Thursday, March 30, 2023  |



Karl Dargan looking to impress on FNF, sees impending title shot

Fighters Network
Fight Night Club

Karl Dargan (L) in his fifth pro fight, a six-round unanimous decision over Rynell Griffin in 2009. Photo by Jacob de Golish/Getty Images.


Chances are, if you’re reading this story now, you’ll know more about Tony Luis than Karl Dargan will before entering the ring tonight.

The unbeaten 29-year-old lightweight from Philadelphia says he doesn’t watch tape or read analysis of his opponents, preferring to leave the research to his trainer, Naazim Richardson. “His name, that’s all I know about him,” says Dargan, who will face the 27-year-old Canadian at the Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, Conn., in the main event of tonight’s ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights.”

Dargan (17-0, 9 knockouts) does know that he wants to emerge with an attention-grabbing win on national television to get on the same path toward a world title that some of his contemporaries from the amateurs have already traveled down.

A former National Golden Gloves, U.S. Championships and Pan Am Games champion, Dargan has watched as fighters he’s grown up alongside, like Demetrius Andrade and Terence Crawford, have gone on to become celebrated champions in the professionals.

Dargan feels his time is fast approaching.

“I would say that within my next 2-3 fights that I’ll be ready for a world title fight,” said Dargan. “I’ve got the experience. A lot of my friends are world champions or multiple world champions. That’s up to my promotional company (Main Events).”

Luis (18-2, 7 KOs) has been on a tough schedule for the past two years since suffering his first loss by eighth-round technical knockout to Jose Hernandez in January of 2013. Last year, Luis was dropped once in a decision loss against knockout-puncher Ivan Redkach before rebounding to hand enigmatic prospect Wanzell Ellison his first defeat.

Dargan became familiar with being knocked down in his last fight, in September, when a right hand followed by a left from Angino Perez sent him down in the third round. The experience seemed to awaken the crafty boxer’s fighting instinct as he began throwing his punches with greater authority.

Two rounds later it was Perez who found himself facedown on the canvas. Unlike Dargan, Perez didn’t get up in time.

“I never panicked, I listened to my corner because it’s just a point,” said Dargan. “It was early in a 10-round fight, I wasn’t shook up too much. If you get mad about it, it’s not gonna take away the knockdown. So I just stayed poised and listened to my corner.”

Dargan says that, aside from close childhood friend Danny Garcia, he isn’t concerned about whom he fights should he get a shot at a world title. Business is business, he says.

“In boxing sometimes you gotta clash. If at the end of the day I gotta see one of them on the other side of the ring, then so be it,” said Dargan.

The fight card will also feature former super middleweight titleholder Jeff Lacy (27-5, 18 KOs) against unbeaten prospect Sullivan Barrera (14-0, 9 KOs) in a light heavyweight fight, as well as Shane Mosley Jr. (2-1, 2 KOs) as he tries to rebound from his first loss when he faces Rafael Machado (0-2).