Rozicki Looking to Make History: Cape Breton’s “Rocky” Looking for the Upset
By Jeff Carroll: The Maritimes of Canada have a rich boxing history. From George Dixon, the first-ever Black athlete to win a world championship in any sport, to Sam Langford, often called “The Greatest Fighter Nobody Knows,” the cold, hard, eastern coast has produced a long line of talented, if relatively unknown, legends of the sport. This Friday, Ryan Rozicki is looking to add his name to that long and prestigious list.
Rozicki (13-0), from Cape Breton, N.S., is coming in as a massive underdog against former heavyweight Oscar Rivas (27-1). Rivas, who has weighed as much as 251 lbs, is one fight removed from a controversial loss to Dillian Whyte and has dropped to 225 for a chance to claim the first-ever Bridgerweight Title. Rozicki, a natural cruiserweight, took the fight on short notice after Bryant Jennings had to drop out over vaccine issues. Taking a fight on short notice is nothing new to the Cape Breton slugger, but taking a fight for the new Bridgerweight title at a 225 lb limit is a whole different ball game. Rozicki will have the whole of the east coast behind him, as a Cape Bretoner hasn’t fought for a world title in over 116 years.
Rivas, who has had one tune-up since the Dillian Whyte fight, will be looking to use his size to his advantage in the matchup, and the size advantage will be a big one. Rozicki has never weighed in over 200lbs and has had just six weeks to come up to the 225lb Bridgerweight limit. Although Rozicki has stated that he’s eating more than ever in order to get up to the weight, he says his increased mass hasn’t affected his speed. A known bruiser, Rozicki, also noted that his ring IQ is underrated due to the explosive nature of his fights. He’s planning on coming forward against Rivas and looking for the knockout. When asked if he fears the power of Rivas, Rozicki did not seem fazed and acknowledged that Rivas is the one who has something to prove, “all the pressure is on the heavyweight.”
It will be a tall task for Ryan Rozicki to defeat Oscar Rivas on Friday night in Montreal, as he comes in as a +500 underdog, but being an underdog is nothing new to Rozicki. Not a lot of boxers make it out of Cape Breton, and fewer make it to the world stage. The hard, rocky, landscape of the maritime provinces can be an unforgiving place. Ryan Rozicki looks to bring that atmosphere into the ring on Friday, where he will try to do for Cape Breton, something that hasn’t been done in over a century, bring home a championship.
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