Coach backs Surtees to go after titles
Coach David Binns believes he has a future title contender on his hands in the shape of Darren Surtees.
The crowd-pleasing amateur-turned-dynamite-professional is up to three wins since turning pro, two of his victories coming inside the distance.
Surtees decked Alex Bazza at the Summer Rumble on Sunday when he stopped the Belfast battler in the third round.
Binns already has a boxer knocking on the door at light-welterweight – Sunderland’s Glenn Foot.
Now he has an inkling the Thornley entertainer might be following in his footsteps further down the line.
“Why not?” said the Peterlee coach, who is based at East Durham College.
“I think he can get to English level, I’m sincere about that.
“With experience and building him up, he can do it.
“He’s talented, he’s young and fresh. He’s a 20-odd bout amateur with success there.
“Darren has started well as a pro and he was absolutely outstanding on Sunday.”
Bazza was prepared to stand and trade but that was his undoing as he was dropped by the 21-year-old at the end of the first.
The punishment continued in round two, the Irishman going onto one knee to take a count from referee Graeme Williams in order to get some respite.
But the end was painful – a left hook jolted Bazza but a right bang on the chin put him on the canvas, with Mr Williams waving it off without administering a count.
“Alex Bazza has been in with extremely good opposition,” said Binns.
“No one has done what Darren did to him, and I’m not referring to the knock-out. It was not just a one-punch win, he broke him down.
“The kid was game, tough as teak, but Darren boxed his head off. I was very, very impressed.”
Surtees is part of a very potent squad at East Durham College, which not only includes Foot but former top amateur Warren Baister and another new pro, Jay Hughes, originally from Trimdon but now living in Crimdon.
The 18-year-old made a fine debut at the Summer Rumble, outpointing Bristol’s Harvey Hemsley.