By Greg Gulas
Youngstown’s Darnell Boone knows deep down that his 19-20-3 overall record is deceiving.
He also knows that his upcoming opponent, Canadian Adonis Stevenson (19-1, 16 KO’s), is anything but deceiving.
Boone’s upcoming bout with “Superman” was originally scheduled for the NABA (North American Boxing Association) super middleweight title.
The sanctioning body did not approve the title bout, which Stevenson had won when he scored a ninth-round TKO over Aaron Pryor on Dec. 10, 2011.
That setback didn’t deter either fighter from honoring their contract as they are still set to take to the ring March 22 at Montreal’s Bell Center.
Boone’s story is intriguing.
Despite a record barely south of .500, the “Deezol” admittedly has fought without the guidance of trainers, lack of a management team, often on fewer than two weeks’ notice and many times against an opponent out of his weight class.
That being said, Boone, 33, is the only fighter to defeat Stevenson, having scored a second-round KO over the NABA champion on April 16, 2010.
He is the only boxer to have knocked down super middleweight kingpin Andre Ward, that coming during a six-round, unanimous decision loss in Portland, Ore., in 2005.
With Lights Out Management now in his corner and Sammy Calderon overseeing his training, Boone believes his career is finally back on track.
“At first, I was a little disappointed to learn that our fight would not be for the NABA title. Now, it doesn’t even bother me because after I beat him again it’s going to put me in position to achieve my goal, and that is to be a champion,” Boone said. “It’s a great feeling and it excites me to finally get the opportunity that I have worked so hard for, all this after taking fights that I really should not have taken. I’m just going to follow and execute the game plan of my trainer and team.”
Boone’s last 14 opponents were a combined 169-9-3 overall and he posted a 3-10-1 mark against them, No less than 11 of those fighters were undefeated when they fought.
Calderon has been training Boone for two months.
“Darnell [Boone] has really impressed me in that he’s a very hard worker who knows what he has to do once he steps inside the ring,” Calderon said. “He just needs to be patient and not want to kill the other fighter right from the outset.
“He’s a pro who has settled down with his punches, is thinking more while moving in the ring and just flat out boxing.”
Calderon said Boone needs to get into a rhythm while keeping Stevenson off-balance.
“Stevenson is a power puncher whose only loss to Boone is already his motivation,” Calderson said. “Darnell must respect his power but at the same time, cannot let him control the fight. His game is to knock you out, so we want to work all of the angles. We need to make him box and work hard the entire fight.”
Since his loss to Boone, Stevenson, a Longueuil, Quebec, native, has won six consecutive fights — four by TKO and the other two by KO. Only one of those fights, his last time out against Don George in October, reached the final scheduled round.
The scheduled 10-round bout is the main event on the eight-bout card and will be shown live on Wealth TV and Wealthtv.com.
The undercard is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.