Michael Dutchover to face Clarence Booth, Friday, on ProBox TV
A new weight class and an intriguing tournament could be what Michael Dutchover is looking for. Dutchover is not giving up on the dream of fighting for a world title but he is eager to prove recent setbacks will not define his career.
Dutchover will face Clarence Booth, Friday night, at White Sands Event Center, in Plant City, Florida. The eight-round bout will be part of an eight-man “Last Chance” tournament that will be streamed live on ProBox TV (7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT).
In the main event, longtime IBF mandatory challenger Fanlong Meng, will face former Ring champion Jean Pascal in a 12-round bout.
Dutchover (15-2, 10 knockouts), originally from Midland, Texas and now residing in the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Fe Springs, lost by stoppage after the sixth round to once-beaten Nahir Albright. The ringside physician stopped the fight after Dutchover was knocked down four times.
After competing at lightweight for most of his pro career, Dutchover and his team decided to move up to 140 pounds to compete in the tournament. He feels he doesn’t have to drain himself any longer and is comfortable making weight for Friday’s fight.
“I’m taking this whole tournament as a way to catapult myself,” Dutchover told The Ring Tuesday afternoon. “Boxing has its ups and downs. I was knocked down and I had to get back up. I appreciate this opportunity from ProBox TV, along with [my co-promoters] Thompson Boxing [Promotions] and Banner Promotions. It’s a great opportunity to showcase my skills.”
Dutchover has a fan-friendly style, moving forward and throwing an abundant amount of punches. His style might have played into the hands of the fighters who’ve defeated him.
In September 2019, Dutchover built an early lead before opponent Thomas Mattice rallied. During an exchange in close quarters, a cut opened over Dutchover’s left eye, which referee Robert Velez ruled was from a punch. The fight was stopped at the advice of the ringside physician in the eighth round as the cut worsened.
The 24-year-old is confident that some adjustments he has made, along with the stellar sparring he has received over the years, will give him an edge.
“I need to tighten up my defense,” said Dutchover, who is trained by Danny Zamora. “I know how I am as a fighter and what my strengths are, including coming forward. I can still fight going backwards. The best of my abilities is letting go of my punches and working on the inside.
“The fighters I have sparred against have been contenders and unbeaten fighters. I have sparred [junior welterweight contenders] Jose Zepeda and Arnold Barboza, also [lightweight prospect] Ruben Torres. I’ve sparred fighters in the top of their class. Training amongst these fighters in general has given me confidence and I’m confident in what I need to do in the ring.”
Dutchover will face Booth (21-4, 13 KOs), who resides in Saint Petersburg and has won his last six fights, five by stoppage. Booth has faced top opposition in the past but has fallen short against Alex Saucedo, Sergey Lipinets and the late Maxim Dadashev.
It is easy to look ahead as to how far Dutchover can go in the tournament but he is only focused on the Booth fight Friday night.
“I’m taking things in this tournament on a fight-by-fight basis,” said Dutchover. “Once I defeat Booth, then I could come up with a game plan for the next opponent, whoever that is. I’m not looking ahead because then I end up not focused on the task at hand. I’m just focused on Booth.
“I’m going to continue being at my best. I’m excited to fight again and give it my all in the ring. I love giving fans their money’s worth.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.
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