Troy Darrell has long played a back-seat role in Nikki Bascome’s boxing career, assisting in his training camps and imparting advice between rounds on fight night.
After acting as Bascome’s head coach for his unanimous points win over Mexican David Martínez at the Fairmont Southampton hotel last weekend, Darrell said he is now willing to take on more responsibilities if required.
Since splitting with his longtime coach Allan “Forty” Rego, who died aged 86 in February, Bascome has trained under Jeff Mayweather at the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas.
Mayweather travelled to Bermuda for the IBA International Welterweight Championship, sitting on a stool outside of the ring throughout the contest, content for Darrell to be the primary voice in Bascome’s ear.
Darrell, a former middleweight title contender, wants Bascome to continue his working relationship with Mayweather and said he is more than happy to help fill the huge void left by Rego.
“I’ve been up at Rego’s many times helping Nikki during the years, although I’ve not been at the front,” said the 57-year-old, who was also coached for a time by Rego.
“I’ve often come in and given him information and then gone missing. Nikki told me, ‘Rego’s gone, you’re the only one left’. It was a pleasure to coach Nikki. I want to give back.”
After enduring a worrying opening round against the Mexican, swallowing several uppercuts, Darrell, told Bascome to “shut Martínez down” by using his footwork.
“Early on we were bumping heads, but it all came together,” Darrell said. “I didn’t want Nikki to stay there and slug with the guy. I told him to go out and start to box. I said, ‘If you can tie him up, tie him; just shut him downThere were a couple of little things he could have improved on, but he got the job done and I was impressed with his performance.”
Darrell revealed Bascome was understandably jittery before the fight, his first since suffering a knockout defeat to Portuguese Fábio Costa a year ago. Those nerves may have been compounded by having to change his gloves at the last-minute after discovering they were too tight once his hands had been wrapped. “Nikki had been off for 12 months and in the back of his head he must have been thinking, ‘Man, can I still take a shot’,” Darrell said. “I expected a few jitters and nerves. He had to start using his jab because the overhand right and left hook were there for him.
“He hit the guy for the more cleaner shots. It was a little see-saw, but he came alive in the latter stages of the fight.”