|Tommy Rainone: “I'm Ready To Go Out There and Handle Business”
Intreview by Bob Carroll, Doghouse Boxing (April 23, 2009) DoghouseBoxing.com
The last time Doghouse Boxing spoke to welterweight prospect Tommy "The Razor" Rainone 12-2 (4), he was in the Doghouse Prospect Watch Spotlight. This time, Tommy is preparing to take a huge step in his young career. On May 8th, Tommy will be taking on Daniel Sostre 8-3 (3) for the New York State Welterweight Championship in Franklin Square New York. Tommy is focused on the task ahead.
Recently Tommy sat down with Doghouse Boxing to discuss this fight and his future.
Bob Carroll: Tommy, you take a big step on May 8th, taking on Daniel Sostre for a title. How has you camp been coming?
Tommy Rainone: It's a grind every day, I'm training my ass off, getting the best possible sparring I can get. I'm running hard every night, putting in the rounds at the gym, training six days a week. I couldn't be working much harder and now it's about being smart and getting the right rest. I'm already on weight, I'm like a pound over at 148. So everything has been going pretty smoothly. The sparring has been tough, but that's what you need. I feel like I've been going out there and slapping guys around the gym because I am sparring top notch guys. It's all going to pay dividends on May 8th because whatever he has, I've seen already. He's not going to bring anything to the table that I haven't already been preparing for or doing in the gym with the guys that I have been working with.
BC:You mentioned that you are sparring a lot. Any names we know?
TR: I've been sparring alot. Today at five o'clock I will be sparring Chris Aligeri, who is also fighting on the card. He is a junior welterweight from New York, 5-0, real good fighter. Sparred with Yuri Foreman, gonna spar with him again on Tuesday. He's one of the best jr. middleweights in the world. Leon Green, he used to be with Golden Boy, but he's had some managerial problems and etc. but real good fighter. I sparred this kid that was on the Swedish Olympic team last week. He had two hundred and sixty amateur fights so far and he's training in New York now. He won the Golden Gloves on Friday and when I sparred with him, he's 165, so I did a few rounds with him. It's tougher to fight a guy with two hundred sixty fights around the world then it is fighting a guy with twenty five pro fights. He was great sparring. I've been getting some top sparring. I've sparred Mike Ruiz as well, who Sostre had beaten for the title. I sparred with him last week and will be sparring with him this week. I've been sparring all types of guys.
BC: How much do you know of Sostre?
TR: I know quite a bit. I've fought a show with him in Monticello NY in my either ninth or tenth fight pro fight. I didn't get to see his fight, but it was over quick and a friend told me how it went. I was at one of his fights earlier, a couple of months earlier, where I saw him fight on Long Island NY. I was at his fight, more importantly, against Mike Ruiz when he won the New York state title. I was suppossed to fight on that card and I had trained 5 weeks for that fight and we went through a bunch of opponents, but it didn't work out. You know, injuries and who could make weight but I was there sitting as a spectator, sitting in the front row watching that fight. I helped Mike get ready for that fight with a lot of tough sparring. Mike was winning the fight after four rounds but he beat himself that night. It wasn't so much what Sotre did as much as it was what Mike Ruiz wasn't doing. He got out hustled and out worked, so that night I really paid attention to Sostre after the fourth round, knowing that I would be fighting him. He's a solid fighter but he does nothing spectacular, He's got a very good defense, he's a tough guy to hit, you're not going to hit him with a barrage of punches. Against Sostre, you're going to really work to hit him, you can't throw one punch at a time, you've got to play chess with him, out work him and out think him. He's a good solid fighter and his speed is good, his power is decent but he doesn't throw a great right hand, great jab or anything in particular. He has a real good defense. So I just have to go out there and out do him in every area basically.
BC: With a tough defense and without giving away your complete gameplan, how do you plan on getting around the defense of Sostre?
TR: First and foremost, I've got to back him up, that's number one. From what I've seen, he looks pretty comfortable backing up as opposed to coming forward because he is not the aggressive type. He may surprise me and come after me, but I'm prepared for anything. He may try to jump me in the first round, but it does not matter to me, I'm prepared for anything. As far as his defense goes, common sense dictates, the more I punch, the more I land. The less I punch, the less I land. So as I said, I'm not beating him throwing one or two punches at a time, I've got to go out there and work. At the same time I can't leave too many openings because he's a smart guy, he knows how to counterpunch. I've got to play it smart every round and at the same time I know my defense is solid as well, so my defense is going to handle itself. It's not like he's going to be landing on me at will. I see the fight playing out as a chess match and a battle of wills so to speak. The winner will be whoever is more intelligent in the ring.
BC: How did this championship fight come about for you?
TR: Well, me and Sostre could have fought two or three times already. He's from upstate New York and I'm from Long Island, so the fight doesn't make sense to happen in upstate New York, where there would not have been much money in it. There was a couple of times where we were suppossed to fight, but it didn't happen, a couple of times on his times and a couple of times on my end, but it was a fight that was going to happen. He knew it and I knew it. Mike Ruiz had gotten the New York Title shot against him, over me, so I helped Mike get ready, get trained and get him into the best shape he could be in for the fight. Ruiz was the favorite, but Sostre pulled out the upset. That basically put me next in line.
BC: You are friends with light welterweight contender Frankie "El Gato" Figueroa. Has he been able to be active in your training camp?
TR: Well Frankie just fought about three weeks ago, and I spoke to him the other day, he was in Florida. Frankie is a southpaw. I'd be working with Frankie if I was fighting a fellow southpaw. I fought in Argentina in December and I went to the Bronx and did a lot of work with Frankie to get ready for that fight. He'll be at my fight, he'll be walking me to the ring on May 8th. I always ask Frankie for a little advice here and there, I'm not one of these know it alls. I the type of person who has a lot of questions. Fighters go through different emotions during training, sometimes your up, sometimes your down, so I have a lot of boxer friends that I will ask for advice and opinions on, so I'm always in contact with him. As far as actually sparring or training with him, no he is just coming off a fight and I am fighting a right handed fighter.
BC: I spoke to Frankie earlier today and he wanted me to ask you how much he punks you inside and outside the ring?
TR: (Both laughing) Oh, he's a clown, a practical joker. Frankie is a good guy, I've known him since 2001. I met him when we fought in the metros and the first time I met him was touching gloves to come out to fight. I liked him the second we met, he was a good guy and I've been friends with him ever since. I stopped boxing for a bit, but when I started again in 2006 or so, I hadn't spoken to him for a couple of years. I spoke to him shortly after returning to boxing and we've been boys, hanging out since then. I go to his fights and we hang out. But he's a wise ass, he's the biggest wise ass out there. He's a good guy.
BC: Looking ahead a minute, you wake up the morning of May 9th and are the New York State Welterweight Champion. What do you do first?
TR: Wow, what am I doing first? I can't even look that far ahead. May 9th, doesn't seem like a real possiblity right now, all I am thinking of is the eighth and winning that belt. I wake up on the ninth and who knows, I know I am going to be on that natural high, but as far as getting right back into the ring right immediately? I'll see what my options are, I know I can fight July 18th on Long Island, but I have not made a commitment to that fight yet. It all depends on what on how May 8th goes and what doors also open from winning the New York state title. I mean, something else may open up, like the undercard of Cotto-Clottey at the Garden that I would look to jump on. First and for most is winning the title and when I wake up in the morning, I will have the belt next to me. That also means that I will be going to sleep with the belt that night (both laugh). I'm sure I'm not the first fighter, or the last fighter to do that.
BC: That leads into this next question. After this fight, is there anyone you would like to fight next?
TR: Again Bob, I'm not even thinking about that and it may seem like the right thing or poetic thing to say, but that is exactly were my mind is right now. I'm not thinking about anything other than May 8th. I can't think of what show or who I'd like to fight next or what I'd like to do after May 8th. The only thing I know I want to do after May 8th is take a weekend off and go down to Ocean City MD. That's about it. I know I'm going to be there Memorial day weekend. I've been training my ass off for two months. I've been doing nothing but training, resting and working my regular job of course. So as far as thinking anything about any other opponents, that hasn't even crossed my mind. It's been tough enough getting through the day knowing that on Tuesday I have to spar Yuri Foreman, Wednesday I have to spar Mike Ruiz. I've got to worry about each day, I can't even worry about May 8th so much, I'm just worried about getting through Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
BC: Tommy, what do you want to say to the readers of Doghouse Boxing and your fans about this fight coming up?
TR: I'm in excellent shape. I've been getting, like I said, top notch sparring and now it just comes down to handling business. I've got two weeks of hard training left, and then it is fight week. I'm going to continue doing what I've been doing, I'm already on weight as I said. I'm just ready to go out there and handle business. I'm going to have a nice crowd there and it will be a real special night for all. I'm not going to disappoint.
I'd like to thank Tommy "The Razor" Rainone for taking time out of his schedule to talk to Doghouse Boxing. I'd also like to thank Boxing Buzz for setting up the interview. For more on Tommy Rainone, listen to Bob Carroll, Butch and "THE Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. every Wednesday night on Fightin' Words Radio Show. Tommy will be one of our guests this week when we broadcast from 7-9pm. To listen live via the internet, go to http://1490wwpr.com and look for the "listen here" tab. Don't forget to check out the Fightin' Words Radio Show website, fightinwordsonline.com.
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