Darius Fulghum is hoping to emerge as one of Golden Boy Promotions' top prospects – not unlike his rise at the 2019 Olympic Trials.

In his most recent fight, Fulghum had a majority decision win over tricky and game spoiler Alantez Fox. Now Fulghum, who recently signed with Golden Boy Promotions and moved from cruiserweight to super middleweight, believes he is ready to take a step up toward something approaching professional dominance.

Fulghum is set to return on Saturday on the preliminary card for the Devin Haney-Ryan Garcia headliner at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Fulghum (10-0, 9 KOs), 27, also known as DFG (which stands for “Destined for Greatness”), sees a silver lining in every part of his path as a pugilist.

“My nickname symbolizes my whole journey in life,” Fulghum told BoxingScene. “You have to understand who I was growing up. I was a lost kid.

“I always thought some of the nicknames some people had were so corny, and I wanted a nickname that was meaningful to me. That is where DFG came from. It just made a lot more sense than something like Darius ‘Destroyer,’ or something like that.”

Fulghum endured a rough childhood. He followed around his older brother, a talented football player, but Fulghum struggled to find something he could make his own. Although he felt he didn’t have a talent for much of anything, he still believed that he could somehow thrive.

“What ‘Destined for Greatness’ really means is simple belief in yourself,” Fulghum said. “You hear this all the time – that a confident fighter is a dangerous fighter. Do you know why? Because there is no hesitation in their movements.” 

Fulghum considers himself a lifelong underdog. From turning his life around after switching schools following his junior year in high school to beating the odds at the end of his amateur boxing run, Fulghum has tried to ignore expectations, and specifically limitations.

Entering the 2019 Olympic Trials as the last seed in his bracket (No. 8), Fulghum went on to win the tournament – only for COVID-19 to derail his hopes of competing as an Olympian. He went to school during his amateur career, obtaining a nursing degree that could have led to a profitable career, but he has chosen to follow his dream of being a prizefighter.

“You can’t be destined for greatness without the belief in yourself,” Fulghum said. “Some people look at ‘Destined for Greatness’ like there is no work involved in it. Like it is just going to happen. There is a lot of work that goes into it.

“Greatness is the ability to inspire others,” Fulghum said. “So I want to constantly inspire other people.”

A hard fight against a tough veteran in his previous fight? Just another step on the journey of a young boxer chasing down his destiny.

“I came from a small town – there weren’t too many people who were great around me,” Fulghum said. “I didn’t get to see [successful athletes], so it wasn’t real for me. There are so many people going down the wrong path, but I know it is not too late.”

Lucas Ketelle is a proud member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and author of ‘Inside The Ropes of Boxing’ (available on Amazon). Contact him on X @LukieBoxing