By Keith Idec
Denis Douglin has already proved he is anything but your typical “Mama’s Boy.”
But Douglin understands he’ll have to knock off an undefeated fighter for the second time this year Saturday night if the former national Golden Gloves champion is to evolve into a legitimate threat in the junior middleweight division.
Douglin (14-1, 8 KOs), a prospect from Morganville, N.J. who is co-trained by his mother, will meet Jermell Charlo in a 10-round, 154-pound fight on the Victor Ortiz-Josesito Lopez undercard at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The fight against Houston’s Charlo (17-0, 8 KOs), which will highlight a two-fight broadcast on Showtime Extreme (7 p.m. EDT/PDT) before Showtime’s telecast starts at 9 p.m. EDT/PDT, will mark Douglin’s first fight since he defeated previously unbeaten Steven Martinez (12-1, 10 KOs) by split decision in an eight-rounder Jan. 6 in Key West, Fla.
“It’s about looking impressive,” Douglin, 24, said. “I’m not even looking at the fact of winning, because I know I’m going to beat him. I want to look impressive in this fight. I think it’s going to open up a lot of doors for me for a lot bigger fights. It’s going to set me up real nice.”
This time a year ago, Douglin’s status as a top prospect was in doubt due to a surprising loss to journeyman Doel Carrasquillo (16-20-1, 14 KOs). Douglin acknowledges that he paid a steep price for not taking Carrasquillo seriously before a nationally televised fight Carrasquillo won by third-round technical knockout 16 months ago in Salisbury, Md.
Douglin, a southpaw who won a national Golden Gloves championship at 165 pounds in 2008, bounced back by beating Philadelphia’s Philip McCants (9-3-1, 3 KOs) by unanimous decision in a six-rounder 11 months ago in Atlantic City. The Martinez fight was more competitive, but Douglin did enough to earn a split decision.
“For one,” Douglin said of beating New York’s Martinez, “I think the people that were questioning my chin, saying that because I’ve got that one out against Doel, I think it showed most people that I do have a chin. I took some great punches from Steven and Steven is a heavy-handed fighter.
“I took his punches and kept going, and showed people that I’m really here. It’s not just a gimmick. The whole ‘Mama’s Boy’ thing is not just me trying to get rich off of that. I’m showing people that I’m actually a boxer, that I’m a fighter who’s fighting some of the best fighters out there. I want to be a world champion. It’s not easy, but this is my life.”
The 22-year-old Charlo has defeated fighters who entered their bouts with a combined record of 41-6-3 in his last four fights, including an impressive third-round stoppage of San Diego’s Chris Chatman (10-2-1, 5 KOs) on March 24 in Houston. But Douglin is viewed by Charlo’s handlers as the most significant test of Charlo’s four-year pro career.
“He’s a good fighter,” Douglin said. “I’m not taking anything away from him. I just think stylistically, he can’t match up with me. He doesn’t punch enough, in my opinion. I don’t think he has any great power that I need to be worried about. He’s just a decent boxer. I’m going to put pressure on him, break him down and I’m going to try to get him out of there.”
The Showtime Extreme telecast also will include an eight-round bout between unbeaten lightweight prospect Omar Figueroa (17-0-1, 14 KOs), of Weslaco, Texas, and Mexico’s Alain Hernandez (18-10-2, 10 KOs).
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.