The phrase "boxing champion" conjures up the image of a hirsute and scarred heavyweight still wincing from the pain of his last spar. Nikolai Danielson on the other hand, while a boxing champion many times over, sports a mark-free visage and a spritely spirit seemingly unmarred by the tolls of ring fighting.
Born on a small island in the South of Norway, Nikolai spent his childhood in something of a countryside dream, namely boating and fishing with his younger brother and older sister. A weedier tween compared to his classmates, Nikolai wanted to learn how to fight. He started training at 9-years-old, and despite his current amalgamation of victories, Nikolai admits he's unable to thank natural talent. "I was probably the worst one in the class. I didn't know the difference from my left to my right," he recounts. "But I started to beat everyone, and then I became the Norwegian champion." Nikolai went on to place second in the European championship and later was ranked third in the world – twice– at ages 17 and 18. He also won the title of Danish champion in only 13 seconds.
The passing of his instrumental coach deeply affected Nikolai, causing him to back away from the sport. But often when one door closes, another opens. While in a pub near his hometown, two model scouts from New York City approached Nikolai. He was wary and shrugged off the offer. However, the small Norwegian city proved to be at the benefit of the determined scouts who contacted his mother, a former model herself. At the encouragement of his mother, Nikolai agreed to try modeling and was met with fevered interest from the industry. He was booked to walk Giorgio Armani during his first season and shot for the brand's ad campaign a week later. He later flew to Los Angeles where he sat for Mert & Marcus. Since then, Nikolai has walked for Dolce & Gabbana and Todd Snyder, appeared in Vogue Paris as well as covered Vogue Japan alongside Taylor Hill; and fronted campaigns for La Perla, Tom Ford and Azzaro fragrances.
Nikolai currently lives in Oslo, Norway, close to his family and friends, and dedicates his free time to coaching aspiring fighters at the gym that made him.