Ding-A-Ling’s Last Hurrah

By Ted Sares on August 4, 2015
Ding-A-Ling’s Last Hurrah
If the Nwodo KO established him, the Rodriguez thriller will probably be his last hurrah.

Darnell Wilson was a vicious left hooker and always dangerous to the last second of every round…

“Ohhhhhhhhhh, a left hook like you cannot believe…Oh my! Oh my, this fight is over!”—ESPN’s Joe Tessitore

Emmanuel Nwodo was almost decapitated by Darnell “The Ding-A-Ling Man” Wilson on June 29, 2007 in front of a TV audience and a screaming, howling Teddy Atlas in Staten Island. It was Wilson’s fourth stoppage win in a row over solid opposition. The KO prompted Dan Rafael to write, “It was certainly one of the greatest knockouts in the history of ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” and it was the easy pick as the 2007 ESPN.com Knockout of the Year.” See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdXXmJ9QIIU 

Earlier, on February 23, 2007, Wilson stopped look-alike Kelvin Davis in a wild and entertaining shootout that also had Teddy frothing. Finally, Wilson seemed to be a force with which to be reckoned but something has happened along the way.

Maybe it occurred on February 8, 2008 when he lost a close UD to BJ Flores (then 20-0-1) in an IBF cruiserweight title eliminator, but he bounced back a month later with a quick, confidence building TKO over hapless Robert Marsh (11-44-3) and that brought his record to a deceptive 22-6-3, deceptive because of the substantial level of his opposition

Ding-A-Ling , a vicious left hooker and always dangerous to the last second of every round, then assumed the role of global road warrior as he continued to fight the very best opposition—often in their home country—whether it be Singapore, Turkey, Germany, Australia, or Russia. However, the problem was that he simply was too short, too slow, and eventually became too old as he began losing and soon became a high level gatekeeper.

After dispatching the aforementioned Marsh, Wilson went 2-13 losing to the likes of Firat Arslan (28-3-1), Grigory Drozd (31-1), Alex Lepai (20-3-3), Ondrej Pala (28-2), Denis Boytsov (29-0), Edmund Gerber (21-0), Juan Carlos Gomez (49-3) in an avenging defeat due to a cut, Vyacheslav Glazkov (18-0-1), and Mike Perez (20-1-1).

In 2011, Ding-A-Ling did manage a big upset win by MD over a lethargic Juan Carlos Gomes (49-2 at the time) and he did it in Hamburg, Germany no less, but then he lost five straight until his incredible battle against David “Nino” Rodriguez (36-0) who was returning after having been stabbed. 

Rodriguez vs. Wilson (December 14, 2013)

“The matchup reminded me a little bit of Bert Cooper’s 1997 KO of Richie Melito at Madison Square Garden.”—Briggs Seekins

The 6-foot-4-inch, 250-pound Mexican-American heavyweight Rodriquez had run up an impressive record (on paper) of 36-0 with 34 wins coming by way of KO, and many asked, “Is this guy for real. Is he another Deontay Wilder?” But 24 of his stoppages came in the first round signaling that if anyone took him deep, might something unexpected happen? Moreover, his level of opposition read like a Who’s Not Who in Boxing. Said Pedro Fernandez in Ringtalk on January 7, 2013, “LOOK AT THE NUMBERS, HIS FOES & TRY NOT TO PUKE!” Rodriguez was a popular regional attraction in the southwest United States and Mexico, but he hadn’t faced an opponent ranked inside the top 150. Still, he won the Texas heavyweight title, the New Mexico heavyweight title, and the WBC Fecarbox Latin title. Moreover, his KO of a shot Owen Beck left “What the Heck” on the canvas for a scary 15 minutes.

The two faced off for an interesting six rounds of boxing in Atlantic City, but it turned out to be one of the most exciting fights probably no one ever witnessed. The far more seasoned Wilson exposed and upset Nino with a dramatic last second KO—yes, last second. The fight was reasonably close with Nino ahead until the popular, articulate, and affable Wilson cut Rodríguez around the eye and then, aroused by the profusely flowing crimson, went after him with whistling left hooks of the haymaker variety—his signature punch. Nevertheless, it looked like the much bigger David would survive—just barely—forcing the fight to the cards and giving Nino the win, but Wilson swung a final nasty and scary left and it landed flush and fully leveraged sending Rodriguez down and out as referee Lindsey Page immediately waved off matters without a count at 2:59 of the sixth and final round. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_yvnF1xyyQ

Nino fell unconscious like he had been hit by a lead pipe. It was reminiscent of when Wilson almost decapitated Emmanuel Nwodo back in 2007 with one of the most devastating KOs ever seen on ESPN or anywhere else

Wilson is now 25-19-3 and is 40 years old; he has seen much better days with only three wins and a long line of defeats since 2008. If the Nwodo KO established him, the Rodriguez thriller will probably be his last hurrah.

Ted Sares is a member of the Ring 4 Boxing Hall of Fame (New England) and a member of Ring 10 (New York). He is one of the oldest active powerlifters in the world and competes in the Grand Master Class.

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Darnell Wilson vs Emmanuel Nwodo (Best Version)

Darnell Wilson vs David Rodriguez

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  1. kb 05:57pm, 08/07/2015


  2. Tex Hassler 05:28pm, 08/07/2015

    Darnell gave his all in every fight. It is now time for him to retire for good. Great article Mr. Sares.

  3. KB 06:16am, 08/05/2015


  4. dollarbond 01:37am, 08/05/2015

    A real bell ringer, Ted.

  5. John aka L.L. Cool John 10:00pm, 08/04/2015

    Brutal!!! Not Darnell “The Ding-A-Ling Man” Wilson’s KOs, but bikermike’s comments. Damn!

  6. andrew 06:37pm, 08/04/2015

    bikermike: too much information. We’re interested in boxers; not your personal predilections.

  7. KB 03:23pm, 08/04/2015

    Thanks for your “explosive” series of posts Mike.

  8. bikermike 02:41pm, 08/04/2015

    ..just when was this ‘fine fighter..and ‘considered’ contender’...last active ??

    Is his management trying to out live the top ten,,,>>>$$$??? or maybe fight some of them??
    Days of two Klitschko brothers are gone…
    Give us some fights !!!

  9. bikermike 02:30pm, 08/04/2015

    ..after all of that….and all of that.(Robbie Burns)

    DA BULL…..gave a great ..and well researched appreciation of this fine contender.
    ...and I apologies if my remarks were ‘untoward;;’

  10. bikermike 02:25pm, 08/04/2015

    Guys..guys ..guys….
    been a hardball Boxing fan..since before TV came to our area…

    Marciano’s last match..on radio…first and second Patterson Liston..on radio…
    found out about footage..via public library system…plus magazine/newspaper as a young hunger information..minded Boxing fan

    knew a cupla sisters that did multi cream pies…for video porn….
    but I felt more violated and exploited ... as when that hundred dollar came off my personal account…..

    at least when I watch porn…..after twenty or thirty explosions….I go to sleep for two days…

  11. bikermike 02:07pm, 08/04/2015

    Ted….got that footage of you doing the ‘Rocky ’ thing..
    I do my cardio with porn and three different over fifty yr old nice ladies…

    and they cook and clean up…after we’re nice…takes about two days..each

    If I die…it will be for something other than flipping seven hundred pound tires…!!

    Still…...you’re still the man ...buddy

    I’m leaning towards porn…rather than boxing…after that pac/pay…Hungarian dog fuk

    don’t get much of a hard on…but…it ain’t that good a deal

  12. bikermike 02:00pm, 08/04/2015

    ....and ??
    the latest hype..?
    ..after shelling out a c note for ...the ‘BIGGEST FIGHT OF ALL TIME’...to find i was amongst many ...to be the biggest sucker of all time….

    It is difficult to even find sincere…from hype

  13. KB 12:20pm, 08/04/2015

    Thank you sir,

  14. Big Wally 12:11pm, 08/04/2015

    Nice essay, Ted.

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