21 April 2009 – By Darren Sutherland
In the first of his monthly columns exclusive to irish-boxing.com, Olympic silver medallist Darren Sutherland talks about his progress in the paid ranks.
My next fight is going to be on the 29th May but I dont know at this point exactly where. Its looking like it will be in the UK. Ill know for sure early next week, but I have a hunch that its going to be in London.
Im 27 this week and I cant believe it. I dont feel 27 at all. In my head and physically I still feel 21 or 22. I think I live a good life, so I can have a long career. I dont want to be a flash in the pan.
The manager and trainers job is to map the route out for you and Ive got to trust in their judgement and experience. All I can do is fight who is in front of me and ensure that I do a good job, because if I do a good job they will step me up at the right time.
Im very keen, but at the same time Im patient and even the guy I fought in my last fight even though I hit him some solid shots – he was still right there in front of me. So I am learning that there are a lot of strong, solid pros out there and I still have a lot to learn. I also hope to have a long career so there is no rush.
Brian (Lawrence) has been pretty impressed with me in the gym and after the next fight on the 29th he said he will start telling Frank (Maloney) to move me along to the next level. I want to get five or six fights under my belt and then step up the number of rounds. That is the main thing that would be holding me back from pushing for titles.
What we are doing now in training is putting the rounds in the bank for conditioning purposes and ensuring that I will have the stamina for ten rounds when the time comes to learn to pace myself.
Ill have another four fights between now and Christmas and I think after that Ill be ready after a year working in a pro environment Ill be ready for a ten rounder.
Already I am finding that I have a lot more time in the ring. In the fights, three minutes is a lot longer than the two minute rounds I fought in the amateurs. The fact that you have six rounds to start off with means you arent panicking about points, its more about round control. I did some sparring last week with Luis Garcia and I felt like I handled him pretty well. Ive also sparred with Southern Area super-middleweight champion Tony Salam hes had nine fights and eight wins. Hes a southpaw and I think I have handled that well also.
Its hard training. I love training hard but I do feel it is different to the amateurs. The sessions are pretty intense. But so far, so good.