Douglin wins Golden Gloves middleweight title
by Steve Vedder | The Grand Rapids Press
Sunday May 11, 2008, 12:35 AM
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Denis Douglin of New Jersey, left, fights Allem Whitfield of Syracuse in the National Golden
Gloves middleweight final Saturday night at DeVos Place. GRAND RAPIDS -- Denis Douglin
had his game plan for a national championship sketched out three days ago. Actually, the
truth is closer to three months. That's when Douglin lost to Aleem Whitfield in a close
decision in the first round of the U.S.Championships. It's also when Douglin, a 20-year-old
student at Brookdale Community College in Treehold, N.J., began devising a plan which
would defeat Whitfield should the two meet again. That happened in this week's National
Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions, when Douglin said he saw a strong possibility
he could meet Whitfield in Saturday's finals at DeVos Place. Earlier in the week, Douglin
began working on a plan that eventually led to a 5-0 decision over Whitfield in the
middleweight finals. Douglin said the mistake he made against Whitfield in the
championships was letting him dictate the bout's pace. His new plan didn't include letting
that happen, he said. "He fights at his own pace, he controlled me," Douglin said of the
March bout. "About three days ago when it looked like I might see him, we decided we had
to put pressure on him, couldn't let up against him. I wanted to wear him down, keep jabbing
him." Douglin said he refused to let the U.S.Championships loss destroy his confidence. In
fact, Douglin said he saw enough in that tournament to know his trainers could devise a
plan which would lead to a different outcome. "It didn't effect me at all," Douglin said. "You're
going to win some fights and lose others. A win is a win and he beat me that time. But it just
gave me more confidence because I knew what I was up against." Douglin was trained by
his mother, Saphya Douglin, who introduced her son to the sport 10 years ago. She said
the decision was made in part because of where the family lived. He didn't like boxing at
first, but has grown to love the sport, she said. "We didn't live in a good neighborhood and
he got beat up one day," she said. "I made him (box) because I was scared for him. It's not
that I promoted fighting, but he had to learn to defend himself." In awards handed out
Saturday night, Steven Martinez of the New York Metro Club was named the winner of the
Golden Boy Award.