A Fighting Chance: Police officer in-training wins second bout


Two down and eight to go.

That countdown is to the number of wins Pine Bluff resident and police officer in-training Donald Griffin needs to reach, without a loss, before he will consider pursuing boxing full-time.

”Once I get to 10-0, if the good Lord lets me get there, I’ll be clearing $100,000,” Griffin said. “And, so then I’ll retire from the police department and begin pursuing boxing, period.”

On June 29, Griffin, 21, won his second professional fight in as many tries with a knockout of Anthony Woods of Fordyce at the Metro Place in Little Rock.

Griffin found himself with a lot of support in Little Rock.

“Basically, the whole police force and the mayor were there to support me,” Griffin said. “It was very positive to see Pine Bluff was there for me, because we had been promoting (the fight) for a couple of months.”

The fight came a little more than six months after his professional debut.

Griffin won his debut by unanimous decision over Jason Tresvan of Las Vegas December 12 at the South Towne Expo Center in the Salt Lake City suburb of Sandy, Utah.

Both of Griffin’s professional bouts have been at the 147-pound weight class, which is a pretty big contrast to the weight he usually sees on the scale.

“Normally, I walk around like 165-170 (pounds), but I fight at 147,” Griffin said. “It takes about two weeks of strict dieting and plenty of running to drop back down to 147.”

Griffin’s decision to turn pro was a calculated one.

“After I didn’t qualify for the Olympics last year,” Griffin said about when he decided to go pro. “I wasn’t going to wait around four more years.”

He may not have made the U.S. Olympic team, but Griffin performed exceptionally well at the tryouts in Cincinnati.

Griffin finished eighth out of 167 fighters in the 141-pound weight class, but since it was a last-chance qualifier only the top finisher made the Olympic team.

Griffin had spent most of his boxing career training for the Olympics.

“Well, at about 16 I started wanting to be in the Olympics, so that’s when I started training for it,” he said.

Griffin began boxing at the age of 13.

“I was getting into trouble and (boxing) became an alternate route for me,” he said.

Griffin, who is currently in the police academy and hopes to be a patrolman once he graduates, thinks boxing will help him be a good cop, even if he hopes it will just be a temporary job.

“I think it helps me deal with my attitude and deal with other people’s attitude better,” he said.

Griffin is tentatively scheduled to box again on August 10 at the Beech Activity Center in Wichita, Kan, against Wichita resident Manny Brown.

So, in just over a month, Griffin’s countdown could be three down and seven to go.