Light-heavyweight prospect ‘Dazzling’ Darrel Church (3-1-1) improved his peppered record with a 40-37 points win over Croatian Toni Bilic (1-6) on December 3rd at London’s York Hall.
It was a long time coming for the 27-year-old Essex boxer, his last victory was over two years ago back in November 2014 at the Grays Civic Hall when signed to Carl Greaves Promotions.
Now fighting under the Goodwin Promotions banner and trained by Mark Massow in Witham, Church added the all-important win to his ledger after a two-and-a-half year-long career plagued with injuries and illnesses.
Back to winning ways, the 175-pounder controlled the first round well, boxing behind a stiff jab. A clean uppercut landed heavily on Bilic, giving Church the confidence to press forward.
A flush right hand that landed hard on Bilic had the 22-year-old from Split in trouble, however, he held on well to last out the round.
Church remained dominant throughout the second but eased his foot off the gas ever so slightly knowing that he was in full control of the contest.
He took control of the centre of the ring as Bilic, ranked sixth in his native country, tried desperately to avoid the power that he felt in the opener. Another well-timed straight right on the ropes caught the travelling opponent a few seconds before the bell sounded.
The third round was a little quieter with Church getting the better of the action but unable to assert his dominance completely.
In the final round, Bilic, a former kick-boxer, bravely began to fire back, a rare right hand finding the home fighter but lacked any power or firmness.
Incensed, Church landed well with a neat left-right combo before landing an authoritative jab. In complete control throughout the entire four-round contest, Church rounded off a good comeback performance with a sweet left hook.
Referee Reece Carter scored the bout 40-37 in favour of Church, handing him first win in 24 months.
Church commented post-fight, “He was a tough opponent, and he knew what he was doing. I came out and tried to establish my jab and I did that throughout the fight, I was looking for the stoppage when I rocked him.”
Church recently received a boost from main sponsors MB Surfacing, allowing the former unlicensed star to train around the clock.
The six-footer plans to fight up to five times next year, “Hopefully fight next March in a six-rounder, and then get another couple of wins under my belt and I’d like to end 2017 with a Challenge Belt.”
For tickets to the show contact Team Church on 07938 878 962. Follow Darrel ‘The Baptist’ Church on Twitter @Darrel_Church89