Darrell: Bascome can do some damage
They say timing is everything in boxing — inside and outside of the ring — with Troy Darrell warning Nikki Bascome that the clock is ticking.
At 26, Bascome still has time — a four-year window, according to Darrell — who believes the undefeated Bermudian should be having multiple fights a year at this point of his career.
One of the most talented boxers the island has produced, Darrell has backed Bascome to “do some damage” in the welterweight division if he stays active and continues to learn.
“Nikki has to be active as he's 26 and hasn't got much time,” Darrell said. “It's important he gets in a fight every few months or so.
“In this game you have to get in and get out. Hopefully by the time he's 30 he can be challenging for a world title.”
Darrell was in Bascome's corner for his unanimous points victory over Guyanese southpaw Iwan “Pure Gold” Azore at the Fairmont Southampton at the weekend.
The former middleweight said he was impressed with the way Bascome handled a tricky and experienced opponent but thinks there is still room for improvement.
“I thought Nikki did well and fought a good fight,” said the 55-year-old. “The other guy was more experienced and Nikki held his own and looked strong.
“There are still a few things he needs to straighten out and that comes with more experience.
“The first two rounds he felt him out a little bit and after that he opened up and took care of things.”
Darrell, who prided himself on his vicious body punching, was delighted to see Bascome target Azore's ribs, particularly in the third round, and revealed it was a ploy they had worked on.
“Body punches are my game, so of course I'm going to try and show Nikki that,” said Darrell, who won 23 of his 26 bouts.
“The more Nikki hit him to the body the slower he got. It looked like he did the job by banging to his body.”
Bascome's win was in front of a packed Poinciana Ballroom, with Darrell believing his protégé has the skills and personality to become a Bermudian sporting star.
“Nikki stepped up in class, but to get to where he needs to go he must step up some more,” he said.
“He's got the tools, but he needs to keep learning because boxing is an art, a science.
“People are looking for entertainment and Nikki is an entertainer. As long as he keeps doing what he needs to do people will enjoy it.”
Bascome, who is undefeated in six fights, hopes to return to the ring in May.
Allan “Forty” Rego, his coach, said Bascome will only be taking a few days off training.
“He has a cut over his eye from an accidental headbutt, but he can still train,” Rego said.
“We want him to stay busy and see what comes next. They're [the Bermuda Boxing Federation] are talking about having more fights and we want to be ready for when they come.”