Donald Griffin wasn’t sure how he’d hold up over six rounds in the ring.
The boxer from Pine Bluff was 2-0 after a pair of four-round amateur fights, but in his third fight he was stepping up to a six-round bout, which he said changes everything.
“It’s a lot different fighting six rounds,” Griffin said. “It’s pretty tough. My first two fights were amateur fights with fewer rounds. So this was a difficult task.
“You have to stay sharp and smart.”
Griffin was able to do so as he stayed undefeated with a TKO of Jesse Comer 57 seconds into the sixth round last Saturday at the California Events Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The bout was Griffin’s first since June 2013, and he admitted to thinking he might be rusty.
“I was kind of worried,” he said. “But then I got in there, and everything came alive.”
Griffin said he doesn’t plan to wait another year before having his fourth career fight.
“I’m hoping to fight August 23rd in Tulsa, Oklahoma, again,” he said. “If for some reason that doesn’t happen, I’ll be fighting August 29th in Little Rock.
“I also plan on fighting in September in Utah at Salt Lake City.”
Griffin found out about the Comer fight in mid-June and he said it took a lot of training for him to be able to last all six rounds.
“We trained at a high pace,” the 22-year-old said. “Stuff to get the lungs open and help stay focused, lots of bag work, running, sit-ups and push-ups.
“We did a lot of training for six rounds.”
He needed the training to keep pace with the aggressive Comer.
“He was very strong,” Griffin said. “He was always willing to come forward. He was willing to take a lot of punches in the fight.”
Comer’s willingness to come forward forced Griffin to change his approach during the bout.
“Our gameplan was to keep him off the jab,” Griffin said, “but no matter what I threw he came forward. We had to change our plan to attack the body to see if he’d back off, but he still came for it.
“It was kind of ironic. With all the body shots, it was a head shot that put him down in the end.”
Griffin said the win was satisfying, especially with Comer, 27, being a Norman, Oklahoma, native.
“I didn’t really have much support there,” Griffin said. “He was kind of a home favorite. I was just there to put on a show.
“With my performance, I hopefully gained a couple fans who will be there to support me next time.”
Griffin is also gaining fans this week in Pine Bluff by helping out at the Gloves Not Guns Boxing Camp at Wesley Campus Ministry Gym. The opportunity to give back to young, aspiring boxers in his community is something Griffin said means a lot to him.
“It actually feels good,” he said. “Looking back to where I started to where I am now.
“It’s great to help kids get out and make it to somewhere.”