Omar Douglas ready to show his wares on national TV
The lessons came at a very young age, watching boxing with his grandfather perched on a sofa in front of a TV. Omar Douglas was around 7 years old and was able to absorb every punch thrown. He missed nothing. A year later, his grandfather bought him some boxing gloves and soon Douglas was testing what he saw on TV on real-life people, the unfortunate kids in the neighborhood. Soon after, he was introduced to boxing in a gym, where he felt the sting of the receiving end. He cried like a baby. He got beat up every day. But he came back the next day.
Douglas, 24, can still recall those nascent times. It’s what forged the foundation of what is turning into a budding pro career.
Based in Wilmington, Delaware, Douglas (15-0, 11 knockouts) is ready to take another step in his progression when he fights Frank De Alba (17-1-2, 6 KOs) tonight on Fox Sports 1 (FS1). The junior lightweights headline the PBC show in a 10-round bout from the Sands Bethlehem, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Douglas was trained by the late Lou Lum, an old-school legendary fight figure in the Wilmington area who taught his charge a pro style that featured a lethal body attack.
“I always felt like I could have done more, and I always in the gym with some great amateur fighters and I had to deal with them every day,” Douglas said. “Lou took me under his wing and always encouraged me to do better. I was a decent amateur. I had 142 amateur wins, though I was trained like a pro. I was throwing body shots as a little kid. I was actually knocking other little kids out. So even in my amateur career I was going to the body. The Olympics was a goal, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. I lost in one of the tournaments leading up to the Olympic team. I trust my ability as a fighter, and I always felt like a pro, so I turned pro.”
His grandfather, John Butler, had a passion for the great Alexis Arguello. Douglas grew up as a rabid fan of Oscar De La Hoya, and then Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“Whoever I fight, I feel like I’m in the ring with one of them, Floyd or Oscar,” Douglas said. “It’s why none of the bright lights of being national TV bothers me. For me, this is a very big fight. I won’t get caught on the lights. I’m here to do a job.”
Douglas, who’s with Al Haymon, says he’s been keeping track of De Alba for some time. De Alba’s lone loss came in his pro debut. He’s on a 15-fight win streak, but he’s never faced anyone as skilled as Douglas yet.
“I feel we’re on different levels,” Douglas said. “There aren’t a lot of guys who have been around this game as long as me, and not many guys around that train as hard as me. My amateur fights have educated me. He can’t show me anything that I haven’t seen before. People will see how much of a complete fighter I am. I consider myself a boxer-puncher. If he comes out and tries to knock my head off, I can box him. If he tries to box me, I can bang his head off. I believe that I’m a very smart fighter. I adapt well. Whatever he wants to do, I’ll be able to turn the tables on him. The mental aspect of boxing is missing today. I believe that. To me, these fights are like war. Kill or be killed. The most important part is winning. I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. I’m going to see Floyd Mayweather, I’m going to see Manny Pacquiao across the ring from me. I’m a kid from Delaware with a lot of dreams and this guy is in my way.”