It was not the result that Bahamian professional heavyweight boxer D’Angelo Swaby had hoped for as his corner stopped his bout in the third round against American Jeremiah Milton on Friday night.
The bout was a co-main event on the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend fight card at the St. Petersburg Marriott Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Florida.
With that loss, Swaby fell to a 1-2 win/loss record. Milton, who debuted on Friday night, now has a 1-0 record. Swaby usually fights in the cruiserweight division.
The Bahamian said he got hit with a left hook to the liver that sent him down to one knee in the third round. His coach, Jose Cruz, stopped the fight.
“In the third round I got a ‘bobby shot’, which is a left hook to the liver. When I took it, I went down on one knee and I got back up. I continued to fight but to block that same side, so I do not get the shot again. The referee told me that my corner, my coach, stopped the fight in the third round when I got the body shot and I was blocking it for the rest of the fight,” Swaby said.
Swaby trusted Cruz’s decision and believed it was the right decision at the time. However, he was disappointed with the outcome of the fight.
“I was somewhat disappointed because it was my second loss, seeing that the last time I fought was over a year ago. Coming back into the ring after COVID-19 and to have another loss is not a good feeling,” Swaby said.
“What I learnt from this fight is that I need to lose a lot of fat because the fat that I have has me in a weight class that I do not normally fight at, so I have to lose the fat to get down to my proper weight class.”
His last fight was late last year. According to Swaby, fighting during the COVID-19 pandemic has been an experience with changes.
“I have to do all the COVID-19 testing to come home and I have to do it twice to get the timing lined up – it did not make it easy. It also made it more difficult with the social distancing and the arena was not as full because of persons not being allowed in and the COVID-19 testing when traveling.”
The 31-year-old said he picked up this fight after his fight in Temple, South Carolina, was canceled because the promoter there did not want his fighter to fight him anymore. After a breakdown in agreement between he and that promoter, he and his boxing teammate Tyrone Oliver made the trip back down to Miami, Florida, to come back home to The Bahamas. However, last week Monday he got an opportunity to fight against Milton, who was taller than him by five inches – 6’ 4” compared to 5’ 9”. Swaby said he took the fight so that he would gain the experience, it would not be a waste of trip and also it would be financially beneficial.
Oliver was also in Swaby’s corner as his assistant coach. Oliver made his debut last weekend in Temple. He fell to Christian Otero.
Training was difficult for Swaby as he was home-training. The emergency orders made it difficult, especially with the closing of gyms. He was able to stay in shape but not fight-shape because he was unable to get sufficient sparring due to the gyms being closed.
“I feel that I needed more training because I could not have sparred,” Swaby said. “We started to spar just before the gyms got closed again. The sparring, which is crucial for boxing, was not as much, so that made the training insufficient and gave me ring rust.”
He was happy to be able to get at least one fight in before year-end as he got some more experience out of it. Swaby said he may be suspended for 30 days because the fight ended in a technical knockout.
He said he will look to go vegan for about a month and take weight loss seriously as he looks to get his fat level down so he can return to the cruiserweight division. If he does not get a fight in late December, he will take the year off to keep concentrating on being in his right weight class.
This year has not been good for the business owner who also has his own company. Hopefully, next year is better for both him and Oliver as boxing has figured out how to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.