|Rayco Saunders: "I'll fight anybody, anywhere at any time, I duck nobody!"
INTERVIEW By Benny Henderson Jr - A.K.A "Big Dog" (Oct 2, 2006)
Being on the wrong end of dire hometown decisions, former NABC cruiserweight champ Rayco ‘War’ Saunders 15-7-2 (7KO’s) makes a move with a new team and hopefully will shed the inequitable past that has plagued his career. No longer going at it on his own after just recently inking a deal with the new management team Sin City Boxing and dropping to light heavyweight, Saunders has a comprehensible outlook for the first time in his four year career, and the twenty-four fight veteran is ready to wage war with anybody and everybody that is willing to step in the ring.
Brought up hard in the streets Rayco got a taste of the fight world at a young age and from there excelled as an amateur and in late summer of 2002 the former three-time Pittsburgh Golden Gloves Champion made his professional debut knocking out the eight fight veteran Wayne Holloway in the opening round. Rayco continued the win streak before suffering the first defeat of his career at the hands of Greg Wright via split decision. Just two years after making his jump into the pros Saunders earned the NABC cruiserweight title by winning a ten round majority decision over James Walton.
Saunders had a bit of a downfall with the hometown decisions and lost out some close bouts that he and many ringside spectators felt he should have won, but now after the hard luck Rayco has picked back up and with a new team behind him, the thirty-two year old fighter is ready to take on the top guys to gain himself what he set out to achieve, a fair shake at becoming a world champion and to support his family in doing so. Read on to see what Rayco had to say on his career and new team and what the future may hold, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: Thanks for taking the time out to speak to the Doghouse, what has been up in your world as of late?
Rayco Saunders: Not too much as far as fight wise, just been trying to stay busy and stay in shape for a fight. No news on a fight, I know that Sin City has been talking to some people.
BH: You just signed a contract with Sin City Boxing management, how do you think that deal with transform your career?
RS: Well I think that just having some type of team does a lot of good for you career as far as boxing goes. I tried it for four years basically on my own not purposely just for the fact that people don’t respect fighters in the game, they think that fighters have a third grade education with a kid like mentality and I am not one of them. But like I said I did it my way for four years and I have a couple of losses as far as going into people hometowns and basically just destroying them and still getting the loss, so now we will just see what happens.
BH: How would you define your career this far?
RS: I think my career has been fun, I learned a lot as far as the business side of things and with the experience in being in the ring with different people and different sparring camps, I would describe my career as fun, not bad in any way, I have had a chance to learn more about the business.
BH: What has been your toughest bout to date?
RS: My toughest fight was Emanuel Nwodo. I came in about 187-pounds and he had problems making the 200-pound limit, I just had a son four days before that fight and I was up thirty hours doing the whole labor thing and of course I stayed with him and didn’t want to sleep and stay with him etc. Emanuel is a hell of a fighter and I think he is going to be champion; that was the hardest fight. One of my best fights although I lost it. I was actually going to quit boxing when I fought for the NABO cruiserweight title they read the scores and there was no doubt in my mind that I was winning the fight and they announced it for the other guy, so I actually quit boxing, and the reason why I fought Emanuel because they called me for the fight like the fourth time so it was starting to seem like I was ducking this guy or something so I said I’d fight him, and man it was a hell of a fight, and actually that loss put the love of boxing back in me.
BH: The bad decision was apparently taken its toll on your mental state of the game.
RS: Absolutely, when I fought Gary Gomez I boxed that dude beautifully, he was a power puncher and I boxed the guy all through the fight, I threw around 630 something punches in the fight and threw 90 punches alone in the last round and one judge had it 99 to 91 for this guy. So there is a lot of those hometown decisions where I didn’t even come close on the scores and the boxing media would write that I out boxed the guy but I didn’t get the win, all of those fights took its
toll on me. My career was going backwards and not forward.
BH: How would you describe your style?
RS: I will tell you exactly my style, Marvin Hagler, that is my style. I can box, I can bang, I can do it all, pretty much since the Gary Gomez fight I am not in it to prove skill anymore. Now I just have the mentality and it is always in the back of my mind that if I don’t knock this dude out that I will get robbed. After that Gomez fight there was no more trying to prove my skill.
BH: What other changes have you made in your career that may assure you success?
RS: I think me moving down to 175 was one of the best moves, me signing with Sin City was as equally good as that, so now hopefully I can get some fights, now I think all that is left is signing with a promoter.
BH: Anything in closing?
RS: I am here, I am in the light heavyweight division, like I said my style is a Marvelous Marvin Hagler style, that’s my favorite fighter I watched him every since I was little and that is probably why I adapted to that style. I am just looking forward to fighting, I don’t duck nobody! You have fighter out there and you think he is the best, there you have it, you have to fight the best to be the best and I will fight anybody anywhere at anytime!
I’d like to thank Macke Roberts for setting up this interview and a thanks goes out to Rayco for his time and thoughts.
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