Omar Douglas was ringside in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, when Frank De Alba won an eight-round unanimous decision over Jesse Carradine in October 2014. Having similarly dispatched Carradine six months earlier, “Super O” favored himself in a direct comparison.
“Being there when he fought Carradine, I can say De Alba’s not on my level,” says Douglas, 24. “Carradine’s not an easy opponent for anybody, being that he’s [5-foot-10] fighting at 130. But De Alba had way more problems with him than I did, because I dominated him all the way though.”
Omar Douglas (15-0, 11 KOs) will have a chance to prove his assertions against the Puerto Rico-born Frank De Alba (17-1-2, 6 KOs) during Tuesday’s scheduled 10-round clash of 130-pound prospects. The bout will serve as 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).
The venue is about 45 miles from De Alba’s adopted home of Reading, Pennsylvania, and some 90 miles from the William “Hicks” Anderson Community Center in Wilmington, Delaware, where Douglas trains under Doug Pettiford.
“We’re very familiar with De Alba since he’s from the Pennsylvania area,” Pettiford says. “He surprised us against Carradine, so we won’t underestimate him. But Omar’s style as an aggressive fighter matches up well with this kid. I don’t see any problems for us.”
Douglas and De Alba—who weighed in Monday at 128 and 129.5 pounds, respectively—are each three bouts removed from their victories over Carradine. The 5-foot-7 Douglas is 3-0 with two knockouts (both in the first round), while the 5-6 De Alba is 3-0 with one stoppage.
While Douglas feels as though he “dominated” Carradine, the judges thought otherwise, as they scored the bout 76-75, 77-74, 78-73, giving Douglas the closest victory of his career.
De Alba defeated Carradine by a slightly wider margin—76-75, 78-73, 79-72—in part because the 28-year-old southpaw floored Carradine in the fifth round.
“De Alba tries to box with power, but we're not concerned about that,” Pettiford says. “Being experienced with southpaws, Omar’s going to attack with a style that nullifies all of that.”
In addition to doing homework on De Alba, Douglas has attempted to get a read on his opponent by sparring with some of the top fighters from nearby boxing hotbed Philadelphia. That includes working with wily switch-hitting 140-pound veteran Hank Lundy.
“Hank Lundy’s sparring me as a southpaw, and his speed is on another level,” Douglas says. “He knows how to make it difficult on the inside, putting his head or an elbow here or there, so you learn a lot of tricks from that.
“My jab gives me the ability to adapt. I’ll make [De Alba] defend it while I cut off the ring and set up my shots, and I’ll use it to box, get around him and move away if I need to.”
De Alba lost his pro debut by decision to William Lorenzo in January 2011, then won his next two fights. A pair of four-round draws followed, but since April 2012, he has gone 15-0 with five knockouts.
This year alone, the De Alba has registered three victories: Two comfortable unanimous decisions against Jose Bustos on February 21 and Jesus Lule on November 20 were sandwiched around a sixth-round knockout of Bernardo Gomez on May 29.
While not brushing off De Alba’s 15-fight winning streak, Pettiford sees his fighter’s power as being the difference come Tuesday. That power was on full display in Douglas’ most recent fight in September, when he scored first- and second-round knockdowns over hammer-fisted Puerto Rican lefty Braulio Santos.
That bout ended up going the full 10 rounds—the longest Douglas has been taken—but prior to that, he scored consecutive first-round KOs, including one against veteran southpaw Daniel Attah on April 25.
“Not to be disrespectful, but I see an early night against another southpaw,” Pettiford says. “We can really make a statement by getting him out of there in the first round.”
For complete coverage of Douglas vs De Alba, head over to our fight page.