by Sean Crose
“I think 2015 is the year of Karl Dargan.”
So said Kathy Duva at a press conference for this week’s Friday Night Fights‘ main event between Karl “Dynamite” Dargan and Tony “Lightning” Luis.
“He (Dargan) is destined,” Duva added, “for stardom.”
The bout – which is taking place at Foxwoods Resort and Casino in eastern Connecticut and is being aired live on ESPN 2 this Friday evening – features two young men who might well be going places in the sport.
In other words, the folks at FNF are doing more than filling in a time slot here.
Dargan, a 17-0 lightweight with spitfire hands and explosive knockout ability, has the speed and power contemporary fans crave in a fighter. Ruis, on the other hand, is lightning fast. If he comes into the ring with improved strength and foot movement this Friday, the 18-2 Canadian might well hand Dargan his first loss.
“I think it is a step up for Dynamite,” famed trainer Nazim Richardson explained. “I’m not sure if either one of them get the credit they deserve.”
Luis, of course isn’t planning on being remembered as an opponent.
“One thing I’ve always been good at doing is assessing my opponent’s strengths and weaknesses,” he said. “My team is always able to put together a good game plan to neutralize the fighter’s strengths while employing our own strengths.”
This is the kind of up-and-comer matchup Friday Night Fights wants to be known for. The show, which recently presented the world with the likes of Ruslan Provodnikov, Chris Algieri, and a revamped, highly entertaining Boxcino Tournament, had seen a significant ratings uptick in 2014, and ESPN execs undoubtedly wish to keep the trend going.
This may end up being one of those situations where it’s actually right to want more of the same.
“He’s like lighting,” Philly native Dargan said of Luis at the press conference, “but when lightning strikes dynamite, that s— blows up big.”
Yet Dargan-Luis isn’t the only fight on ESPN’s Friday evening card at Foxwoods. Russell Lamour, known as “The Haitian Sensation” will be battling Thomas Falowo, who goes by the moniker “The Souljah,” in an eight-round middleweight scrap.
Rhode Island’s Falowo is trying to come back from a late summer loss to up and comer Ronald Gavril in a bout aired by Showbox. That being said, Falowo has decent foot movement, an impressive jab and a solid overhand right that he’ll be bringing into the ring with him at Foxwoods.
As for Lamour, he’s no KO artist, but he’s patient and has fast hands. He’s also not afraid to mix it up, as he did against Ashandi Gibbs last November in front of a packed house in Portland, Maine. In short, both men are coming in with something to prove and now have a televised audience to prove it in front of.
Indeed, Friday Night Fights has a full schedule mapped out for the weeks ahead. On February 6, Sergio Mora will face Jermain Taylor replacement, Abie Han. Then, on February 13, the Boxcino Tournament heats up again with a televised four bout junior middleweight card.
Things will continue into the following week when several heavyweights try to fight their way to Boxcino fame – and further career glory.
Of course, the real star of Friday Night Fights, the incorrigible, “love him or hate him” Teddy Atlas, is expected to be at ringside throughout the entire 2015 season. With his sometimes oustpoken, though often keen insights, viewers are guaranteed to be entertained by the man who once led Michael Moorer to the heavyweight title.