by David P. Greisman
Will Rosinsky had just defeated Aaron Pryor Jr. by decision on June 14. By June 15, he knew when his next fight was going to be — just three weeks away, against former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik, in what will be the Queens, N.Y.-based fighter’s HBO debut.
Rosinsky, 27, is 16-1 with 9 knockouts, his last major network appearance being a unanimous decision loss last October on Showtime’s “ShoBox: The New Generation.” Pavlik, meanwhile, is 30 years old and has fought more than twice as much as Rosinsky, a former champion with 39 wins, including 34 knockouts, and whose only two losses came against Bernard Hopkins and Sergio Martinez.
Yet Rosinsky believes this fight is coming at the right time for him. He spoke with BoxingScene.com about the timing of the bout and how he sees the action going.
BoxingScene.com: This is some major news for you that you’re going to fighting on HBO against Kelly Pavlik. What’s going through your mind right now?
Rosinsky: “It’s an opportunity I couldn’t really refuse, not even for the money, just for the opportunity to be on HBO and to fight in front of all of the sport. I originally told my adviser actually about a week before, when I saw him [Pavlik] fight on ESPN, I said ‘I would fight Kelly Pavlik. I’m ready for him.’ I guess he made a couple phone calls. Things fell into place where Pavlik wound up getting an HBO date once Brandon Rios fell out, and they hadn’t found an opponent yet. It was an opportunity, even though I had just finished fighting the day before.”
BoxingScene.com: It will have been only a few weeks between your last fight and this fight. Obviously you’ll still be in shape, but is that too quick of a turnaround?
Rosinsky: “Most would think it is. I mean, I’m in shape. I really didn’t stop training since the fight before the last, which was a third-round knockout [over Zane Marks in March]. Obviously you want less rounds and maybe a little less wear and tear on my body, but I’ve been training pretty much since January, February, basically I feel, for this fight. I think those are two tune-ups to be ready for this fight. That’s how I’m looking at it.”
BoxingScene.com: Is there anything from your last fight that needs to heal before the Pavlik bout?
Rosinsky: “No, not at all. I had a little mark — literally a mark under my eye. I wouldn’t even say ‘swelling.’ It was really nothing to worry about.”
BoxingScene.com: And are there any concerns about being overtrained from basically being in training camp all this time?
Rosinsky: “No, because we took the right time off. Even when I found out I was fighting Pavlik, I still took three days off to just relax, make sure my body was right, make sure I get the right rest.”
BoxingScene.com: You said you saw Pavlik on ESPN2 and said you were ready for him. What did you see, or not see, from him?
Rosinsky: “Maybe it’s ring rust, but I just saw that he wasn’t as active. His punches didn’t look as effective as they did when I was watching him a couple of years back. It could be a mixture of things. I can’t say age, because he’s only 30 years old — but it could be just the fact that he’s been pro for 12 years. And I think he’s burnt out.
“I think when he went up to 168, it’s a jump. He fought 165 in the amateurs and he went down to 160 in the pros, and now he’s going way out of his weight class. Eight pounds doesn’t seem like a lot, but I think you lose a lot of punching power, especially when you have guys that are coming down from 185. It’s a big difference.
“It’s not only him. I still think Kelly Pavlik is a great fighter. I would never take nothing away from him. But I think it’s also me. I feel I’m ready to take that step up to fight a guy like that. I think at this point in my career — I’m 27 — I think I’m getting a shot pretty early. I’ve only been a pro for like four years — not even four years, but going on four years. But mentally and physically I’m ready. I’m with the right people. I just feel like it’s just the right time to strike.”
BoxingScene.com: Less than a year ago you had a fight with Edwin Rodriguez that ended in a decision loss for you, though it didn’t look like the shutout that the judges had. Now you’re fighting on HBO against Pavlik. That’s got to be a nice turnaround in your eyes.
Rosinsky: “Absolutely. I think part of that was a lot of people, including promoters managers, whatever it is, I think a lot of people saw that and know that 100-90 across the board — or pretty much 30 rounds to nothing, as I say — was not a reflection of how competitive that fight was.”
BoxingScene.com: What do you walk around at when you’re not fighting?
BoxingScene.com: And so you’ve been fighting at light heavyweight and super middleweight your entire career. Pavlik is taller than you. How do you see the physical match-up between you two?
Rosinsky: “I think I can muscle him. He’s pretty flat footed. He knows how to stalk. But I can muscle him when I want and I can box him when I want. Although he is much stronger — I will give him that — he doesn’t have the same footwork, he doesn’t have the same speed as me. And when it comes to height, I’m not worried about it.
“I just beat a kid who had an 84-inch reach, which is pretty much more than a foot more than me in reach. He missed jabs and paid for it. I’m not worried about reach. It’s four or five inches. I’m not worried about that when it comes to that. 6’2” is normal for me, especially from fighting at light heavyweight in the amateurs. Everyone was 6’2” and higher, it seemed like.”
BoxingScene.com: When you envision this fight, how do you see the action going? Does this fight go the distance?
Rosinsky: “I’m going to show up boxing and brawling, pretty much controlling the pace. I’m not going to sit here and say I’m going to knock him out. I’m always ready for the distance. That’s how I train. I don’t look for no knockouts. If it comes, better for me. If it doesn’t, then I’ll be in there fighting my ass off.”
BoxingScene.com: What would a victory over Pavlik do for your career?
Rosinsky: “Oh, man. It does everything for my career. It puts me up there with the top guys. It gets me noticed on the world-class level. It puts me in position to fight even bigger names or even to fight guys that are in their prime right now and make even bigger statements. And with that said, he has everything to lose and nothing to gain fighting me.
“It was kind of the same thing I saw with Edwin Rodriguez. People knew who Rodriguez was; nobody knows who I am, and everyone doubts me. So I go in there as the underdog, and I have nothing to lose if people doubt me already. Same thing with Pavlik, because Pavlik is Pavlik, and he’s a huge name. He has everything to lose and nothing to gain. Beating me does nothing for his career. But losing to me, pretty much, I think he’ll be calling it a second retirement.”
BoxingScene.com: Anything else you want to say?
Rosinsky: “Yeah, absolutely. I’m not saying this because of Pacquiao-Bradley. I’m not saying this because I thought I got robbed against Edwin; I thought the Edwin fight was very competitive. All I’m hoping for this fight is I get a fair shake. I know he’s the famous guy, and I’m the kid from Queens that no one knows about, but I hope I just get a fair shake for this fight, so if it does go the distance, it’s an honest decision and not no BS.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter at twitter.com/fightingwords2 or on Facebook at facebook.com/fightingwordsboxing, or send questions and comments to [email protected]