Webster and trainer Denny Brown are looking to notch a 13th consecutive win on Friday night.
Editorial by John Archibald, Resolution Sports
Undefeated New Jersey Native Facing Sabou Ballogou in Atlantic City
The focus of undefeated super middleweight Derrick “Take it to the Bank” Webster (12-0, 7 KOs) is at an all-time high as the New Jersey native approaches a landmark 13th win in as many fights. Resorts Casino in Atlantic City is the place holding what he calls his most important bout to date, meeting French boxer Sabou Ballogou (8-4, 3 KOs) on Friday night in the co-feature of a card by Nedal’s Promotions and KEA Boxing.
“A lot of fighters don’t make it this far,” Webster told me regarding the significance of having 13-0 within his grasp. “Being 13-0 means a whole lot because it makes the world realize what type of prospect I’m really becoming. A lot of fighters are good in the beginning, and then they start to fall off or just aren’t doing as well. In my case, I’ve actually been doing even better coming into my teenage fights. It means a whole lot.”
Something that plays a heavy role in the life of Webster are the people he keeps around him, and recently solidifying a few things in both his professional and personal life has him much more at peace with where he is.
“We’ve done some restructuring with my team,” he remarked. “We brought on Coach Ricky Coward the Mittologist as my chief second trainer. The rest of the team includes my head trainer, Denny Brown, and yourself, of course. I also have the Queen of my Team, Kara Shelton, and you know we just got engaged. All the pieces of the puzzle are really getting put together. Now, with the future being even brighter, it starts with me wanting to work harder, and that starts with this fight. I plan on really introducing this guy to Hell.”
Opposite Webster on Friday night will be an intriguing opponent in Ballogou, who is fighting in the United States for the first time. The 5-9 southpaw does have a title on his resume, winning the WBA Pan African Middleweight Championship in 2011, but the six inches that Webster holds over his opposition is something he plans to utilize to his advantage.
“You have some fighters who play checkers. I take it as a game of chess,” Webster stated. “I’m going to be very intelligent in my approach. Intelligent and patient, but fierce at the same time. Everything I throw is going to have bad intentions on it. He has to put some type of fear into the situation in the first 30 seconds of the fight, because, if he doesn’t, then I’m going to have my way. I don’t really know much about him. What I have to do is go in there and believe in myself, the things that my trainers have taught me, the time I put in during training, as well as the words and wisdom of fans, family, friends and my in-laws. Just go in and do what we do, and that’s win. And win impressively.”
13-0 is a huge benchmark in the career of a professional fighter. It is something that the majority never come close to sniffing, and it can also be the type of achievement that propels someone into the next echelon regarding the overall landscape of the sport. With that opportunity in hand, Webster says he plans to make the most of it.
“13-0 means NABA Titles, NABF Titles,” he stated. “It means everything to me because once I crush this guy, I’m looking to fight someone either undefeated or with another impressive record – 21-1, 18-1 – anyone out there for me to get the notoriety I need. This fight is everything. It can either make me or break me. Right now, they talk about me in such a positive way, but, at the slightest wrongdoing of anything, it can all turn on you. I treat every fight as if it’s my last. Going into 13-0, I’m not fighting as if I were 8-0. I have to put my entire heart into this, and we trained extremely hard for it. I even ran seven miles in the morning yesterday. That’s how excited I am about this fight. This fight, I’m laying it all out there. I know I’ve always had complications with people wanting to fight me before this fight, but the more and more people watch me and see me, I’m going to give them exactly what they want to see. And hopefully we’ll be getting that phone call for a shot pretty soon.”
The action in Atlantic City gets started at 6:30 p.m. on Friday evening. Eight total fights are on tap, with Omar Shieka and Yusaf Mack facing off for the USBA Light Heavyweight Title in the final bout of the night.