Thunder and lightning
Ryan (Thunder) Rozicki brings the boom and crash in latest professional win
The Canadian boxing world knew Ryan Rozicki had thunder in his left hand. Now it’s clear he has lightning in his right.
On Saturday the Sydney Forks boxer racked up his second professional win, knocking out Ray Sayers just 1:35 into the first round of a match on the World Class Boxing card in Fredericton. And while the walk-off KO win was impressive, the manner in which the 22-year-old Rozicki, who’s always been known as a power puncher with a devastating left hook, dispatched the veteran Sayers made the real statement.
After patiently stalking a circling Sayers around the ring, the 6-3, 195-pound Rozicki landed several hard shots to the body to set up a nasty right hand that left his opponent unconscious and dangling on the ropes over the judges’ table.
“It pretty well went exactly how we planned,” said Rozicki, who told the Cape Breton Post on Monday that he and coach Glen Williams had been practising the modified right cross that can also land as a powerful hook — as it did on Sayers — if the opponent is in closer range.
“That’s something we’ve been working really hard on. If you’ve seen any of my fights, a lot of people talk about my left hook being my dangerous punch — I’ve never been known for a big right hand — but we studied Joe Louis — that’s kind of a Joe Louis right cross, a hook-cross kind of punch — and when you torque your body on it, the power that I’m getting out of it, it’s pretty scary to see in the gym, so we knew it was going to work.”
Adding method to his menace has been the key to taking Rozicki from bruiser to boxer.
Seeing the transition has been especially rewarding for Williams, who has trained Rozicki off and on since the troubled teenager who was constantly getting into street fights started the sport.
“I’ve been with Ryan since the first day that he walked in the gym, and to finally see him really put things together like that and box as smart as he did, and as calm and relaxed as he was, it’s like finally, after all these years he’s got it. He’s putting it together. To say I’m proud of him is a massive understatement,” said Williams.
“He’s a mature, smart fighter now — and he’s still a kid. He has a ton of years ahead of him. His future, there’s no ceiling to it.”
Making the win even sweeter for Rozicki is the fact it was his
first out of his own club, Thunder Boxing. A few months after his first professional win (a third-round TKO over heavyweight Donald (Ducky) Willis of Windsor, Ont.) Rozicki reopened his old gym, the former Sydney Boxing Club, with the help of his manager/ father Bobby Currie, Ben Gale, and coaches Williams, Keith Mackinnon, Aubrey MacLeod and Chad Burns.
“That’s the first ever fight out of my club and I’m bringing back a pretty good win to start things off,” said Rozicki. “When they were announcing my name and I heard them say ‘Fighting out of Thunder Boxing,’ it kind of clicked in my head, like ‘Whoa, that’s pretty awesome.’ I never really thought about it until they were announcing my name. It was pretty exciting.”
Rozicki not only came away with the victory Saturday night,
he also walked away with a new three-fight contract with L-Jack Promotions, said Currie.
“He looks like part, he’s a pure athlete, he’s a fan favourite and they think he’s a prospect to be the Canadian champ, so they want to be part of it as well as everybody else,” said Currie, who noted Rozicki can still fight for other promotions as long as the card doesn’t take place within 30 days of an LJack event.
“The next step is now I’m going to try to get him some more fights. I’d like to get him to have at least 10 fights or more — and I’m trying aggressively this year to get a lot of them — and after that we’re looking at some belt fights. And possibly when he gets his first belt fight we’d like to try to work with one of the promotion companies and try to do it here in Sydney.”
Rozicki said he’s already set his long-term sights on a title, especially now that’s he’s made the move down from heavyweight to cruiserweight, where he can walk around at his natural weight and his thunder — and lightning — boom and crash harder and louder.
“At heavyweight I’m considered a big puncher but at cruiserweight people told me that they would call me a murderous puncher at cruiserweight — maybe one of the hardest punchers around pretty well,” he said.
“I think at heart I’m still a brawler — it’s still in there and if I was ever in a real gruelling fight and it had to come out, it would be there to come out — but I’m feeling now that I do have the big knockout power in either hand, but I think more in there and I’m more of a counterpuncher now, and more of a boxer puncher, rather than just a pure puncher brawler.
“It’s only going to get bigger. Tthe more fights I get in, the more I get to prove.”
Ryan Rozicki salutes the Cape Breton fans after his first-round knockout win over Ray Sayers in Fredericton, N.B., on Saturday night. The Sydney Forks boxer improved to 2-0 as a professional.
Ryan Rozicki, third from left, poses for a photo after signing a contract with L-Jack Promotions following his second professional boxing win on Saturday night. Also pictured, from left, are Tyler Chetwynd and Brandon Brewer of L-Jack Promotions, coach Glen Williams, Rozicki’s father and manager Bobby Currie and Aubrey MacLeod of L-Jack Promotions.