found peace and happiness and got to two years clean of both drugs and alcohol and then went on to become a multi award-winning actor and writer. I’m now about to step back in the ring for the first time since the accident.”

He had first attempted the record as an amateur boxer back in December 2012 when, supported by boxing legend such as Amir Khan, John Conteh, Frank Bruno and Ricky Hatton, he maned to spar for 7.5 hours in 112 consecutive rounds, falling short of the record by 11 rounds, set by Irish boxer Gerry Connelly just one month earlier.

The record was beaten again by Australian businessman Rod Walker when he completed 127 rounds. However, he was knocked off the podium just two weeks later by 45-year old ex-professional boxer Simon Ford when he completed a staggering 141 rounds of consecutive sparring.

Independent feature

Michelle Billington, founder of Liverpool-based Foot in the Door Films CIC, is now looking to raise the finance to making of the feature-length Thomas, set around the world record attempt. She has already successfully delivered an independent feature, Out of Time, directed by Leon Lopez and written by actress Kerry Williams who, similar to Daniel, has faced her own battles.

“Daniel most certainly should not be here today to tell the story,” said Michelle, who has pledged to offer a platform for aspiring local actors and film-makers. “This is not just a fundraiser for goals and missions, this is an event to help others be inspired and to speak out. We want people to know that they are not on their own and that we are all here to help.”

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