Saturday, April 01, 2023  |



Denis Douglin: ‘This fight is my last shot at making it to the top’

Fighters Network
Benavidez-Douglin-PBC ESPN

We really, really don’t want to jinx the poor guy, as he’s been severely snake-bitten when it comes to having his fights reach fruition.

The 168-pounder Denis Douglin is slated to fight Friday night, on ESPN, against David Benavidez but this has been the case before and the train slips off the tracks.

It happened in May, when Douglin was contracted to fight Patrick Nielsen, in Denmark, and Nielsen pulled out, 11 days before, injured. In October of  2015, a tangle with Zac Dunn went awry when the Jersey-ite Douglin suffered a burst eardrum three weeks before fight night. And there have been other instances but Douglin understandably gets hazy with the specifics. Can’t blame him, the frustration that comes with fights blowing up last-minute, after copious training, can make your head explode. He’s thinking his ESPN tango with Benavidez comes off without a hitch.

“Yeah, it sucks,” says Douglin when asked about all the derailments. “One guy comes in eight pounds overweight…the other guy says he broke his hand the week of the fight…it’s hard with people cancelling or pulling out so close to the fight and you’ve completed full camps for nothing. I’m also not at the point in my career where I’m making huge money, so working a lot less and making less money to prepare for a fight that doesn’t happen is terrible. But it’s all a part of the sport I love and hate, so we just try to move on and get ready for the next one.”

Douglin is 28, with a 20-4 (13 knockouts) mark. His prime should be now, so his understanding of the import of this Friday’s ESPN scuffle is clear as day. Does he see it as a “must-win?”

“This fight is everything, my last shot at making it to the top. I have to win. There is no other option!”

And how does he aim to down the 19-year-old prodigy, a 15-0 (14 KOs) smasher? “I start out boxing, keeping good range, fast combinations and angles and making sure I keep my hands up,” Douglin said. “And once I get him deeper into the rounds, I can start walking forward, still constantly turning him and staying disciplined with my defense. He is strong but I definitely think I can outbox him!”

It seems like – knock on wood – stars are aligning nicely for Douglin, as his eardrums and his foe are cooperating. He is the underdog and his chin has been touched, so the climb will be a hard one. But really, simply having a fight get booked and then occur, that is a win. To beat Benavidez, that would be a marvelous maraschino cherry on top. Readers, can the young super middleweight mess up the trajectory of the Arizona prodigy?


Please feel free to listen to Michael Woods’ Everlast podcast, TALKBOX, and follow him on Twitter @Woodsy1069.