When up-and-coming Silver Spring 175-pounder Darnell Wilson steps into the ring at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie tonight, he will be in a familiar setting -- with a twist.
Eleven of the 29-year-old's 19 career fights have been on "Ballroom Boxing" shows at Michael's, but tonight, when Wilson (16-1-2, 14 KOs) makes his first appearance at the venue in more than a year, he will be fighting in the main event of an ESPN2 card as part of the network's "Tuesday Night Fights" series.
"It's great to get him back," said Scott Wagner, who promotes boxing at Michael's. "He's only been boxing for about four years. The opportunity to be the main event on ESPN is a tremendous credit to his ability to develop his skills. And it's a very compelling fight."
Wilson will face George Khalid Jones, a 37-year-old southpaw from Paterson, N.J. Jones (19-2, 13 KOs) is best known for his tragic bout with Beethavean Scottland in June 2001. Scottland, from New Carrollton, fell into a coma after that fight -- which Jones won by TKO in the 10th round -- and died six days later.
Jones is ranked No. 5 by the WBA and will likely be Wilson's toughest opponent to date. Wilson has not lost since the third bout of his pro career and most recently fought James Lubwama to a draw on May 20.
The Wilson-Jones bout headlines a seven-fight card that includes three rising Baltimore boxers: 150-pounders Ismail Arvin (10-0-1) and Maxell Taylor (7-1), in separate bouts, and 180-pounder Cory Cummings (8-0).
-- Jake Schaller