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MEET THE trainers

Daniel Barajas
Daniel Barajas
Daniel Barajas
Daniel Barajas
Daniel Barajas

DANIEL BARAJAS

Owner and Head Coach of AKB

Certified Boxing Trainer

Registered USA Boxing Coach
Professional Boxing Second

Originally born and raised in Kansas City, KS of 1988, Daniel made his home in Lawrence, KS in 2013 with wife wife, Marren. He established Animal Kingdom Boxing in 2018 and in June of 2021 he began coaching full time out of The Underground Lab.

Boxing Experience

It was either boxing or MMA. Daniel was exposed to boxing during the era of Hall of Famers such as Oscar de la Hoya, Mike Tyson, and Evander Holyfield. He knew he liked the sport early, especially since his dad and uncles along with other family and friends got together for the PPV bouts. A couple of years past the infamous Tyson/Holyfield 2 fight, his dad, Alex, told him about a fighting event that was a no-holds-barred style competition that allowed all fighting styles and no gloves. After getting hooked to that, he went to his mom to talk her into allowing him to compete in the caged event that was known as the UFC. No. That was the simple answer that was given. The same answer was also given about boxing but it was a little easier to work around since the nearest boxing gym was in the same neighborhood. While baseball may be his "first love", boxing quickly took over after he first stepped into the boxing environment in 2006 at the Turner Golden Gloves Boxing Club (known now as the Turner Boxing Academy). Having worked with fighters, First Responders, and general fitness participants over the course of 16 years since then, coach Daniel brings a version of boxing to anybody looking to get in shape in a fun way and learn about the in's and out's of the sport if you're willing to learn. While sticking close to the roots of boxing's fundamentals that he picked up at his first gym, he also takes you to the next level of boxing you may not have anticipated wanting to learn about. You'll learn to throw the perfect jab but you'll also learn why fighters should never go into a fight without it. Working with pros and amateurs at a couple of other gyms in the Kansas City metro who were fighting for prizes or charities, Daniel has seen his fair share of ring time. The 17 years spent in the world of boxing has given him a unique perspective on how to get you ready for your workout. His experience through training camps, visiting big boxing cities, sparring hundreds of rounds with as many boxers, and being certified by the Box N' Burn Academy (November 2018), you're sure to get a workout that will have you ready for anything!

Personal Goals

"I LOVE seeing people get better, do better, be better. Boxing is just an all around great tool that helps you get there. Boxing can do wonders for your health no matter where your level of fitness is hanging out at. But this sport and fitness activity can literally change your life. It most certainly changed mine. My goal is to achieve that same level of change within other people. If you're wanting to lose weight, get fit, become a little more active, learn a new skill, come in and let's talk about it. If you want to feel more accomplished, feel more confident, or feel better about yourself overall, let's talk about it. Whatever goals you have set for yourself, those will become my goals when we start training together. Give boxing a chance to help you feel better. I'll be in your corner the whole way through!"
- Coach Daniel -

 

Andrew Varela

andrew varela

Assistant Coach

Registered USA Boxing Coach
Professional Boxing Second

Also born in 1988 in our community of Lawrence, Kansas (the year of the dragon, you may hear him boast), Coach Andrew was actually raised in Globe, Arizona where he spent 8 early years of his life. After his time in AZ, he found himself back in the LFK. His family is pretty big, but his immediate circle includes his amazing mother Tammy, dad Norman, sister Andrea, and his son Francisco who is also an Animal Kingdom Boxing member.


Boxing Experience

Since he was young, he was drawn to the excitement of watching boxing matches. He remembers all the watch parties with his parents, family, and friends. It didn't matter who was fighting, he just had to stop and see what all the commotion was about. He fell head over heels in love with the action-packed sport. As he grew older and understood it better, he felt a calling to give it a try himself. As he puts it, “sometimes you just know when something is meant for you.” His boxing journey began at a Gold's Gym located in the Kansas City area, specifically in Shawnee, KS. The coach there, known as “Sarge”, introduced him to the sport and took him under his wing. Unfortunately, it was short lived and he had to take a break from boxing. 5-6 years later, he stumbled upon the Haskell Boxing Club here in Lawrence, and his life changed forever. That cannot be mentioned without giving credit to the two heads of the club their due credit, coaches Erik Riley and Darren Jacobs. (Thank you guys!) After Haskell shut down in 2017, he was determined to stick with the sport and was eventually pointed in the direction of a young and up-and-coming boxing coach whom he’d heard great things about, Coach Daniel. Since his old mentor Coach Erik referred him, he decided to give him a shot, and that leap of faith is what landed Coach Andrew in the position that he is in today.


Personal Goals

“The main reason I stick with boxing is because of the incredible discipline and hard work it requires to get through the workouts and competitions. This sport challenges me both physically and mentally and I’m still learning and growing every day because of it. As it further challenges me and pushes me to new “limits”, I see the benefits of what it is to be a boxer and boxing coach regularly. Moreover, being a part of the boxing community, I’ve been fortunate enough to have been introduced to some truly amazing people along the way, fitness clients and fighters alike.”
- Coach Andrew -

Andrew Varela
Andrew Varela
Andrew Varela
Andrew Varela
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