Essex light-heavyweight prospect, ‘Dazzling’ Darrel Church (2-1-1) was forced to settle for a draw in his return to the ring against ‘Mad’ Mitch Mitchell (6-46-3) at the York Hall on April 16th on a Hellraiser Promotions show.
The 26-year-old from Tiptree was the last fight of the evening and followed the main event which saw Arthur Hermann crowned as the new Southern Area super-welterweight champion with a 97-96 points win over the heavily-favoured Asinia Byfield.
Church commented on the stalemate post-fight, “It’s not a loss, I maybe could have done a bit more to nick it and I know I waited a bit too long at times, but it’s been 10 months since my last fight and I didn’t think I was going to be fighting that late!”
After weighing in at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, Church was made to wait until close to midnight for his bout, the first fight back since last June.
“I felt a bit shit before the fight,” admitted the 175-pounder. “I was just tired and mentally drained with all the waiting around all night but I got the draw against a very tough opponent.”
Church, managed by Carl Greaves and coached by Mark Massow, started the fight razor sharp but allowed Mitchell to come into the fight midway through the opener.
More of a counter-puncher, the Essex man was quicker on the jab and crisp on the counter but wasn’t the busier man during the first three minutes, briefly taking a right hook flush to the face whilst the left hand was held low, which gave 28-year-old known as ‘Mad Mitch’ a confidence boost to press forward.
In the second round, Mitchell came out swinging, sensing he could snatch a win against the odds but Church remained disciplined behind a tight defence.
Dazzling utilised his straight right a lot more in the second round, his best shot, and really came alive during the midway point after landing a good uppercut.
However, shortly afterwards, Church leans on the ropes for too long and takes a flush left hook to the face, Mitchell’s best punch of the fight.
The third round was the best for Church, landing several flush left hooks as Mitchell continued to push forward. Church also managed to land two identical successive overhand rights, just seconds apart.
In the final round, Church was always looking to counter Mitchell but waited too long and likely cost him as referee Kieran McCann scored the bout a draw at 39-39.
Mitchell’s face showed signs of disbelief and offered an apologetic look to Church as they embraced.
Church optimistically looked ahead to is next outing, “Next fight will be in July back in Essex. I’m away for a few days in Portugal but then I’ll be straight back in the gym to prepare for the next one!”
For tickets to the show contact Team Church on 07938 878 962