by David P. Greisman
Rau’shee Warren won a world title seven and a half months ago. He won it, but he still doesn’t have it.
“I still haven’t received my WBA belt yet,” Warren told BoxingScene.com. “I got my IBO title the first week I went home.”
Warren won both with his majority decision over bantamweight Juan Carlos Payano in their rematch last June. He’ll make his first defense on Feb. 10, facing off against Zhanat Zhakiyanov in Toledo, Ohio, as part of a broadcast on Bounce TV.
“Yeah, I feel great that I’m a champion, but I’m still hungry because I’m not getting treated like I’m supposed to be treated,” he said. “Where’s my belt? Come fight time, they might have it there.”
A fighter who loses his world title still gets to keep it for posterity. The winner has a new title sent to him — or at least he’s supposed to.
Warren said not having the World Boxing Association belt has led to him delaying parts of the usual victory lap a fighter takes after winning a world title.
“I’ve been staying at home, ain’t been doing nothing,” he said. “There’s a lot of stuff I couldn’t do at home, as far as having a parade, and all these people doing interviews, I’ve been holding back because I’ve been waiting for my belt to come. A lot of stuff’s been on hold.”
He said the title is very important for him, something that signifies what he’s accomplished as a pro but also how far he’s come since his amateur days.
“I worked very hard for it. If you’ve been following my journey, the past three Olympics, me not winning the gold medal like I wanted to do and put it around my mom’s neck. I found another drive as a professional,” Warren said. “That’s something [the title belt] I want to take to my mom and put around her waist and take pictures. In Cincinnati, I got the key to the city, I only had one belt. I didn’t want to explain why my other belt didn’t come. It’s very important to me, and not just me, but my family.”
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]