Greetings again WCB’ers and thanks for reading. Today I am going to give you an insight into a good friend of mine and local professional, Darren Townley. Darren has been a professional now for about 2 years, making his debut at the famous York Hall, in Bethnal Green in THAT London, on September 19th 2015.
I have known Darren for many years now, when he was an amateur and used to come and spar with some of my lads at my old club, Saltash ABC. Darren will be the first to tell you his amateur career finishing up with a record of 13-10, but always saw a positive in a negative by learning lessons from his defeats. However, Darren is always keen to learn and even took himself over the pond to Temecula in California to learn and get some quality sparring in as well as a change of scenery. Such was the quality of sparring he even managed to get a few rounds in with Mauricio Herrera, the former WBC super-lightweight champ of the whole planet earth.
I caught up with him after his latest bout which was an 8 round title fight for the International Challenge Super Lightweight belt which he won against a lad from across country called Dylan Draper. Darren won this strap by the referee’s score of 79-74, which was from this observer’s view, a diligent and determined effort from Darren, who worked hard for his victory. I asked him how he felt going into that contest, “I felt supremely confident and in great condition. I had some great sparring in the gym with some tough lads in there, one being Christian Hoskins Gomez, who despite being a journeyman is as hard as nails and never takes a backwards step, along with an amateur called Nick Miller.”
If you look at Darren’s record on Boxrec (8-2), you’ll notice ‘Daz’ has had a couple of defeats. I asked, what happened there and why do you think you lost? “My first defeat was to Henry Janes (who beat local hope Des Newton the other week-Rab) and when I looked at a couple of videos of him I thought he should be easy enough to beat, he didn’t look anything special. How wrong I was! Talk about never underestimating your opponent, I’m afraid I did just that! I just didn’t turn up that night, it was a bad night.” I can confer with that as having been to all of Darren’s bouts and can see when he looks in form or not. “My second defeat was to Ibrar Riyaz and my training camp wasn’t great, couldn’t get enough decent sparring, I had injury niggles, that sort of thing and I was retired on my stool by my corner. After that I had for various reasons, a change of training team, albeit we parted amicably, and am now with Carl Robson after having a look around the gyms for some decent training partners too. I feel everything gels well there and I enjoy my training more. It should be noted that Ibrar was very experienced and my management might have overestimated him too.” I guess you live and learn, such is the professional game.
Darren is managed by up and coming promoter Steve Goodwin, who said recently in the British Boxing News aka ‘the trade paper’ that he doesn’t need the money and does the promoting for the ‘love of the sport’. Only last week and on one day’s notice, Darren was offered a very sizeable sum of money to box for the English lightweight title on David Haye’s Ringstar promotion (and on television too) as a replacement opponent. “The weight cut of 5kg would’ve been too much, and I’d have ended up with serious health implications also. The money on offer was nice, but not worth the risk.” Darren is under no illusion as to how far he can go in the game, “A Southern Area title or maybe English title would be nice, but even at 30 years of age, I’m still learning.” I wouldn’t be so cautious myself, I remember Sam Eggington when he asked his management to go pro and just fancied being a journeyman, has since gone onto contest for the European title as well win the British and Commonwealth titles, so you never know. He recently beat Paulie Mallignaggi, who then announced his retirement.
What I like about Darren is that he is a nice, humble bloke, no airs and graces and helpful to those in the gym and gives his time to everybody. He has good family support from his Mum, Dad and brother and his lovely girlfriend Georgina, as well as the support of sponsors who he is keen to thank. They being D&N Diving Services, Total Rebuild (conditioning), Plymouth Life Centre (for the use of the gym, Kyle Simpson Sports Therapy and Dartmoor Specialist Building Services. Darren would also like to thank all his supporters who’ve been there since day one and everyone who buys a ticket to the shows. One of the hardest things of being a professional is selling tickets and getting people to come and watch you. One last thing, I should mention Darren’s beloved cat, Jaspercat, who he’s had since he was a kitten!!!
Thanks very much Darren for your time and I’ll see you soon. Cheers pal.