Former ASU running back Darryl Carey is 5-0 as an amateur boxer in the super heavyweight division.
ALBANY — Darryl Carey called himself “Thunder” last year when describing himself and the other Albany State running backs.
Now the former Ram is storming his way into the local boxing scene.
Carey, who was one of four key running backs for the Albany State football team last season, has moved to the ring, where he is 5-0 and emerging as one of the state’s top amateur boxers.
The 232-pounder recently won the Georgia Golden Gloves in the super heavyweight division and is fighting at the Middle Georgia Boxing Club in Macon tonight against Rodney Wilson, a 265-pound boxer from North Carolina.
Carey hasn’t had much trouble with bigger competitors since the ASU senior started really focusing on boxing after the season ended.
In his first fight earlier this year, he knocked out a 6-foot-3, 260 pounder in 30 seconds.
Since then he has taken off.
“I like to watch a lot of Floyd Mayweather and Mike Tyson and take what they do and incorporate it into my style of fighting,” Carey said. “I like to fight on the outside and move around a lot to keep them off balance. I like to counter punch. I am a fighter who would rather let you make mistakes and capitalize off of them.”
It was a chance encounter two summers ago that got Carey interested in a sport he hadn’t competed in since elementary school.
“I was driving down Oglethorpe and saw a kid running with his hand wraps on, so I stopped and asked him where he trained,” Carey said. “Ever since then I have been training at Turner Gym.”
Carey is trained by Fred Thomas and trains alongside fighters Albert Whitfield and Corey Gardner.
He trains three times a day Monday through Friday and runs on the weekends — and sometimes he is able to get former football teammates like defensive end Justin Blash and running back Luther Edwards to train with him.
“They won’t box with me, but I get them to run with me,” Carey said.
Carey ended his rushing career at ASU with three touchdowns and 240 yards but says boxing takes a whole new set of skills.
“Boxing takes a lot more focus (than football),” he said. “You have to be teachable, study and have a lot of understanding. And it’s just like any other sport, you have to work hard.”
Carey has been working hard — even though he and his teammates don’t have a ring to practice in or sponsors to fund their matches.
“We don’t even train inside a ring, but we always win,” Carey said. “Boxing teaches you how to control your temper and be humble. If you try to fight with anger in the ring, you will get beat. It teaches you how to be humble and stay calm.”