SUFFERING a first defeat can make or break a fighter. It is a shock to the system after years of almost feeling invincible when climbing through those ropes. For Darren Tetley, however, he is uniquely reaping the rewards.

“No, it wasn’t (tough to take),” the Bradford welterweight said. “If I had gone in there and got bashed around the ring it would have been different.

“It was weird because it was the first fight I have lost in 10 years.

“But because of the nature of the fight and the plaudits it got, it did not feel like I had lost. I got more respect after that than I had from any other fight.”

Tetley is referring to the bout of the year contender between himself and Liam Taylor last August which, despite rallying after getting knocked down twice, he narrowly lost on points.

His performance in that British title final eliminator has led to the Holme Wood charge gaining another huge opportunity which would eclipse everything else he has achieved in his career.

“Coming straight back into an English title (after a loss) does not happen often. I must have done something right,” added Tetley who was speaking to the T&A on the way back from his last spar for the fight up in Newcastle.

“The WBO European belt (which he captured in 2018) looks nice, but I think the English is a true domestic belt.

“If I can say Bradford has got an English champion, it is going to be wicked.

“It is the only title my trainer (Mick Marsden) has not won so it will mean a lot to us both.”

That is right Tetley could claim his first national honour tomorrow when he faces Samuel Antwi on a behind closed doors MTK Global show at the Bolton Whites Hotel.

The Londoner also has the one defeat on his resume, a second-round stoppage to the very heavy handed DR Congo puncher Emmany Kalombo.

On Antwi, Tetley said: “I have watched little clips of him, and he looks raw, awkward, and tricky. But I watched Taylor and it he was totally different when I got in there with him.

“When I fought Taylor, he was the experienced one but now it is me so I think that will play in my favour.

“I have done that little bit extra in this fight than I did in the Taylor one and I just believe I am a better fighter. I have ticked boxes, Antwi has not yet.”

As for a highlight reel knockout, ‘TNT’ does not want to go out there searching for it.

“I am not one of those guys that will hit you once and chin you but if I land, and I am sharp and accurate, I have enough to hurt you.

“He can be quite wild at times so if he does that and walks onto a punch, I reckon I can stop him.”

He also refused to look beyond Antwi even though the Taylor question will always be thrown at him.

“In the future, I would love the Taylor rematch. But I cannot even look at different paths right now.

“I am going to get this English title and say ‘yes’ to whoever they say is next.”


Hometown: Bradford - Stockwell

Nickname: TNT - True Sensation

Record: 20-1 - 12-1

KO: 9 - 5

Rounds: 110 - 55

Debut: 2013 - 2015

Age: 27 - 29

Height: 5'11" - 5'8"

Stance: Southpaw - Orthodox

Best win: TKO9 v Mason Cartwright - TKO8 v Jez Smith