Note: I wrote this post for Bang! Boxing, and will appear in their blog, The Weigh In, on their soon-to-be-launched website. But no use wasting good copy!
I just got off the phone with Derric Rossy, who is fighting Eddie Chambers for the second time on February 11th in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
This was my first time speaking to Derric, and I’ve got to admit, I thought I was going to be talking to a punch-drunk meat-head.
Imagine my surprise when the guy on the other end of the phone was articulate, engaging and (dare I say) funny!
The conversation was so good that at one point I forgot that I was conducting an interview, and stopped taking notes.
But I’ve managed to cobble together much of what we discussed and (with a little bit of paraphrasing and perhaps a mis-quote or two) here is our call.
B! So I hear you’ve got a fight coming up. Who are you fighting?
DR I’m fighting Eddie Chambers on February 11th in Atlantic City.
B! What are your thoughts about the fight?
DR Its going to be a great fight. I’m a different fighter from the last time we met.
B! So you fought him already? What happened?
DR Last time I fought him, I was more of a brawler, using my weight, trying to punch to win. I was an athletic kid, but Eddie was already a really experienced fighter. I was young and just trying to land big blows. He was more experienced and he beat me. I’m not trying to take anything away from him, but I wasn’t really prepared for that fight. He was more experienced than I was at the time.
B! Do you think his extra 10 bouts make a difference for your upcoming fight?
DR I believe I’ve caught up to him. As far as experience he’s still got more. But I feel comfortable.
B! So what’s different between then and now?
DR Well I’m more experienced. I know what to expect. I’m not just going to come out swinging because I know more about myself and my opponent. Eddie’s been in a championship fight before, so he’s definitely got experience, but in the time since our last fight, I’ve grown considerably, and I won’t underestimate him.
B! In your opinion, who’s the toughest guy he’s fought against?
DR It’s kinda of tough, because we’re all big guys, but his championship fight was probably the toughest. Vladimir was probably the toughest from a tactical perspective.
B! How do you prepare for this fight?
DR Since I’m fighting a tactician, this is going to be a chess match. I’m going to stay the game plan and do it methodically. When you’re fighting someone who is tactical, you have to be tough-minded enough to do what you’re doing. Don’t get caught up in the trash talking and get away from your game plan.
B! I don’t mean to change the subject so abruptly, but I’ve got to talk about this. We see you’ve called out Tomask Adamek, what’s up with that?
DR (Laughs) Yeah, I called him out. I think it’s a fight that people want to see.
B! You said more than that, and I quote (so we can be clear): “I’ve been trying to get a fight with you since you asked me to not come back to your training camp after we sparred; I’d love to show the world exactly why you asked me not to come back.” What did you learn when you sparred him?
DR I felt like I was putting it on him a little bit. Sometimes ego get involved. I’m not a sparring partner. I’m a guy here to make sure we both get better. I’m not just going to give you the upper hand. Not like some of the other guys who let him get over on them. It’s an ego thing sometimes. I think they thought that “this guys not worth having here.” Basically, I feel like I was giving him more work than he wanted.
B! When you sparred with him, what did you see? What did you learn about yourself?
DR The fact that I’m in there with a guy that’s as experienced as Adamek, means that I can stay in there with him. I have confidence in myself. I felt that literally, I’m my own man and I can fight with anyone. I was holding my own.
B! How many rounds did you spar with him?
DR Maybe sparred 8-10 rounds.I helped him out when he was going against Golotta, but when he was training for Vargas I didn’t get called back. Three weeks to the fight he didn’t ask me to come back.
B! Did you feel that sparring with you helped him prepare for those fights?
DR He was definitely in shape for both of those fights. He definitely has a great work ethic. Got him in great shape.
B! Have you heard anything from him or his people?
DR Nothing official yet, but we’re reaching out to them.
B! What do u think about your chances for fighting Adamek?
DR Don’t get me wrong, I have respect for him and what he’s done. But getting a fight with him is not far fetched. He wants to prove where he is. And a fight with me would allow him to do that. A fight between us would mean non-stop action, not a bunch of big guys just plodding and moving along. It would be an exciting fight.
B! If you were to take Peter’s spot in April would you be ready?
DR If things go the way that I want them with Eddie, then I’ll definitely be prepared to fight in April.
B! Let’s just say you defeat Eddie, you get passed Adamek, what’s next?
DR The Klitchko’s of course! And the sky’s the limit. We want to bring the heavyweight championship back to the USA. I feel like the USA is starving for a heavyweight champion. Boxing was run by the US heavyweight for the longest time. Every US heavyweight’s object is to go bring those belts back.
B! If you were to fight in Poland, that would give Adamek a real advantage, fighting for a home crowd. How would you over come that?
DR It all comes down to what you do in the ring. It’s all in the mind. You get over that home court advantage by taking his will, which would take away any advantage of where the fight is fought.
B! What are Adamek’s weaknesses (if any)? How would you exploit them?
DR I can’t give that away, because overall he’s a good tactician. But I think I can be a little quicker than him and get a little advantage in that area. It won’t be an obliteration. But I feel like I have a few advantages in a few areas that I can use until I can’t anymore (laughs) He’s got the experience. He knows how to maneuver and adjust, and you just keep adjusting.
B! How do you plan to combat the fact that you’re not well known? Shameless plug for B!’s PR services!
DR I’m under the radar, but I’ll combat that by beating Eddie Chambers and taking on Adamek. It comes down to winning and winning decisively. You’ve got to beat the people that are going to catapult yourself ahead. Everyone loves a winner. You’ve got to go out there and beta the people that are in the spotlight, there is no way around it. That’s where you get the proverbial overnight success.
B! Eddie Chambers prediction for the fight? KO? Going the distance?
DR That’s going to be a tough one. I’d love to say first round knockout, but I respect the guy and I know he’s going to come into the ring ready. But we’re going to win – definitely a ‘W’.
B! Best of luck to you on Feb 11.