Darmani Rock was the No. 1 rated super heavyweight amateur in the United States before making the leap into the professional ranks in February 2016. During his first eight professional bouts, the 21-year-old prospect shined on some of the biggest stages, including two unanimous decision victories that came on the undercard of Andre Ward’s fights against Alexander Brand and Sergey Kovalev in Oracle Arena in Oakland and the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, respectively.
Rock’s momentum came to a screeching halt in March 2017, when he suffered a fractured finger in a fight against Jon Bolden at the Mountaineer Casino Ballroom. Although Rock managed to secure the unanimous decision win, he was forced to undergo surgery on his finger, rehab vigorously for seven months and overcome the biggest mental hurdle of his young career. Since then, he’s dusted off the rust to claim two more victories. Here is my interview with Darmani Rock ahead of his latest fight.
ROBERT BROWN: You have a fight with Ronny Hale coming up how ha preparation gone in this camp?
DARMANI ROCK: Everything is going well with camp. I feel great – mentally and physically and now camp is almost over. It’s about to be fight time now and I’m ready.
ROBERT BROWN: What strengths do you believe you can use against Ronny Hale in this fight?
DARMANI ROCK: I have a lot of advantages over him, but mainly, it’s my footwork and my speed. All heavyweights have power, but my feet and speed are what set me apart over Ronny Hale.
ROBERT BROWN: What does Ronny Hale bring to the table that you have to watch out for?
DARMANI ROCK: He throws a lot of overhands, but that’s pretty much what most heavyweights do. I’ll be ready for it.
ROBERT BROWN: What is your prediction for the fight against Ronny Hale, do you think you can get the knockout or is it more likely to be a point’s decision?
DARMANI ROCK: I can out-box him if I need to, but if the knockout comes, the knockout comes. I’m not going there looking for a knockout.
ROBERT BROWN: The Heavyweight division is a stacked division Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder Joseph parker Luis Ortiz etc. when do you think you will get a chance to take on those top Heavyweights.
DARMANI ROCK: The more fights I get, the quicker I’ll start moving up that ladder. I have faith in my management team at Roc Nation and together we’ll make it happen.
ROBERT BROWN: Who do think would win the big mega fight Between Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua should it take place?
DARMANI ROCK: That’s a tough one – I’ve only really seen Joshua fight Wladimir Klitschko and Deontay fight Luis “King Kong” Ortiz. I’ll have to give the edge to Deontay.
ROBERT BROWN: What is your thoughts on the Gennady Golovkin Saul Alvarez rematch who do you think will win and does Canelo’s recent positive drug test put a stain on the result should the fight take place?
DARMANI ROCK: I think Canelo would beat him, but I don’t really have an opinion on what the drug test means.
ROBERT BROWN: If a fighter has been found to have deliberately cheated in your opinion what should happen to the fighter are the current penalties severe enough?.
DARMANI ROCK: I’m just focused on fighting to my potential the right way and I’ll let the governing bodies of boxing worry about penalties for people who break the rules
ROBERT BROWN: What position do you hope to be in by the end of 2018?
DARMANI ROCK: I just want to move forward, can’t take any steps backward. I’m healthy this year, so I want to keep moving forward in my career.
ROBERT BROWN: By the time your career has ended what would you have wanted to accomplish and what do you want coming to mind when people mention your name?
DARMANI ROCK: I want a belt, first and foremost. But I want to be a legend and I want my name to live on in boxing history. Those are the goals that I’m working toward.