Dan Karpency earned a split decision over Jamie Walker to win his first championship as a pro boxer on Friday at PromoWest Pavilion in Columbus, Ohio.
Karpency, an Adah native, fought Walker (9-2-2, 3 KOs) to a draw on March 2 at the Voinvich Center in Columbus, but got some redemption in the rematch to win the North American Boxing Association (NABA) USA Super Welterweight Championship.
“Everybody told me that I got the better of him in the first fight, but it was his hometown, so I think he benefited from some home cooking when it came down to the judges,” Karpency said. “It was a big win for me and I’m glad the judges got it right. My corner is very honest, and they told me that I had won both fights. It was still a split decision, but judging is subjective, and that’s just part of the sport.”
Two judges scored the fight in favor of Karpency (98-92, 96-94) and one judge gave the nod to Walker (97-93) in the 10-round fight. Karpency improved to 9-2-1 in his pro career, with four wins coming via knockout.
Karpency is trained by his father, Tom Karpency Sr., and his older brothers, Tommy and Jeremiah, are also pro boxers and have won titles. Tommy has challenged several times for a world title, and has been in the top 10 in national and world rankings. Dan, the youngest of the brothers who had his first pro fight on May 3, 2013, was glad to join his older siblings in winning a title.
“It feels great to join my brothers in winning a title,” Dan said. “Tommy and Bo (Jeremiah) help me out so much in getting ready for a fight, and of course, my dad trains us all. I am developing so much as a fighter because of them.
“I have been fighting as a pro for about six years, and some guys would think that is a long time to get my first title, but in terms of my position and time frame, I’m happy with it. I also work a full-time job and we always want to make sure we are in the best shape possible and ready to go when we take a fight because boxing is a hurt sport.”
Karpency and Walker fought 10 rounds in their bout in March, and the Albert Gallatin graduate who wrestled for the Colonials and head coach Duane Dupont, felt that both he and Walker were in better condition the second time around.
“I learned all I could in the first fight against him,” Karpency said. “I really felt like I adapted well, and that is something about boxing. You have to learn to adapt. We took a different gameplan this time around and it worked.
“I will give him credit, though. He was in better shape this time, but so was I. I had an eight-week camp for this fight, so I was definitely ready to go. It was the best camp I’ve had.”
Karpency came out in the early rounds using his jab and going with a technical approach for an early advantage over Walker. The middle rounds went to Walker, as he turned the match into more of a brawl, but Karpency used his movement and out boxed Walker the rest of the fight.
“His gameplan was to turn the fight into a brawl, and I had to do whatever I could to not let that happen,” Karpency said. “I really worked my jab and used a lot of movement to take the early and later rounds. I was able to land some good body shots in the later rounds. I worked different angles and mixed up my punches. I picked my spots better in this fight.”
Karpency and his brothers are always gateful for the support they receive, regardless of where the fight is, and Friday’s event was no different.
“I don’t mind making the trips,” Karpency said. “I take that experience back to wrestling because it is just you and your opponent in the ring or on the mat. You know what you’re getting into.
“It also helps that I have a great support system. When you are in the ring in someone’s hometown three hours away and you look up and see everyone, it is the best feeling. The support we receive from the community is tremendous, and my co-workers from SCI Greene always come out to my fights.”
Karpency’s brothers and father are not the only members of the family that have a hand in his development as a fighter, as his sister, Rachel Dyer, and her husband, Zach, have put on fights.
“It is hard to put into words what my family does for me,” Karpency said. “Rachel and Zach have promoted fights for me and my brothers, and they and my dad do a tremendous job in getting me ready.
“I also want to thank my girlfriend, Rachel, and my mom, for supporting me. They are probably the most nervous when I fight, but they know that my dad and brothers would never let me step inside the ring if they didn’t think I was safe. They know the dangers of boxing, but you can get hurt doing anything.”
Karpency didn’t incur any serious injuries from the fight, but will take some time off before stepping back in the gym and waiting for the next call.
“I didn’t have any significant injuries, but when you are in a fight for 30 minutes, you are going to feel it and need some recovery time,” Karpency said. “I am still learning a lot and will be ready to go the next time I step inside the ring.”