‘Thun­der’ wants to keep rolling

Roz­icki to face Say­ers in sec­ond pro fight this week­end

Cape Breton Post - - Sports - BY T.J. COLELLO sports@cb­post.com On Twit­ter: @cb­post_s­ports

Ryan Roz­icki faces a much more ex­pe­ri­enced boxer in his sec­ond pro fight, but wel­comes the chal­lenge.

“Thun­der” Roz­icki will take on Ray Say­ers of Sar­nia, Ont., at the World Class Box­ing fight card on Satur­day in Fred­er­ic­ton.

Say­ers has 13 pro bouts un­der his belt and sports a 7-6 record with three knock­outs. The 46-year-old last fought in 2000 for the United States Michi­gan State su­per mid­dleweight ti­tle, but lost via TKO. He’s com­ing out of re­tire­ment for Satur­day’s bout.

“It’s the kind of fights that I want,” said the 22-year-old Roz­icki from Syd­ney Forks. “I want to know what it feels like to be in there with a guy who’s been there and done that as a pro, be­cause I want to climb the lad­der pretty quick. My eyes are set on the Cana­dian ti­tle fight, so this should be my last four­round fight and my next fight, I’ll move up to six rounds. I’m pro­gress­ing quick for my age.”

The 6-3, 195-pound Roz­icki will have a def­i­nite size ad­van­tage over the 5-11, 180-pound Say­ers for the cruis­er­weight bout, but Roz­icki said he hears Say­ers is as tough as they come.

“He’s just a real rough, tough brawler type of fighter,” he said. “Ev­ery­one’s ex­pect­ing a pretty good fight.”

Af­ter fin­ish­ing his am­a­teur ca­reer with a 16-8 record (14 KOs) Roz­icki made short work of his first pro op­po­nent. He de­feated heavy­weight Don­ald (Ducky) Wil­lis of Wind­sor, Ont., via TKO at 58 sec­onds of the third round in Fred­er­ic­ton on Oct. 15.

“I’m pretty con­fi­dent be­cause I got the feel­ing for the pro style in the first fight, and I’m def­i­nitely more suited for pro­fes­sional, with the smaller gloves and longer fights,” said Roz­icki.

Roz­icki and coach Glen Wil­liams have been work­ing on coun­ter­ing Say­ers’ ag­gres­sive ap­proach. He’s been spar­ring with lo­cal fight­ers Steve Whi­tall, Trevor Dauphi­nee and MMA fighter Con­nor Vic­tory to see dif­fer­ent styles.

“I’m an ag­gres­sive, brawler-style fighter with knockout power, but now we’re com­ing into this with a cou­ple of ex­tra tools,” said Roz­icki. “I can fight more de­fen­sively now and coun­ter­punch off the ropes.”

Wil­liams said he’s been work­ing with Roz­icki on his foot­work and bal­ance to be a more well­rounded fighter.

“(Say­ers) seems like a straight ahead kind of ag­gres­sive boxer,” said Wil­liams. “We’re go­ing to work a lot on our foot­work, slip­ping and coun­ter­punch­ing, more stuff that Ryan is not used to. Ryan’s used to be­ing the ag­gres­sor, so we’re go­ing to start to use a lit­tle de­fence and maybe bait him in on some stuff, too. Use his head a lit­tle more.”

Roz­icki said his next bout could be in Septem­ber in New Brunswick, but will stay ready if another op­por­tu­nity arises be­fore then.

T.J. COLELLO/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Ryan Roz­icki of Syd­ney Forks, left, trains with coach Glen Wil­liams at the Thun­der Box­ing in Syd­ney. Roz­icki was pre­par­ing for his sec­ond pro fight against Ray Say­ers of Sar­nia, Ont., at the World Class Box­ing fight card on Satur­day in Fred­er­ic­ton.

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