Payano Insists Ring Rust No Concern, Ready For Warren

By Jake Donovan

It’s been a long time coming for Juan Carlos Payano’s first title defense, but the unbeaten Dominican insists he’s 100% ready for his showdown with Cincinnati’s Rau’Shee Warren. The pair of undefeated southpaw bantamweights collide Sunday evening at Full Sail Live on the campus of Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida, headlining the inaugural edition of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Bounce TV (Sunday, 9:00 p.m. ET).

Payano certainly looked ready at Saturday’s weigh-in, showing off a shredded midsection in tipping the scales at 117.6 lbs. In boxing, however, there has always been a big difference between being in physical condition and fighting condition. 

The only proof on the latter is to wait and see what happens once the opening bell sounds. The most glaring statistic in this match is the ten-plus months of downtime for Payano from his title win over Anselmo Moreno to Sunday’s clash with Warren—a gifted amateur who is the only American boxer ever to fight in three Olympic games (2004, 2008, 2012). 

Still, Payano has been a fighter since youth, and believes a life of experience in addition to an intense training camp will have him combat ready for tonight.

“No concerns about the time off between fights,” Payano (16-0, 8KOs) told “I've had over 500 amateur fights (498-30 as an amateur), fought in two Olympics (2004 and 2008 for Dominican Republic), 16 pro fights and I'm a veteran. There's no ring rust.” 

Payano is one of the few fighters who can actually claim the phrase “I live in the gym” as a true statement and not just a metaphor. The five-year pro is housed in trainer Herman Caicedo’s gym (Caicedo Sports Gym) in Miami when away from his family back home in the Dominican Republic.

That type of dedication to the sport led to his first major title, scoring an upset technical decision win over long-reigning bantamweight titlist Anselmo Moreno in late September last year. His downtime was spent with his family, and also celebrating honors as Dominican Republic’s 2014 Fighter of the Year. 

Also factoring into the extended ring absence was the collapse of Iron Mike Productions. Payano’s original team—managers Henry Rivalta and Garry Jonas—remain on board, after severing ties with Mike Tyson, whose companies merged in 2013 and conducting business through the end of 2014. 

With the split came the waiting game, as Rivalta and Jonas sought the best laid plans for their stable of fighters. It eventually lead to signing with adviser Al Haymon, with whom Payano signed earlier this year. From there, it was a matter of the right fit for his ring return, rather than just taking any fight simply for the sake of fighting.

His patience paid off with the status of Sunday’s card launching the PBC brand on yet another network, as Bounce TV joins a growing list of outlets showcasing the series.

“Headlining on the first PBC on Bounce TV show is great, I'm just happy to be headlining a PBC show,” Payano acknowledges. “I appreciate the opportunity and I'm going to make sure the fans are entertained. I'm very thankful for what Haymon’s doing for boxers and boxing by getting Bounce and all these other networks involved.”

It also means getting Payano back in the ring, which of course is the point of any fighter’s career. 

“It’s been a long time since my last fight, but I promise it will be the very best of me in that ring,” Payano insists. 

Jake Donovan is the managing editor of Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by FukkMargarito on 08-02-2015

Their site streams free.

Comment by SAN D13GO VILLAN on 08-02-2015

Bounce tv???? I don't have this channel...

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (2)
Top Headlines Premier Boxing Champions, FOX Sports Reveal 2019 Schedule Peterson-Lipinets, Quillin-Truax To Headline FS1 Shows News: Antonio Vargas, Anvar Yunusov, Jean Carlos Torres Jarrell Miller is Interested in Facing Whyte-Chisora 2 Winner Gilberto Ramirez, Jesse Hart Promise a War on December 14 Spence-Garcia To Be Announced As FOX PPV March 16 Gennady Golovkin is 'No. 1 Choice' For Callum Smith, Says Hearn Pacquiao-Broner Press Conferences Set For Monday, Tuesday Claressa Shields: I Can Go as Low as 154 For Cecilia Braekhus Thurman-Lopez, Garcia-Granados, Santa Cruz-Flores Are Set Boy Jones Jr. vs. Craig Evans For Vacant WBO Euro, Nov. 19 Shawn Porter-Yordenis Ugas Set For March 9 In Las Vegas Joe Smith: If I Land on Beterbiev Like Johnson Did - I'll Finish Him! Kownacki-Washington Set For 1/26 FOX Show From Barclays Holyfield: Two Different Eras, Usyk is The Best of His Time Hearn: Joshua-Usyk Will Be A Massive Fight One Day, Not Now Oleksandr Usyk vs. Tony Bellew: Afterthoughts Alexander Povetkin Will Have Two More Fights, Then Retire Jay Collins Ready For Debut Under Guidance of Derry Mathews Parker's Promoter: We Want Whyte-Chisora Winner - NOT Usyk Amir Khan vs. Kell Brook: Hearn Aims To Finalize March Date Felix Verdejo's Manager: We'd Like The Winner of Hooker-Saucedo Looking Back a Decade at a Hall of Fame Finale Tyson Fury Tears Apart Deontay Wilder's "Biggest Career Wins" AIBA Submits Reports TO IOC With Olympic Future at Stake Manu Vatuvei vs. Brown Buttabean Set For Parker-Flores Card Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Warns 168: You Are All on Notice - I'm Back! Photos: Maurice Hooker, Alex Saucedo - Open Workouts News: David Papot, Eric Walker, Ievgen Khytrov, More De La Hoya: Mayweather Was Looking For Attention With Rizin Jaron Ennis Motivated By Goal of Unifying Welterweight Division Emmanuel Tagoe Inks Promotional With Lou DiBella Donaire: If I Land My Best Shots, I Believe I Can Stop Zolani Tete Bellew: I Want Reality Back, I Want a Normal Life and I Will Find It Shohjahon Ergashev Secures a Rapid Knockout Win in Chicago Agit Kabayel vs. Otto Wallin on February 3rd or 23rd in Germany Bivol: Pascal's Style Will Make Better Fight Than Chilemba Bout Manager: Usyk Will Need a Fight or Two Before Joshua Title Fight Conlan Eyes Warrington: Win or Lose, I'd Love To Fight Him Jarrell Miller: Dillian Whyte is a Clown, Nobody is Afraid of Him

Latest Active Forum Threads