Douglin stopped Joshua Onyango at Madison Square Garden earlier this year (Photo by Augustine Dashiell, Plainfield Sports News).
Douglin Faces Matt Berkshire in Monroeville
Junior middleweight Denis “Da Momma’s Boy” Douglin (11-0, 7 KOs) returns to action this Friday when he heads to western Pennsylvania in search of his 12th professional win. On the other side of the ring will be West Virginia native Matt Berkshire (11-2-2, 5 KOs), with the bout slated to occur at the Monroeville Convention Center’s Doubletree Hotel.
“I want to establish a good jab early,” Douglin said of his approach to the fight. “My mother (and trainer, Saphya) thinks I have a great one, but I just don’t use it enough. We’ve been working on my jab a lot, along with body shots. I noticed in the fight I’ve seen of him that he got stopped with a body shot. I’m sure he’s worked on his stomach since then, so I can’t just say ‘if I touch him on the body, he’ll go down.’ But I’m definitely planning to go to the body more in the beginning of the fight to slow him down.”
As far as preparation goes, “Da Momma’s Boy” has one of the best in the business in terms of a trainer, who also happens to be the reason behind the undefeated junior middleweight’s nickname.
“As far as studying my opponent goes, I don’t really do that. My mother handles all of that, and she tells me what I should do,” Douglin remarked. “I just work off what she wants me to do, and that’s about it. I don’t let myself get psyched out or anything about what my opponent does. I just listen to my corner.”
Friday is the third set fight date for Douglin since he last stepped in the ring, a first round TKO of Orphius Waite in October. Frustration is inevitable for a boxer when he is so anxious to get back in action, and it is something that tends to be unavoidable in the fight game.
“When they call me, and I’m supposed to be fighting one day and they tell me my opponent pulled out and we have to move it back, I get frustrated,” he admitted. “However, I only get frustrated for a second, and then I let it go and move on because that’s the name of the game. That’s what happens sometimes, and you have to be ready for stuff like that. As much as I dislike it, I have a goal, and my goal is to be a world champion. Whatever happens between now and a world championship is just what happens. I have to overcome it all to the best of my abilities and learn from it. So I may get mad for a minute, but then I move on. I go out and get fat for a weekend, and then I’m back in the gym on Monday.”
When the date for a bout gets pushed back, Douglin says there are both positive and negative effects that come with it.
“It’s a benefit and a disadvantage at the same time,” he explained. “Of course, you get a little bit more time to train and stuff like that. But once you have your mind set on a certain date and your training regimen concentrated around a date, only to find out that date got pushed back, it kind of throws off your training. You start dieting and you schedule your sparring so you’ll peak at a certain time, and then you find out that you have to peak in another two to four weeks. It throws things off, but I just try to take it in stride. I just keep training and set everything back up, and I try to use the extra time to come out even better.”
In just 22 months as a professional fighter, Douglin has remained extremely busy. The bout on Friday will be his sixth of the year, and while the 22-year-old rising prospect is not overlooking his opponent this weekend, he does aim to make an even larger splash on the boxing scene in 2011.
“I really want to get out there in 2011,” he stated. “I want to become a household name when it comes to boxing. I feel like I have the likeability, the skill and the story. We’ve spent these past two years getting used to the pro game, learning the ins and outs, and I’m an experienced fighter. Now I’m ready to show the world what I can do.”
While an intensely motivated Douglin may feel like he has something to prove to a portion of the boxing community, he owes no explanation to anyone who has seen him fight. “Da Momma’s Boy” is no joke, and he’s proving it every time he steps in the ring.