Sunday Punch: ‘A left hook like you cannot believe’

“The Ding-a-Ling Man” produced a legendary Friday Night Fights KO.

I’ve been focused on making these Sunday Punch features spotlight major boxing matches featuring some of the sport’s all-time greats. Today I’m going to deviate from that and go straight for something out of the Friday Night Fights archives.

June 29th, 2007 on Staten Island, NY. Cruiserweight slugger and fan favorite Darnell “Ding-a-Ling Man” Wilson headlined against Nigeria’s Emmanuel Nwodo. I don’t have any recollection of the rest of the fight, but the records show that Wilson knocked Nwodo down in rounds three and ten.

Then round 11 happened, and it’s all I need to remember.

Wilson had Nwodo badly shaken with a right hand, then turned the rest of the fight into his personal mission to club his foe into unconsciousness. The left hook that you’ll see in this video is one of the most vicious finishing blows I’ve ever seen, and pay close attention to the old guy at ringside and his priceless reaction. I can neither confirm nor deny that the man in the video is fellow Bloody Elbow editor Tim Burke.

Watch the KO at the top of the page, complete with Joe Tessitore’s great “Ohhhhh a left hook like you cannot believe!” call on ESPN.

Wilson (25-21-3, 21 KOs) unsuccessfully challenged for the WBA title in 2008 but lost a decision to Firat Arslan. Largely a club fighter/journeyman, he eventually moved up to heavyweight and racked up a ton of losses until he retired in 2015. Nwodo (24-6, 20 KOs) stayed down on the canvas for several minutes before leaving the ring under his own power. He has not fought since 2016 and is presumably retired.

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