Essex light-heavyweight prospect ‘Dazzling’ Darrel Church (3-1-1) took time out from his training during fight week to talk to Boxing News & Views ahead of his sixth professional fight on April 1st in Southend.
Originally signed to Carl Greaves Promotions, the Witham resident debuted back in July 2014 at Grays Civic Hall after a successful stint in the thriving unlicensed scene in Essex.
He ended the inaugural year in the paid ranks undefeated with two wins on his ledger. Those bouts were just four months apart but has endured inactive spells spanning over 10 months between fights.
It was in 2015 that he suffered a shock defeat to Angelo Crowe (2-6), which turned out to be his only fight of the year, causing many to believe he had hung up his gloves when he didn’t return to the ring.
The long-awaited reappearance came in April 2016 at the York Hall against Mitch Mitchell (7-54-3), with the pair sharing the honours in a hard-fought draw.
The Essex boxer then got back to winning ways to secure his third win in his fifth pro bout against Croatian Toni Bilic (1-6) on December 3rd at the same East End venue.
Now, the father of one and business owner fights this Saturday night in Southend on a Warrior Boxing Promotions event titled ‘April Falls’.
Here’s what ‘Dazzling’ had to say:
You finished off your training camp in the Portugal heat – how was that for you?
“Yeah it was good, my fiancé’s parents have got a villa out there so it’s available for us to use. I spent the time eating clean, relaxing and obviously training in the heat out there.
I got some good miles in under that sun and the heat and did a lot of mountain runs. It’s so humid it makes the runs that much harder and the mountains were only five minutes away from where we were staying.
Roadwork is a chore so it made a nice change to be running in those mountains with those views, it makes it that much more enjoyable.
I think I’ll do for every camp from now on.”
You featured in Boxing News last month, are you starting to become more well-known in your career now?
“I think so, yeah. It’s good to get that exposure and I’m starting to become more known now.
I write a weekly column in my local paper and sometimes I get people stop me to tell me they read it every week, which is great!”
You were recently quoted saying you would take an away fight if it was offered, has the phone rung yet?
“I got offered a fight at cruiserweight against the Team GB boxer Lawrence Okolie but I was already on the runway going to Portugal!
He’s over 14stone in weight and I was offered the fight at 14st 5lbs so it’s a bit too heavy for me. He’d tower above me and I only had two day’s notice, I was in training camp anyway but boxing 2stone above my weight is not worth the risk.
You could put on a good show but how well will you perform when you’re that much over your natural weight limit. I’ll take the risk when it’s worth it.
It’s good to get the offers though and for Steve Goodwin to know I’m up for those type of fights.”
You were originally slated to fight on the ‘Knuckle to Knuckle’ show at York Hall on March 11th, how has the postponement affected your preparation?
“It’s made it feel that much longer, I think because I have had to peak twice now, I feel like I’ve already done my training for it over three weeks ago.
I just want to get it done now as it’s been long camp. Where it’s been extended, I feel a bit more aggression and grit than usual. I do feel like a knockout is coming soon so if I see the opportunity then I’m going for it.
In your head you want a knockout but can’t go looking for it, if it comes it comes. I’ve been in fights before where I’ve hurt the opponent but then backed off and gone back to my boxing. In the unlicensed scene, I knocked a lot of people out, at least half of the opponents I faced.
Where my weight has been on target, instead of normally concentrating on that, I’m focused on the fight more and beating my opponent, so I think I’ll be a bit nastier in this fight because I want to take that frustration and aggression out and really hurt someone.”
Your forthcoming opponent Josef Obeslo has four first-round KO’s on his record, do you know much about him?
“I haven’t seen much of him but I noticed that when I originally looked him up.
He’s clearly heavy-handed and dangerous but it’s the same as any other fight, you’ve got to keep your hands up and be on your guard because just one punch can catch you out and change it all.
My teammate Sam Stokes fought him on his debut and told me that he can be a bit dirty at times and that he tries to rough you up a bit and spoil. I just won’t get involved and I’ll stick to my boxing.
I done my last spar the other day with Sam, we did six rounds together and I felt good.”
Without looking past this weekend’s fight, what’s next for ‘Dazzling’ Darrel Church?
“I’m out again on June 10th at York Hall and we are working towards the Southern Area title but Anthony Yarde is fighting for it next against the champion Chris Hobbs.
Me and Anthony spar together regularly and I see him beating Hobbs because he’s the best fighter I’ve ever sparred in my career and I rate him a lot. He’ll run the light-heavyweight division for some time to come.
I think he’ll win that title and then move on to English against someone like Joel McIntyre. So, hopefully, I’ll get to fight for the Southern Area title after him.”
Anyone you would like to thank?
“I’d just like to thank everyone that has bought a ticket for this fight and my team at Mi-Gym and my sponsors MB Surfacing and RB Fencing.”
(Top image source and credit: Darrel Church Twitter)