By Ben Jacobs
Few prospects have been matched tougher than Florida’s Derrick Wilson. In only his sixth professional contest, the Fort Myers native faced a then unbeaten Charles Huerta and stopped his fellow highly touted prospect in one exciting round. In his tenth bout he defeated another then unbeaten talent, Ricky Lopez, on points. Both of these fights were in his opponents’ backyard. But Wilson suffered a setback when he was stopped by Javier Fortuna, one of the featherweight division’s hardest punchers in a bruising encounter on the Sergio Martínez- Serhiy Dzinziruk undercard.
After a knockout victory back in Florida, Wilson continued to be matched hard and was again stopped, this time by Alejandro Pérez, again in the eighth round, as was the case against Fortuna.
A close decision defeat to Luis Rosa in New York followed but Wilson refused to take a soft touch and was again thrown into a difficult fight with one of Puerto Rico’s bright up and coming stars in Braulio Santos. This time Wilson prevailed with a convincing unanimous decision win over the Boricua puncher.
Speaking a few weeks after the bout, Wilson sounded happy at getting back in the win column, but with a keen eye on the near future.
“I feel strong, I feel the next fight will be even better, I was just getting back with my regular coach,” he said.
“I’m feeling good. I don’t know when my next fight is gonna be exactly cause I always get something last minute!
“It’d be good to get two or three fights before I jump back in against hard opposition.”
The Santos fight showed defensive improvements that Wilson has made, something he credits his trainer with helping. The two men worked on ensuring Derrick’s legs were strong to go the distance and also to make sure he could throw a lot of punches.
Some unsavoury tactics from Santos could have unsettled the 24-year-old, but he managed to remain controlled during the bout.
“I was looking for the referee to say something. When I was in the ring he head butted me and I got a cut. The referee said he saw it but he never told the judges I was cut by a head butt. If I got stopped by a cut they might have called it a TKO instead of going to the scorecards.
“He [Santos] had good power but I felt like I was hitting just as hard, if not harder,” Wilson added.
“And at the very beginning there was talk from the commentators of him hitting me with body shots but at the same time I was hitting him with some. They thought he would wear me down but it didn’t go that way.
“Before the first scorecard was read I was a bit worried but then I knew it was a wrap when they read the 96-93 cards because he couldn’t have won like that.”
Some fighters react badly to suffering a knockout, let alone two, but Wilson appeared unaffected against Santos.
“I guess older fighters get affected, but you know, I feel like I can beat Javier Fortuna. I want a rematch. He got me at the right time. I didn’t have enough time to get ready for that fight so I wasn’t as strong. He was very strong and ready to fight and I didn’t have my A game.
“I definitely want a rematch.”
Those who have seen Wilson’s fights rarely leave disappointed with the entertainment on show. In a potential return bout with Fortuna, there would likely be more fireworks.
Note from writer – since this interview was conducted, it has been learned that Derrick Wilson will now face Robinson Castellanos in Mexico on September 21 for the WBC silver belt at featherweight. Tags: boxing