by David P. Greisman
Pretty much every fighter says they want to impress with their performances. That’s no different for Rau’shee Warren, who wants to stand out in the first defense of his bantamweight world title by showing even more of what he can do.
“I feel like this fight has got to be real impressive. I got to do something different,” Warren told BoxingScene.com “Everybody’s used to the speed, they’re used to me outclassing fighters. This fight, they’re going to see not just speed, but more power, more of my abilities in the ring as a fighter.”
Warren is 14-1 with 4 KOs. He came up just short in his first shot at a title at 118, dropping a split decision to Juan Carlos Payano in August 2015. But in their rematch 10 months later, it was Warren who came out on top via narrow majority decision.
“Some people saw my power when I knocked Payano down in the first fight,” Warren said. “They could clearly see that I could take a shot.”
The low knockout ratio, he said, is a product of fighters who were coming to survive, but also from his own deficiencies that have since been corrected.
“Once I turned professional, it was kind of really hard to get fighters to fight a three-time Olympian,” Warren said. “Once they did find fighters for me, they’d get in the ring and I couldn’t really knock him out. They’d cover up because they were scared of my speed. Most every fighter I’ve been in the ring with, I’ve knocked them down but didn’t finish. That was my problem. I get overwhelmed sometimes. I get in a dog mode and just go for the kill and not just set it up. This fight is about being more patient, picking my shots.”
His opponent, Zhanat Zhakiyanov, is 26-1 with 18 KOs and has won 21 straight since a loss early in his career. That’s pretty much all Warren knows about him.
“I didn’t even look him up. My coach, Barry Hunter, sent me a link. I looked at the fight for about 30 seconds,” Warren said. “Coach Barrym I trust his word, his eyes, his knowledge. I don’t really got to know about him. I see that he relies on the right hand a lot and try to sit down n the punches. With my abilities, it’s going to be hard to try to catch me. Basically I got to stay out of the line of his fire.”
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]