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Classic Irish Boxing-April 2006- Dazzler’s Diary-Sutherland’s first monthly pro diary

21 April 2009 – By Darren SutherlandIn the first of his monthly columns – exclusive to irish-boxing.com, Olympic silver medallist Darren Sutherland talks about his progress in the paid ranks.

My next fight is going to be on the 29th May but I don’t know at this point exactly where. It’s looking like it will be in the UK. I’ll know for sure early next week, but I have a hunch that it’s going to be in London.

I’m 27 this week and I can’t believe it. I don’t feel 27 at all. In my head and physically I still feel 21 or 22. I think I live a good life, so I can have a long career. I don’t want to be a flash in the pan.

The manager and trainer’s job is to map the route out for you and I’ve got to trust in their judgement and experience. All I can do is fight who is in front of me and ensure that I do a good job, because if I do a good job they will step me up at the right time.

I’m very keen, but at the same time I’m patient and even the guy I fought in my last fight – even though I hit him some solid shots – he was still right there in front of me. So I am learning that there are a lot of strong, solid pros out there and I still have a lot to learn. I also hope to have a long career so there is no rush.

Brian (Lawrence) has been pretty impressed with me in the gym and after the next fight on the 29th he said he will start telling Frank (Maloney) to move me along to the next level. I want to get five or six fights under my belt and then step up the number of rounds. That is the main thing that would be holding me back from pushing for titles.

What we are doing now in training is putting the rounds in the bank for conditioning purposes and ensuring that I will have the stamina for ten rounds when the time comes – to learn to pace myself.

I’ll have another four fights between now and Christmas and I think after that I’ll be ready – after a year working in a pro environment I’ll be ready for a ten rounder.

Already I am finding that I have a lot more time in the ring. In the fights, three minutes is a lot longer than the two minute rounds I fought in the amateurs. The fact that you have six rounds to start off with means you aren’t panicking about points, it’s more about round control. I did some sparring last week with Luis Garcia and I felt like I handled him pretty well. I’ve also sparred with Southern Area super-middleweight champion Tony Salam – he’s had nine fights and eight wins. He’s a southpaw and I think I have handled that well also.

It’s hard training. I love training hard but I do feel it is different to the amateurs. The sessions are pretty intense. But so far, so good.


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