‘Thunder’ wants to keep rolling
Rozicki to face Sayers in second pro fight this weekend
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.
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.