9 February 2009 – By Mark Doyle
Darren Sutherland believes that he can be even more impressive in his second professional bout than he was on his debut in December.
The Irish super-middleweight, who claimed a bronze medal in last years Olympics in Beijing, made a spectacular entry into the paid ranks, stopping Georgi Iliev inside one round before a raucous crowd at his former college, Dublin City University.
Next up for Sutherland is a bout on the undercard of Jamie Moores European light-middleweight title showdown with Michele Piccirillo on March 6.
And 26-year-old Sutherland believes that with the pressure of fighting in front of his home fans for the first time removed for his second outing, he is capable of really relaxing and turning on a masterclass the Robin Park Arena.
“I really can’t wait to deliver some fireworks, he said.
“To tell you the truth, I am looking forward to it more than my debut – even though that was such a special night in Dublin that will stay with me forever.
“Jamie is top of the bill and there will be absolutely no pressure on me because the focus will be on his fight.
“On my debut that were such big expectations because of all the publicity after Beijing and it seemed like I knew everybody who was in the hall.”
Meanwhile, Sutherlands manager, Frank Maloney, has been hugely impressed by not only his protgs talent but also his work ethic.
“When the weather was bad last Monday, Darren couldn’t do his road work properly or get a train to the gym in London for sparring, he said.
“Instead he walked two miles from his home to a health club where he could do some work.
“I bet there were plenty of champions who got up, saw the snow and ducked out of training. This fella is different and made sure he got some kind of training done.”