A decision Darius Bright’s parents made years ago led him to become a member of the Navy Boxing Club.
Bright, now 20, was introduced to boxing and the North Augusta PAL Boxing Club five years ago because his parents wanted him to learn discipline, he said.
“I was bad,” he said of his behavior, shaking his head. “Really bad.”
He had never participated in boxing before or even thought about it, but it was something he thought would be interesting.
“I like contact sports,” he said. “So I thought maybe, just maybe I will like it.”
He fell in love with the sport.
“After God and my parents, I don’t love anything more than boxing,” he said. “It’s different from being in a school fight. With boxing, it actually means something and it’s not a barbarian sport. It takes a lot of thought, you have to train, you have to be disciplined.”
Boxing taught him to take responsibility.
“I like that it’s one on one. You have to depend on yourself. If you lose or win, it’s on you,” he said. “It tests your will and how strong you are. I like to push myself, which is why I wanted to go into the Navy.”
He decided last year that he wanted to go into the Navy for the opportunities to travel, experience new things, be in a disciplined environment and have the opportunity to do something he loves – box.
“I really want to stay in boxing and one day have a pro career,” he said.
He found out in September that he would be leaving will leave today for Naval Station Great Lakes, in Great Lakes, Ill., near Chicago.
“Boxing will be my job. I’ll travel. I’ll train and there’s no excuse for me not to get better,” he said.
Though he lacks experience, Bright, who has won two of his four bouts, has a lot of natural talent and heart, said Terry Cave, a trainer at the North Augusta PAL Boxing Club.
“He’s a very strong boxer. He’s strong with both hands,” Cave said. “He hits hard, left and right. He has great moves and he’s dedicated to his craft. He’s a great listener. When you come up with a game plan for him, he tries hard to execute it.”
At his last bout, on Nov. 19, Bright fought a much more experienced boxer. His Navy recruiter attended the fight and was able to watch him in action.
“It was a hard fight,” said Bright, who lost. “I wanted to prove that I have what it takes to be in the boxing club. I wanted them to see I’m determined.”
Following the fight, he got confirmation that he will be a part of the Navy Boxing Club.
Bright said he’ll miss the boxing club.
Bright will be missed as well, Cave said. “He’s a great kid,” Cave said. “The sky is the limit for him. I’m very proud of him.”
Bright said he plans to take the lessons he learned in boxing and use them as guidelines for life.
“Don’t quit. In life, in the beginning you can be losing but, if you quit, you will definitely lose. If you keep going, you might end up winning the last round,” he said. “You have to keep going. That, and listen and pay attention to what people are telling you. I’ve learned that lesson, and I’m glad I did.”