According to his playbill bio for the Broadway production of Oliver! Danny Sewell was a champion boxer as a schoolboy. His career in the ring was halted when he contracted polio at the age of 16.
One of the roles in which he had success after several years of playing Bill Sikes was as a boxer: Joey in Harold Pinter's The Homecoming. He was a replacement in the role in the Broadway production and then he toured in the role. In May 1971, he returned to the role in a 1971 Off-Broadway revival. He won a 1972 Obie Award for that performance.