Everyone loves an underdog. BKB’s very own ‘Cinderella Man’ Darren Godfrey Jr. sits as BKB 21’s heaviest underdog. Widely written off by critics, Godfrey is looking to make his mark on the sport by pulling off the upset of the year against Darren Hendry. A bout many are calling a walk-over. But maybe, just maybe, they’re wrong…
BKBtm’s official betting sponsor NetBet has Godfrey as the biggest underdog on the card at 3.0. On the surface betting odds like this don’t seem insurmountable, however, when you consider the overt unpredictability of bare-knuckle boxing, they come across as a little harsh.
Godfrey currently sits at 2-0 in regional bare-knuckle boxing and is set to make his debut on the international stage on 6th September at the O2 Arena, on the stacked BKB 21 card. Despite the massive step up in competition, Godfrey remains unphased and assured me that he feels very little pressure: “I don’t fear anyone, the big stage makes no difference to me, we’re all gonna get punched in the face in the end.”
“Being the underdog takes the pressure away from me and places it on my opponent, I’m gonna thrive in this position, I know I’m gonna upset the odds”.
In many ways, Darren Godfrey has always been the underdog in life. Bullied in his youth, Godfrey described himself as a ‘chubby kid’ and an ‘easy target’. After finding kickboxing, however, things would change drastically. Darren picked up the sport quickly and began “filling in” every lad that ever bullied him. After a successful run, Darren would go on to represent England multiple times as a junior kickboxer, winning Gold at the nationals for the ‘England Death Squad’. After realising the talent was in his hands, Darren would make the switch to gloved boxing at the age of 16.
A short career in the amateurs ensued before a switch to unlicensed boxing a couple of years later. Amongst his many belts, Darren boasts the IBU Bristol and Bath Light Heavyweight title and won all but one of his unlicensed fights. Despite success with the gloves on, Darren was always searching for the next new high, and that’s where bare-knuckle boxing came into the picture.
“I love a scrap, so bare-knuckle boxing was the obvious choice. I can stand there and do all the fancy nonsense, but I’d rather not. I like to go for blood straight away.”
Darren’s two second-round KO wins for regional bare-knuckle promotions landed him the coveted BKB contract and he doesn’t intend to let the opportunity slip: “I think it’s gonna be a proper tough fight, but I’m confident in my ability. One punch can change everything and I can certainly give one and take one as well.”
The Ultimate Upset?
Godfrey’s opponent Darren Hendry has certainly created some hype since joining BKB. The Aldershot boxer made his debut back at BKB 19 in November beating Ashley Gibson convincingly. Although there is no doubt Hendry carries outstanding ability, I do believe that writing-off Godfrey is potentially short-sighted.
This is a man who knows what it feels like to be in a tough fight and thrives under adverse conditions. He’s shown himself to be tough and durable and will be difficult to man-handle and bully, like many of Hendry’s former opponents. In Godfrey, you have a competitor who carries immense power and strength, add to that his size and stature, and you have a force to be reckoned with. Sleep on him and he’ll sleep you.
When these two colossal Middleweights (14 stone) collide there will undoubtedly be fireworks. Both lads come to fight and look to put on a show every time they step between the ropes. This fight has ‘fight of the night’ written all over it, which is high praise when you consider the magnitude of BKB 21’s main card.
BKB 21 plays host to a number of high-profile match-ups including the much-anticipated rematch between Jimmy Sweeney and Ricardo Franco, in a fight being dubbed as ‘the super-fight’. Should Godfrey make a good impression here, it could be life-changing. With the whole world watching, Godfrey has a chance to go from a humble scrapper to a bare-knuckle phenomenon over-night. The question is, how badly does he want it?
If you wish to watch the rise of Darren Godfrey, you can find his Instagram link down below:
I’d like to thank my old coach Mark from ‘PJE Boxing’ for all the help he has given me over the years and also to my new club ‘Strettonia Boxing Club’. I’d also like to thank my sponsors, to which there are too many to mention in this article, but you know who you are. I couldn’t of got this far without any of you, so this wins for you – Darren Godfrey.