If a boxer desires to graduate from prospect to legit contender, there comes a time when he must begin testing himself against like-minded competition. For Omar Douglas, that time appears to be now.
For the second fight in a row, Omar Douglas (15-0, 11 KOs) will face the toughest opponent of his career when he battles Frank De Alba (17-1-2, 6 KOs) on December 29 in a clash of up-and-coming 130-pounders. The scheduled 10-round bout will be the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions show from the Sands Bethlehem Event Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (Fox Sports 1, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
After scoring a pair of first-round knockouts—one to close out 2014, one to kick off 2015—Douglas took a big step up September 15 when he faced power-hitting Puerto Rican Braulio Santos, who entered the bout 12-3 with 10 knockouts.
Douglas wasted little time asserting himself as the alpha dog, dropping Santos in the first and second rounds. Santos ultimately proved a game opponent, taking the fight the full 10 rounds, but Douglas pulled out a comfortable unanimous decision in the longest bout of his career.
Now the 24-year-old is set to test himself—and risk his perfect record—against another tough Puerto Rican in De Alba, who has won 15 consecutive fights since back-to-back draws early in his career. De Alba hasn’t tasted defeat since dropping his professional debut in January 2011.
This year, the 28-year-old southpaw has posted three convincing victories. He sandwiched unanimous decisions over Jose Bustos (February 21) and Jesus Lule (November 20) around a sixth-round knockout of Bernardo Gomez Uribe on May 29.
Just as Douglas will be facing his stiffest challenge to date in this contest, the same holds true for De Alba, who has fought just two undefeated opponents, and both were 1-0.
“I am really grateful for this opportunity,” says De Alba, who has never fought beyond eight rounds. “I’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices to get to this stage. Now that we’re here, I’m going to take advantage.
“I know he is a strong fighter, but we will be 100 percent come fight night. This will be an entertaining fight, and I will give the fans what they pay for.”
Many of those fans likely will be cheering on De Alba, who now resides in Reading, Pennsylvania, about 45 miles from the site of the fight. Likewise, Douglas figures to have a lot of support, as the venue is only about 90 miles from his home in Wilmington, Delaware.
“It’s an opportunity of a lifetime, and I plan to take advantage of it,” Douglas says. “I know how to beat this guy, and I know I am in great shape.
“I expect an early night, but if it goes 10 rounds, so be it.”
For complete coverage of Douglas vs De Alba, visit our fight page.