On December 11th Ray Oliveira (47-9-2 22 KO’s) will face off against WBU Jr. Welterweight Champion Ricky Hatton (37-0 27 KO’s) from the Excel Arena in London, England. Oliveira, a staple on ESPN telecasts has been clamoring for a big fight for a long time now and Hatton has given him the opportunity that he has been waiting patiently for. At thirty-six years of age Oliveira is feeling great both physically and mentally and is ready to show the boxing world that he is far from a steppingstone opponent. For those of you that have followed Oliveira’s career you will know the word “Quit” is not in his vocabulary. He’s only been down twice and never stopped so for Ricky Hatton to make a statement no others have made means he will have to be prepared for a war. When Ray Oliveira squared off against Zack Padilla in December of 1993 they combined to set a Compu Box record for most punches thrown in a fight, 3,020. Two other Oliveira bouts neared the three thousand combined punches total so when he is in a fight the fans will be in for a treat. Oliveira vs. Hatton should be an explosive bout that could be a fight of the year candidate as we close out 2004. I would like to thank Ray Oliveira for taking the time to speak with Doghouse Boxing and also a special thanks to Bob Trieger and to the readers of DHB.
“Sucra” Ray Oliveira
Ed Ludwig: How is training camp going thus far and when will you be leaving for England?
Ray Oliveira: Everything is going great and the weight is coming off real good and I’m in fighting shape and ready to go. I’ve been sparring with Tiger Allen and I’m also working with “Iceman” John Scully and they have been tremendous.
EL: Initially Ricky Hatton seemed to take you lightly when speaking about the upcoming fight and now he has changed his tune a little and showing you more respect. Did that surprise you?
RO: Ricky Hatton is showing respect and I appreciate that as I respect him too. The comments about me being a tune up didn’t really bother me because if he really thinks that then he is in a world of trouble. Hatton has to be focused on me and not Kostya Tszyu or anyone else. I’ll have both eyes targeted straight at him and he better do the same with me or it won’t be a good night for him.
EL: I have some questions from fans at the Doghouse message board. Tom from Providence was wondering if your fight with Vince Phillips was the best performance of you career and if not then what would it be?
RO: The Vince Phillips fight was good but my best was against Tracy Spann. Spann was coming off a title shot when we fought and he was in line for another if he beat me. I remember going into that fight scared as hell because of what was on the line for the two of us. Many people thought I might be in over my head a little bit but in the end I walked away the victor with a sixth round stoppage. That night everything went right for me and I was very pleased.
EL: Chris from Louisiana asks, if you defeat Hatton will you fight the top contenders in the US like Hatton has failed to do?
RO: Most definitely! I want to fight Vivian Harris again plus anyone else. I just want to fight.
EL: Dennis from New York asks about your strategy going into the Hatton fight?
RO: I want to keep Hatton at the end of my punches and break his body down. I’m the bigger guy and I want to make him fight the wrong fight. I’m bringing a lot into this fight that Hatton hasn’t seen yet.
EL: A DHB reader asks about your training and conditioning. Being a high volume puncher how do you maintain that level and how are you able to bounce back quickly from injuries?
RO: I am always working out even if there is no fight scheduled. I’m always in top condition and I work very hard to stay in shape, sometimes training up to two or three times a day. Much of it is mind over matter and don’t think about the pain aspect. A good attitude and dedication is what it’s all about.
EL: Another reader asks, if you beat Ricky Hatton would you want to fight Vivian Harris again and do you think he has improved a lot since you first fought?
RO: Vivian Harris has improved a lot and when people talk about Kostya Tszyu they should not forget about Harris. He is a great fighter with a great jab and good power. For sometime Harris was calling me out for a rematch and I was ready and in the end he did nothing and it never happened. He needs me more then I need him.
EL: A reader asks, if you beat Ricky Hatton what would be your dream fight?
RO: Ricky Hatton is my dream fight. I don’t look past what’s in front of me. Massachusetts has world champions in the Red Sox, Patriots, John Ruiz and I want to be part of that after this fight.
EL: All time favorite boxer?
RO: Sugar Ray Leonard
EL: Joe from Seattle wanted to know what your weight will be for the Hatton fight.
RO: 140 on the nose. I will be coming home WBU Jr. Welterweight champion.
EL: Win or lose, what are your plans after December 11th?
RO: I plan to sit back with my family and CES and enjoy the holidays. If all goes well I would love a shot at Kostya Tszyu. We both have the styles to make a great action packed fight.
EL: Any comments for Ricky Hatton?
RO: I know he’s going to be ready and so am I. I hope we can give everyone a great show and a fight people will talk about. You can call it a mini Gatti vs. Ward fight.
EL: Comments for your fans?
RO: I would like to thank everyone for all the support and continued prayers. I feed of the fans like I hope they feed off me. December 11th will be a good night and I will be coming home the first man to beat Ricky Hatton with his title in hand.
For more information on Ray Oliveira please visit www.cesboxing.com
© Copyright / All Rights reserved: Doghouse Boxing 1998-2004