Darnell Boone, the fighter, returns to the squared circle

By John J. Raspanti


He’s 38.


Been boxing professionally for 14 years. Doesn’t make excuses, just fights-usually on short notice, and, in his opponent’s hometown.


He’s ended the unbeaten winning streaks of boxers Chris Archer, James Countryman, James Johnson, and a guy named Adonis Stevenson, who just happens to be reigning WBC light heavyweight champion. 


He’s been on the short end of some dubious decisions, one of which includes former light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev. In 2005, he fought Andre Ward-knocking down the gold medalist and future Hall of Famer for the first time in his career. Ward won the fight, but his respect for Boone was obvious.


In 2015, he faced an overconfident kid named Phillip Jackson Benson. Benson figured all he’d have to do was show up to claim victory. For a few rounds, Jackson Benson did pretty well.


Everything changed in round six. The cocky kid went for the knockout. Big mistake. Instead, a minute into the heat, a huge right hand sent him to dreamland.


"I set it up off a jab to the body," he told this writer via a text. "After a series of punches, he threw a right hand. I threw my over hand right."


Boom, good night.


After 48 professional fights, most of them on the road, Darnell “Deezol” Boone will return to action Nov.21. The question that begs to be asked is why?


Along with his highlights, Boone has had many disappointments including shady managers, bad decisions, and irresponsible trainers.


“I decided to keep going because I feel I’ve gotten an unfair shake,” Boone told me last week.


“I haven’t got what I deserved because of the politics of boxing.”


Even with all the disappointments, Boone’s passion for the sweet science remains.


“I love the sport. I’m just tired of working so hard and being robbed,” said Boone a few years ago.


At least this time he’ll be, for the first time in 12 years, fighting in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio.


“I’m excited,” Boone said. “I have to work hard and keep on winning so they can’t deny me any more.”


Boone has fought in the middleweight, super middleweight, and light heavyweight divisions over the course of his career. As always, he’s open to whatever comes along.


“I plan on going back to super middleweight, but if I have to compete as a light heavyweight, I’m ok with that.”


Of course he is.


Darnell Boone is a fighter, always has been, always will be.


Darnell Deezol Boone
Darnell Deezol Boone

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