In February 2014, Welshman Dorian Darch was in the opposite corner to the 2012 Olympic Super-Heavyweight Boxing Gold Medalist Anthony Joshua, who had only 4 months previously turned professional. At the time Joshua was 3-0 with 3 ko’s, Darch was 7-2 and his last bout was a points decision loss to Hughie Fury.
Speaking to WalesBoxing.com, Darch reflects on the daunting task of facing Joshua within the squared circle and meeting him in the flesh for the first time. “Look at the sheer size of the man, you know what I mean? I’m six foot two, 17 stone and I felt like a little boy stood next to him. He’s f****** massive. He’s a different fighter now to when I fought him but all of the potential was there to see then, though, in his fourth fight.”
It was the Welsh man’s first big profile fight and this entailed plenty of media attention and fight build up. Darch was impressed by the manner in which the current WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO champion conducted himself.
“It was the first time I had to do anything like that, press conferences and big weigh-ins, and probably the last time I have to do anything like it, as well. He was a nice bloke, he talked well and he didn’t slag me off or anything, which is rare in boxing. Everyone should respect each other like that. At the end of the day, I tried to have a go, he beat me and the better man won. That’s it, it’s simple.”
On the fight itself, Darch shares his thoughts on the fight and when he stood opposite the 6’6 tall 260lbs/19 stone Joshua, ‘’When I stood in the ring with him in the opposite corner, the sheer size of him… we were roughly the same weight but he looked twice the size of me. I always have a go but I knew realistically in my the back of my mind that he was going to beat me but I would go down trying.”
‘’I’m not a fighter who makes people miss very often but if you watch the first round, he didn’t hit me a lot until he clipped me at the end of it. I could see the punches coming and Steve Sims worked with me on trying to make Joshua miss”
“When he hits you, though, he really hits you and you stay hit. My head was like a pinball at the end of the first round. Luckily the bell went or he would’ve stopped me in the first round.”
“I can remember thinking ‘this is not going to last much longer’ and I was right. It was funny the next day; you wouldn’t have known I’d been fighting. The actual shot he caught me with was on the temple, so I weren’t injured in any way, my legs just went from me.
“I didn’t go down though. I think I’m the only man he hasn’t dropped (as a professional), that’s my claim to fame! When people ask me about it, I say ‘he would have hit me in to the crowd if the ref hadn’t jumped in but he didn’t drop me.’ That’s something, isn’t it?”