By Gerald Wofford, MNN Feature Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY — Darren DeLaune, the Muscogee (Creek) boxer who has not yet determined a ‘fighting nickname,’ was successful in his fight debut, having disposed of opponent Jimmy Lane by a technical knockout (TKO) in the first of four rounds held at the Cox
Convention Center in Oklahoma City Saturday, June 16.
“He was a brawler,” said DeLaune after the fight when asked about Lane’s fighting skills. “To me, he was swinging for the fences and wanted to finish the fight early. He did get a couple of good hits on me, I have to say, which made me have to fight him more inside.”
The fight began at a hectic pace as the two combatants sized the other up before planning their attack in full force . Both saw early
action as the two exchanged brutal punches and took the best each had to offer. In the first round, Lane was able to hit DeLaune with a classic right hook to the temple on the side of the forehead and the blow stopped DeLaune for a second before he shook it off.
“I do not remember the hit,” DeLaune said. “I do remember being down and getting back up pretty quick.”
Referee Gerald Ritter gave DeLaune the regulatory standing eight-count before the round continued as the Muscogee mauler knew this fight would allow him to hit Lane on the inside and weaken him there. As the round continued and came down to the last 30 seconds, DeLaune was able to land a powerful right hand to the side of Lane’s midsection, the left side of the ribs to be exact, and some fans in the stands admit they heard a ‘pop’ as the climatic first round came to an end.
“I went to my corner and my trainer, B.J. Waggnor, told me, “Quit lunging when I throw my punches.” As the break came to an end,
DeLaune prepared for the second round as he stood from his stool and was ready to move to the middle of the ring. DeLaune looked at
Lane from across the ring noticed that he wasn’t standing up to begin the round. Lane gave Ritter and DeLaune a motion that he was finished for the day. The fight was officially stopped as Ritter announced that the young Creek fighter was the victor.
“I didn’t really know what to think at first,” said DeLaune as he recalled the memorable night. “Before I knew it, the fight was over and Ritter was raising my arm declaring me the winner.” DeLaune exemplified good sportsmanship as he went to Lane’s corner and shook his opponent’s hand. DeLaune remembers Lane confessing, “You broke my ribs,” and realized his motivation for not continuing.
After his first fight, DeLaune knows he still has a lot of work to do. “Yes I did get the TKO,” DeLaune said, “but there were a lot of mistakes in this fight… I went in there swinging at him too and that was the wrong thing to do. I am glad that it came out in my favor but in this sport you cannot be successful by doing only that. So if I have another fight, I promise that I will listen to my trainer and do a better job at throwing my punches.”
The fan support for DeLaune was tremendous as supporters from the Muscogee (Creek) Nation were in attendance. Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief George Tiger even honored DeLaune with a tribal flag that was displayed proudly as DeLaune entered the ring and was even adorned on him as he left the ring.
“That was a great honor in itself,” DeLaune said. “To be able to have your tribe’s flag draped around your shoulders, words cannot describe that moment.” DeLaune’s future in the sport is to be determined. “They [the promoters] asked me to fight again in September, but for right now I am going to take a break and then talk with my manager and trainer (Waggnor) and we’ll discuss my fight future” DeLaune said.
(Story provided by the Muscogee Nation News department, this and other stories can be read @ http://www.muscogeenation-nsn.gov/images/stories/pdf/MNN/mnnjul12.pdf)