Darnell Wilson Interview: ESBís ďDing-A-Ling Man,Ē eyes Emmanuel Nwodo on June 22nd!
28.04.07 - By Izyaslav ďSlavaĒ Koza: Sometime around September í06 a poster named ďDingĒ broke his lurker-like silence by making a thread on our Eastsideboxing forums stating quite clearly that Darnell Wilson was going to knock Daniel Judah out within 4 rounds in their upcoming bout. Of course at the time few took this for much more then a coincidence concocted by a die hard Wilson fan hyping his favorite fighter. However, almost eerily, after the 28th of that very same month, and the starching of Judah in 4, ďDingĒ returned to the boards with a vengeance claiming Wilson would next sign for a January fight against Dale Brown in Canada and that the ďCowboyĒ would not last much longer than did Zabís brother. A few months and two brutal rounds later the coincidence started looking less and less coincidental. It didnít take long for ďDingĒ to play fortune teller once again, and this time, unfortunately, for Koncrete Kelvin Davis, the thread and the prediction were none too kind in his favor.
Article posted on 29.04.2007
The newest thread made by ďDingĒ targets Emmanuel Nwodo and the ESB board regulars are getting used to the fact that Darnell ďDing A LingĒ Wilson is a bonafide ESB local. Will the ďDing StringĒ continue to roll or will Nwodo put a Spinks Jinx on Wilsonís cruiserweight rampage?
Too often it seems like the more seasoned fighters are almost immune to using the internet and communicating as equals on boxing forums with their fans. Sure no fighter would likely refuse an autograph, or a photo session or even hear out an accidentally decent fan criticism in person, but it seems unheard of for one to seek some out from intelligible fans on a boxing forum, regarding, both the sport, and the image of that fighter in it. It is quite interesting to see how such a small act can draw so much admiration for the kind of down to earth person the ďDing A LingĒ man truly is in life outside the ring.
ESB: Darnell Congratulations on your last win. Were you happy with your performance against Davis?
Darnell Wilson: Well it was a great finish and all but honestly I didnít get any sleep the night before, so I was afraid going in because of it, which is why I was kind of slow and tentative. My whole body and face were all puffy as usually happens when I donít get enough rest.
I have this sleeping problem where I fight the fight in my head before a bout at night, and even during the day so that takes its toll.
ESB: So itís not so much an excuse but you believe you would have done even better then you did?
Darnell Wilson: Oh definitely, I tell you I have a really fast hard jab, but I was afraid to really do anything with it cause I knew I was sluggish. Back in the dressing room when we were shaking up on the mitts, I just couldnít get it together. I was like ďoh dam I gotta fight this guy now.Ē
The best thing that happened to me was that bullshit knockdown scored against me.
ESB: Yea I saw that it seemed more like a push so it wasnít that real a KD.
Darnell Wilson: Still it was legitimately scored because there was a punch thrown and all, and he was celebrating so it really ticked me off and I said I have to get him. I mean heís strong but he never hurt me with anything.
ESB: Ok cool. Well what can you tell us about your next potential fight against Emannuel Nwodo?
Darnell Wilson: Oh heís a very good fighter. I think that people donít know him because he hasnít been in that high a profile fight yet, but I gotta say I think he is the strongest guy I can fight. He seems stronger then anybody else. Iíve never felt Hayeís punches but I canít imagine him being stronger then Emmanuel.
ESB: Yea I have never seen him so I donít know what to expect to be honest.
Darnell Wilson: Heís about 6í3 and he needs to be really planted to hit you, like a lot of guys do, but he definitely tries to take your head off. His heart is of question though because you know some guys when they start feeling resistance they just canít handle it. Like if they give you their all and you get through it and start delivering they canít handle it and will fold. Say me, I can handle hell and fight to the end.
I sparred this guy before he had his first fight in the US when he was a heavyweight coming down to cruiser and I was trying to fight at light-heavy. So yea he is definitely a nasty puncher, and I think heís a decent boxer too, so you have to be careful with him. Even though Iíve never been in trouble or wobbled in a fight he is still somebody you have to watch out for.
ESB: Any message for Emmanuel?
Darnell Wilson: UmmÖOh yea, this is a fact too by the way, heís only taking this fight because Don King is forcing him to fight. They were going to relinquish the title, cause Han, his manager, despite all the crap heíll talk, and youíll hear him talking, agreed to have Emmanuel fight me 3 separate times. When I fought Daniel Judah, and I was coming off that terrible run, he came up to me in the dressing room, saying ďyou beat him, youíll be rated, and you can fight for my title,Ē probably on the November Ballroom show though the Ballroom people didnít go with it.
I guess I thought it might be because they werenít giving him enough money, or whatever they were offering, definitely more than me, but I didnít care. Still what did it is, he got a call, cause Joe Hinsley was doing a show September 9th in Virginia, and they were offering him 10 grand, which is more then ESPN usually pays, cause they usually give 7,500, but he turned it down.
So at that point I was basically saying, ďdude if you can beat me and Iím nothing why arenít we fighting? Itís not my promoter getting in the way, so letís get it on.Ē Especially after talking that stuff.
You know what his manager said? He said I was too short (laughing).
ESB: (laughing) So that was the excuse being used?
Darnell Wilson: Thatís what he told someone is that I was too short. So I mean that is like the ultimate advantage but whatever.
ESB: Well maybe its some psychological crap to get inside your head perhaps?
Darnell Wilson: Honestly itís not like I was after him to begin with, cause I am after whoever I need to fight to get my title shot. I mean when I fought Kelvin Davis it was supposed to be him and he still didnít fu#&$% take the fight.
Itís cause Han is his manager and Emmanuel is his best fighter and he didnít want to take the chance with me. They were going to strip him of the title by the 11th and I was going to fight the next guy in line for it.
Andre Purlette wouldnít take the fight for nothing, and what a punk man. When I fight him again heís getting starched in two. I already fought him once on a dayís notice and actually I won that fight but they scored it 58-56 for him even though I knocked him down in the first, almost had him stopped in the third, and won the 6th on all three cards, so with that knockdown it should have been my fight, though they scored it for him, but whateverÖ.
ESB: I donít think you plan to let it go to the judges next time.
Darnell Wilson: Oh not at all.
ESB: I know fighters always say they will fight anybody, but in the best case scenario who would you love to get your gloves on next after Nwodo ?
Darnell Wilson: Mormeck.
ESB: Mormeck. Well what did you think of the recent Mormeck-Bell fight?
Darnell Wilson: Well it was fun to watch but it was funny at the same time cause I mean there is so many guys that they can
beat badly but both are tailor made for my best strength which is lightning fast counterpunches. Iím real good with punching in between peopleís shots, you know, and thatís how I usually knock guys out. So those two just do not punch correctly and they try too hard which just leaves them wide open.
ESB: Did you notice them ending rounds early to benefit Mormeck?
Darnell Wilson: Yea I noticed that, but Iím more pissed off at Bell for fighting the way he did, as if he was winning, even though he knew he was behind cause they were announcing the scores every four rounds. He could have stopped Mormeck, he could have definitely stopped Mormeck, but he was fighting like he was chilling, even though he knew he was behind.
He could have really had his way with Mormeck if he let it all out.
ESB: I honestly think itís cause they want to make a third fight.
Darnell Wilson: Iím hearing different because they are none too happy with the way Bell conducted himself at the post fight. It was real unprofessional, but hey maybe if they can put the money together. Still I know a lot of people were unhappy with the way he conducted himself. Also him being with Warriors and looking to go with somebody else isnít making him look too good right now.
ESB: It also seems Mormeck lacks a certain level of conditioning. Either that or he canít pace himself. Would you agree with that?
Darnell Wilson: Yea and I mentioned it in one of my posts on the board when people said since Mormeck was better trained he was going to stop Bell this time, that the same thing would happen. That as soon as Bell gets over him Mormeckís going to go back to doing what he is comfortable with doing. It was going to go back to being another battle of attrition and that is exactly what happened, except that this time Bell didnít pour it on as in the first fight.
I couldnít believe it. Youíre supposed to leave it all in the dam ring man.
ESB: Especially when he was joking around, playing possum and all that.
Darnell Wilson: Well that was actually kind of cool the couple of times he did it but when he had him he should have finished him. Especially when you are in France and showboating in front of local judges who probably donít like it.
ESB: Well actually he is from Jamaica and all so that makes sense for him to be a little laid back. Anyway can you tell us about the circumstance regarding the Tokarev fight because he has been on a good winning streak too.
Darnell Wilson: Well I think I told you about it before, and honestly, Iím not the kind of guy that likes to make excuses, cause there is always something, but in this case I had just bought my house and I spent more money then I actually had to get into it. So two weeks later I was offered a fight for like 20 grand. You kidding me? I was in no shape to fight but I didnít care because of the purse.
Honestly all those fights I lost I wouldnít even take them back. I had almost 2 weeks to prepare for that fight what with moving into the new house and all. The problem even more so was I couldnít sleep at all again, and this time it wasnít that I was going over it in my head, but I just couldnít go to sleep for two days in a row. When I first got there I slept great but the day before the weigh-in, and the day before the fight, I was up from daylight to daylight and when I got into the ring it was like I was on another planet. I mean I was there but it was like I was on another planet at the same time.
Still though in one sense the fight did something for my confidence because I took his best shots and they didnít stun me. I stunned him though and if you read his interviews post-fight he said I was a very tough opponent.
I won the 1st, 6th and the 10th rounds, and I hurt him but I couldnít go after him because I needed that time to regain my own composure. The thing is I noticed from experience with sleep deprivation, and training, that your strength diminishes in a couple of rounds or maybe even a round when you are in that condition.
ESB: I think often times fans do not understand the difference between excuses for losses and reasons why a fighter performed poorly. How do you see the difference?
Darnell Wilson: Yea I think when guys say, ďI would have done this in there then I would have got him,Ē then you know whatever, that is real BS, like a real bad excuse. However, for instance when I fought Cora I had that adrenal gland issue which I made worse by taking all this crap back in the dressing room.
I had Cora in huge trouble when I hit him with a right hand and it wasnít even a big punch, but I tricked him by faking a shot to his body and then throwing an overhand. It wasnít hard at all but he was done, however, since my body shut down I couldnít go in for the kill. Actually if I wasnít going to get stopped that night then Iím never getting stopped. My body was dead and I donít know how I stood up till the end of that fight.
Iím getting treatments for that actually and itís something with my kidneys. I was making it worse too with all those energy drinks I had because they chewed up my adrenal glands fast. I have been getting treatments since December for it. I didnít find out till the end of last year the affect it was having on me.
ESB: Do you think fighters automatically have a necessity to justify losses in order to keep fighting? So they donít lose confidence in themselves?
Darnell Wilson: Yea like another part of them that just tunes in. Like when I first lost I didnít know what to say and I didnít know what it was but I knew it wasnít me. I mentioned on the board, I think that it was about 10% of me when I fought Cora. If that would have been me at 100% I would have quit boxing because I would know that Iím not cut out for it.
Iíd be consulting somebody, cause I am working as a consultant in an engineering company right now, and I wouldnít be wasting my time with the sport if I didnít think I would be world champion. If I didnít think I could beat anybody in the division I wouldnít be in the sport at all. Itís dangerous man you can get really hurt.
ESB: Hmm well do you think that is why some guys are afraid to train to the fullest sometimes because they know that if they are 100% and still lose itís basically over for them? Do you think that happens sometimes?
Darnell Wilson: (laughing) Yea thatís a good one right there. I can really see that happening. It also depends on the levels too. You got like Roy Jones for example, and I know a lot of guys hate on him on Eastside, but Iím sorry, yea he talks way past himself sometimes, but I still think he was the best and he definitely deserved that p4p decade award.
ESB: Yea, I agree with you, except that the only problem is he made a choice early on in his career between being flashy, and being technical, and that cost him later. Like PBF is on the same skill level but doesnít take as many risks and wins easier but has a harder time convincing fans. So Jones has to depend on reflexes now.
Darnell Wilson: Yea he has to depend on his natural talent so itís really hurting him now. Even so I just still think he has another good one in him, and I would love, after I beat Mormeck, to defend against Roy. Itís a money thing you know, but that is after I win a world title.
Now that I think about it actually I would much rather knock Tarver out. Thereís just something about him I donít like, I donít know.
ESB: (laughing) Yea he is a bit annoying I have to be honest.
Darnell Wilson: He talks much bigger then he actually is. He was a great amateur, one of the most accomplished in history, but something about him just nags me and I would love to knock him out (laughing).
ESB: I think, you know, a lot of athletes try to imitate Ali, and try to be annoying a bit in that respect. At the time people were annoyed with Ali but they watched him because of it. So that is what he seems to want to emulate.
Darnell Wilson: Yea and Tarver is very articulate, and you have to be a little cocky and arrogant but to me it seems he just goes way too far and he didnít even do much. It was a complete joy to watch Bernard dominate him and push him around like a little punk and outclass him in every way.
ESB: The irony of course being that Hopkins was the villain his whole career and now he is beating up the guy everybody was annoyed with.
Darnell Wilson: Yup, and I know, I KNOW, you are a big fan of Jirov, and me too. Iíve always been a big fan of Jirov, I love him, always been a big fan, but we are going try to make a fight with him. I know they are trying to make a fight with Toney September 29th, or Toney might fight Lyakhovich, but I would love to fight him too.
Though I would fight anybody you know but some guys are more interesting stylistically.
ESB: Tokarev is supposed to fight Captain Marco Huck in Germany. Any idea on who should win?
Darnell Wilson: Yea, and I am so jealous, I mean how much are they getting paid for a friggin eliminator? Huck is a rough guy, with a lot of energy, and heís a hell of a fighter. Tokarev is improved, and I talked to Edward Gumashian, you know his manager, and weíre cool, so he tells me how improved Tokarev is, and he is a great fighter as well. Heís strong, very strong physically, and he has good defense, definitely better then Huck, but Huck has a better offense with a lot of energy and he does look tough but I canít say for sure.
I know in the Aurino fight, Aurino was outboxing him, but when Huck let his hands go he was just out-muscling him. Iím thinking that Tokarev will beat him by decision, or he might ware him out and stop him late maybe because Tokarev takes a pretty good shot, but itís just hard to say.
Itís a hell of a fight, a great fight, and Iím just mad that it has been pushed back a few weeks. Honestly I think their fighter wasnít in the shape they wanted him to be in so they made up some crap to push it back.
ESB: Yea that sounds about right. Would you want a repeat against Tokarev?
Darnell Wilson: Definitely, and this time I think I will stop him by the middle rounds. He just canít take my shots. I took his, and I mean I took some real nasty shots from him and just went right through them, and actually that is why I hurt him because I got by his offense and was able to use mine. He beat me basically with his jab. Heís a dam good fighter though and Iím not saying anything bad about him cause he is a dam good fighter. I would favor him over a lot of guys.
ESB: Do you want to say anything to him?
Darnell Wilson: Well man I donít like to call anybody out and it would be so long till I see him anyway cause if he wins this fight he will be fighting for the IBF championship. Heís going to beat the winner of Cunningham-Wlodarczyk. Thereís a small chance Cunningham can outbox him but I think he is going to just be all over either of them though itís hard to say.
ESB: Would you prefer a fight for the title against him in particular?
Darnell Wilson: Yea, maybe I mean it would be a great fight, but I think a fight with me and Mormeck would be one of the best matches in boxing. Heís a punisher and it all depends on if you can weather that, but I have a granite chin, and I can kill you with either hand. Teddy Atlas is talking about my right hand but what are you fu---- kidding me? I kill most heavies in sparring with one left hook, one punch.
ESB: I think you said that you donít want to mention any names.
Darnell Wilson: Yea because I donít get caught up in that. Iím just not looking at anybody in particular because they havenít fought the guys that I have. There are some guys that look good that I think are good fighters. Matt Godfrey is a very good boxer and heís one to look out for, then BJ Flores, is a pretty good fighter though I would rate him under Godfrey. Iíll fight any of them though and all they gotta do is sign the contract and Iíll fight them if it takes me to the championship. Iíve fought every type of fighter there is, Iíve fought 8 southpaws, so I know what it takes to beat these guys.
ESB: How did you like Russia? I remember you telling us the girls were awesome.
Darnell Wilson: Oh man it just wasnít what I expected, cause you know some say they donít like you over there, but Iíve never been treated so well in my life anywhere that Iíve ever been. The people were so respectful and treated me so great, took me to the shops, and basically treated me like a star. They didnít have posters or that stuff but Tokarev and his people were so nice to me and it was just great. The way the fight was done and all it was great. I would love to go there again, and like I said on the boards the chicks were super hot (laughing).
ESB: (laughing) Yea I was going to ask about that.
Darnell Wilson: Oh man there was this one that just made it so hard to leave there. We almost hooked up. I donít know why anybody would ever want to leave. Even the younger girls were so well dressed and sophisticated and classy looking. Nice place.
ESB: Alright cool. Well you have one of the best nicknames in boxing today. Howíd you get it?
Darnell Wilson: (laughing) I was a little shocked that you didnít bring that up. Itís just from some inside jokes in high school, but when I talk to the media I always tell them itís cause when I hit my opponent I ring their bell. Other people think it has to do with the size of my hands and feet. Then there are some variations on that. I mean I heard that I was a pornstar and all that.
(laughing) You did some acting then?
Darnell Wilson: Yea Iíve done some stuff, you know, holding the camera and all. The reason I got out though was this Norwegian girl I was dating, I mean super hot, told this promoter about it, and next thing I know Iím looking in the Washington Post and it says I was formerly a pornstar.
Does that bother you? Should we not mention it?
Darnell Wilson: No I donít care I just wasnít a pornstar. Didnít star in any porno films or anything. Just held the camera you know.
ESB: (laughing) Alright well letís get back to boxing. Who were some of your boxing idols when you were younger?
Darnell Wilson: Well coming up I always enjoyed watching Mike fight, I mean it was so awesome, Mikeís fights back then, it was just such an experience to watch him fight. I always liked him. Of course that was my nickname growing up, ďlittle Tyson,Ē cause I looked like him.
Other then that I mean I used to like Michael Nunn, back in his heyday, before he did the crap with his weight. Just dumb, had it all. Always an Ali fan but I mean I think Sugar Ray Robinson was the best of all time. He was the greatest because of several reasons, you know the way he conducted himself outside the ring, too. He was just a champion and you know being black back then and having what he did, you know blocks of clubs, restaurants. He was just so charismatic and he was so rough and nasty in the ring and he fought so often you know. He fought and beat the top fighters of his era over and over again, and he was just so great outside the ring, just awesome. He was the best to me period. You know some people say it was Ali and Joe Louis but the way Sugar Ray put combos together, and could knock you out with one shot going backwards, it made him the greatest. I mean I loved it.
ESB: Tell us about your trainer Charles Mooney?
Darnell Wilson: Yea Charles Mooney thatís who I started boxing with in 1998. Heís a great trainer, and I mean most fighters canít handle his training methods, though it wasnít like anything that Jirov went through early on but still. My other trainers too. I mean Iím pushed heavily.
ESB: According to boxrec you are one of a few # of fighters who manages himself.
Conceivably the benefit there is you donít have to answer to anybody in offering and accepting challenges. Would you say that is true?
Darnell Wilson: Well sometimes the promoter is involved in this but even so I make all the final decisions on what is going on. Definitely.
ESB: The reason I ask is often when guys do the calling out they donít mention the closed door politics.
Darnell Wilson: Oh yea I mean sometimes the guy will actually want to fight me but his team doesnít want to take the route of fighting a guy who can take every punch you have and knock you out with either hand anytime during a fight. Why take a chance when you can go around and get to a title much easier?
I was really pissed that, even though heís a good guy, Bobby Gunn got that title shot (laughing) against Maccarinelli? Who in the hell did he beat to get that shot? He got stopped by Shelby Gross, whoís like horrible cause Dale Brown crushed him. He beat a 42 year old guy to fight for the title.
By the way, I offered to fight him for half of what they were paying Gunn. I said, ďgive me half of what you are giving him,Ē and they said, ďno problem,Ē and then later itís like ďno we arenít going to do that.Ē
Iím telling you right now I will knock Enzo out. Iím going to KO him. Iíve seen him, you know pitter pat type shots, and nobody was going to say anything, but he hit Gunn behind the head. You know the KO shot was really a rabbit punch type shot.
ESB: Honestly I think itís Warren, who fight after fight, feeds bums to his fighters. Got refs stopping fights early, and as long as I have seen his cards it is always something.
Darnell Wilson: Well if you are a fighter and he gets you paid I guess you would not mind. I mean Enzo. I thought ďis he actually going to fight Haye?Ē I knew they were going to come up with something where he was not going to fight him.
ESB: Yea I know. They like to say they will fight somebody big and then get some third rate replacement with first rate publicity. What do you think about fighters who say, ďI would love to fight somebody but really it depends on my management?Ē
Darnell Wilson: Hmm, well it depends. I think it means he probably knows something because they discussed fighting that guy so he probably knows they are not going to do it. So he makes noise cause he knows his team is not with it, which basically means that heís not with it, cause he talked to his manager who said no and conceded the point.
Kind of like when Iíve seen a lot of amateurs who are like nervous you know, and they think they are there to fight, and than find out they are not going to fight and go nuts. They start yelling, ďIíll kill that guy, he donít want none of me,Ē and itís because they know itís not going to happen now so they are relieved and make the noise.
ESB: How did you find your way onto the ESB forums?
Darnell Wilson: Oh you know I just started checking it out, and I didnít really start posting until last year.
The folks on the forums are cool so I figured I would start posting there.
ESB: Some fighters shy away from negative fan criticism on boxing forums cause it affects them psychologically. Does it motivate you to hear negative criticism?
Darnell Wilson: Ahh, Dude Iíve already been through fu---- hell in this career, so say what you want cause itís just like ďok, lets move on.Ē I mean there are guys who talk about me and say, ďhe will be nothing more then a gatekeeper,Ē and then thatís it. To be honest I think its Emanuel Nwodoís manager stirring up crap (laughing).
ESB: (laughing) Good to know. Well did you catch any of the episodes of the 13th round with Freddy which are posted on the site and boards weekly? Did you like it?
Darnell Wilson: Oh its pretty good, I mean first off anybody who does something with boxing is a benefit, but I thought it was pretty cool, and he had some good insight. I mean he talks about everybody fairly which is appreciated. Better then those boxing for real guys you know.
Of course on the forums they got the crew that loves Margarito so much and they favor him so much and think so highly of him. I mean I like him but I donít get that part you know.
ESB: Honestly I think he is over-hyped relative to his actual skill level, which is good, but not the way he is promoted.
Darnell Wilson: Oh way overhyped, you know, I know heís a relentless puncher, but heís too slow of foot. I think Floyd would outpoint him badly. I think his power is a little underrated, I know people say that, but I think itís underrated.
ESB: Sure, just stylistically he doesnít load up on shots in order to be faster.
Darnell Wilson: I know this from guys who fought him in the amateurs, and they told me the guy is strong as hell. Of course at the lighter weights he was a much deadlier puncher. I mean people say you know how does it make Margarito look now that Clottey wiped the floor with Corrales but I want to ask how it makes Floyd look since he beat Diego to a pulp before he was in all those wars?
I also think Wladimir is extremely dangerous. He has a reputation of being all robotic and stuff but he is deceptive style wise. I know some guys like Toney, who I like a lot, talk trash about the Russians, but Toney would get maybe permanently hurt if he ever fought Wladimir. I mean he better stay away from him because I really think he will get hurt BAD. Wladimir estimates distance very well and he punches hard. He would hurt him bad, man. I would not like to see that fight cause it would be really sad.
ESB: With the way Toney looked against Peter yea I think Wladimir would end his career. Any words in closing?
Darnell Wilson: Just be on the look out for me. I mean when I get my shot I will become champ. I ainít scared of anybody and Iíll fight anybody who is in the way of me getting my title shot, and then I would defend against anyone as well.
I would even consider going to heavy if the money was right, cause I mostly spar with heavyweights anyway, and I put a lot of them down, and Iíve never been down against any of them myself. If anybody has any doubts come down to Charles Mooneyís boxing academy in lower Maryland and check it out for yourself. I guarantee if anybody gets in the ring with me it will change them and help them become better fighters.
ESB: Well Good Luck then. Fights going to be on ESPN June 22nd? Can we expect a shout out to ESB?
Darnell Wilson: Oh yea I know you guys were writing about that, and if Iím on when Iím giving an interview afterwards, itís easier that way, but when there is just a camera in your face, you donít even know if its recording so I just say a bunch of stuff. With the little time I have usually itís easier to say whatís up grandma (laughing) but I will definitely, no doubt about it. Good talking to you man.
I want to thank Darnell for his time and if you are reading this interview and have the chance stop by the forums and check out the threads and replies by the poster ďDing.Ē
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