By Jake Donovan
With a fight looming this Saturday, Karl Dargan limited any celebration of his 29th birthday this Tuesday to a simple acknowledgement of his turning another year older.
As far as the unbeaten lightweight is concerned, the real celebration can begin late Saturday evening, assuming he comes out victorious in his scheduled 10-round showdown with fellow Philly fighter Anthony Flores.
The bout serves as the co-feature for Saturday’s edition of NBC Sports Network Fight Night series, which airs live from Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. The televised portion of the show begins 8:00pm ET.
Celebrating a birthday can be fun, but you’re guaranteed to turn another year older every year as long as you’re alive. Securing fights has been anything but a sure thing for Dargan, but that problem is slowly going away.
“I love to fight,” Dargan simply stated of his upcoming fight, something he gets to do with greater consistency since signing with Main Events last January. “Main Events keeps me busy, and my health is good. The more I fight, the better I look.”
Inactivity plagued the early years of Dargan’s career, a letdown after a celebrated amateur career that included two national championships and top honors in the 2007 Pan Am Games. All the right moves were made when he turned pro later that year, including a pro debut coming on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather’s Dec. ’07 knockout win over Ricky Hatton.
The problems came immediately thereafter, not fighting for another nine months and never enjoying more than four fights per year at any point in his pro career to date.
Ring activity still isn’t where he prefers, but definitely on the right track. Saturday’s showdown with Flores (11-4-1, 6KO) marks his sixth straight on a Main Events card, including five fights in the past 16 months. There is room for improvement, but a far cry from the 1-2 fights per year – and against weak opposition – he was getting in what was supposed to be key developmental years of his career.
Even better is that his recent stretch has all taken place relatively close to him. His fight this weekend will be his 7th straight in the Northeast U.S. region, including his second straight in his home state of Pennsylvania.
“I can probably count on my fingers the number of times I’ve fought at home in the amateur and pros,” Dargan (15-0, 7KO) admits of three decades worth of traveling as a fighter. “I’ve fought out of state. I’ve fought overseas. I’m excited to now get to fight close to home, where my family, friends and local fans all get to see me live.”
Afterward, they can all stick around to celebrate his win and belated birthday in one fell swoop.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox