Darrel Church handed redemption chance following first loss

Tim Rickson 25/06/2015

Essex boxer Darrel ‘The Baptist’ Church 2-1 suffered his first loss in the professional ranks at the hands of Angelo ‘Concrete’ Crowe 3-6 at the Civic Hall in Grays on June 20th on a Carl Greaves Promotions show.

The 25-year-old light-heavyweight was the home fighter on the night and was undoubtedly disappointed in the decision, “It just wasn’t my night, I got my first loss in my entire boxing career and it was by just one point,” said a deflated Church. “I’m absolutely gutted but I’m not going to be bitter about it, I know I didn’t do enough to win but I didn’t deserve to lose.”

Church from Tiptree immediately booked the rematch for September, he explained, “The best fighters in the world lose, it’s how you come back from it. I got the rematch on straight away and I need to prove a point.”

The light-heavyweight, known to fans as ‘The Baptist’, claims to have taken too long to adapt to his opponent’s aggressive and awkward style in the opening rounds.

“I should have thrown more but it’s one of those things,” he clarified. “He came out in the first round just flying at me so it took me a couple of rounds to get into.

“By the time I got into it and worked him out, the fight was almost over. In the third and fourth rounds, I came on strong and I wobbled him in the last round; with another two rounds, I could have stopped him.”

The rematch is likely to take place in Southend in September and will be extended to a six round contest which will be the first for Church. Crowe’s only six round contest came on his debut losing to Prince Davis in December 2010 in his home county of Devon.

Both light-heavyweights shared several similarities in possessing the same number of wins on their records going into the fight, victories over the same opponent in Curtis Gargano in 2014, the same manager in Carl Greaves and being matched in age at 25-years-old.

“When his name was announced as the winner, he couldn’t believe it,” he continued. “He went to his corner shaking his head.”

Church became the second unbeaten prospect to be scalped by Crowe, the first being Alex Gibbens in October 2013 in Brighton. The Sussex super-middleweight was five fights unbeaten until he met Crowe in his home town and has not fought again since the defeat.

“I’m not bitter, I put everything into my training camp so it’s not like I need to work on anything in particular,” stated Church. “It came down to what happened on the night, I got too involved when I should have sat back, relaxed and countered.”

Roared on by a huge fan base, ‘The Baptist’ opened the show with a cracking bout to kick start the event headlined by teammate Liam Desmond in his first six round contest.

“Everyone said to me afterwards that I didn’t deserve to lose, that’s my first loss in my boxing career ever – unlicensed and pro,” he said of the feedback received. “Some say that a loss makes them but I know that I never want to feel like this again. When you’ve won for so many years, you don’t know what losing is like and when it happens to you, it’s hard. I’m definitely using it to my advantage already, it’s 100 per cent made me more hungry.”

Church plans to begin his next training camp as soon as possible, he stated, “I’m going to have this week off then go back to the gym next week for a little bit then I’m on holiday for a week and when I get back, I’ll be straight into my full training camp.

All three of his professional fights have been fought at the familiar venue of the Grays Civic Hall but promoter Carl Greaves is looking for different venues for the new season.

“I think it’s going to be in a different venue in Southend,” he enlightened. “It’s actually closer so I could even get more support, since I’ve said about the rematch everyone’s come out in support so I expect a lot of fans to get behind me in September.”

Darrel’s teammate, Paul Hilz 1-1 also tasted defeat for the first time when the 34-year-old light heavyweight lost on points to County Durham’s 28-year-old, Steve Cooper 3-1 also losing by just one point scored at 59-58.

Another teammate, Liam Desmond 5-0 stepped up in class against the seasoned two times Masters champion, Chris Jenkinson winning by a wide margin over six rounds.

Super-featherweight, Martin Hillman from Orpington avenged his loss suffered in March this year with a points win over Michael Stupart 4-25-2 and moved his record up to a better looking 4-2.

Light-heavyweight, Joe Jackson Brown 2-0 doubled his win tally with a points win over journeyman, Jamie Ambler 11-60-2.

Welterweight debutant, George Hennon 1-0 successfully completed his pro bow with a points win over veteran, Matt Seawright 5-115-5 over six rounds.

Follow Darrel ‘The Baptist’ Church on Twitter @Darrel_Church89