|Rowland Bryant: “I’ll fight anybody!”
INTERVIEW By Benny Henderson Jr - A.K.A "Big Dog" (Oct 18, 2006)
This Saturday night, October 21st, live at Fitzgerald’s Casino & Hotel in Tunica, MS (brought to you by Prize Fight Boxing), undefeated super middleweight Rowland Bryant, 13-0 (9), returns to the ring to face tough Texan Billy Thompson, 8-6 (3), in a six round clash. This will be his second bout at the 168-pound mark since battling most of his bouts as a light heavyweight. And the power punching prospect is ready to lay some serious leather come fight night.
Making his debut in February of 2003, Bryant, (managed by female fight icon Christy Martin and trained by her husband, Jim) burst onto the scene, racking up eight consecutive knockouts, six having been stopped in the opening round. In nearly two years as a professional, the aggressive brawler has handed out defeat to all that has crossed his path. In his last outing, Bryant stopped the 34-fight veteran Rico Cason in the first round. The young gun has gigantic plans for his future and believes that he will be the top of the crop someday soon, and he will fight anybody to prove it. In this exclusive interview, Rowland Bryant speaks on his upcoming match-up, the super middleweight division and his future. Enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: Any thoughts on your opponent Billy Thompson?
Rowland Bryant: I don’t know much on him. I just know that he has a lot of experience and a good chin and he likes to come forward. But it doesn’t bother me that much, not knowing a lot.
BH: Why inspired you to box?
RB: Before I started boxing, I was getting in trouble a lot with fighting in the streets and stuff. (Laughs) I was getting pretty good at it so I figured I might as well get paid for it.
BH: What are your best qualities and how would you describe your style?
RB: I can punch hard in either hand, and I fight with aggression. I keep pressure on my opponents. I fight and people like to see that. And I am a gentleman out of the ring and I think people like that too.
BH: How has it been working with Jim and Christy Martin?
RB: It has been good. I know they are the best people I could ever work with. I have traveled with them when Christy was fighting for Don King and seen a lot of gyms and to be honest, I haven’t seen too many trainers have their qualities. They are pretty honest people and it is hard to find people like that in the boxing game that care about you. They have been looking after me since I was an amateur and it has been good working with them.
BH: What has been your toughest bout to date?
RB: Shoot…Ah, man; all of them have been pretty tough to me, even the first round knockouts. I really can’t say.
BH: What separates you from the other super middleweight prospects?
RB: Number one: Most of these super middleweights coming up have been babied throughout their amateur careers. They have been babied so they have been groomed. Basically, they have a lot of stuff going their way so when they come to the pros. Things are easy for them, their first fight; they are fighting on television and such. Well, I came up the hard way. Christy didn’t baby me around. She didn’t baby around my parents or anybody. I had to work for everything. Nobody gave me anything. Second of all, I have the heavyweight punch and that’s what a lot of them are going to have to deal with. I spar with heavyweights. I don’t think I am even supposed to be from this (modern-day) generation of fighters. I think I am more like (Rocky) Marciano and Jack Johnson and those guys because everything about me is real. There ain’t nothing fake about me.
BH: You say that you are ‘real’. Explain exactly what you mean by being ‘real.’
RB: ‘Real’ means that everything that I do in the ring, I worked for it. Nobody gave it to me. There were no short cuts. Everybody will know that I worked for where I am getting. I wasn’t handed bums to fight. Christy and them are bringing me up like a real champion; like everybody should be brought up. Being real is being myself, knowing what I can do and having the confidence to do it. I will fight anybody!
BH: What about your hobbies out side of the ring?
RB: That’s an easy one. (Laughs) I like to fish a lot. It relaxes my mind. I love fishing. I watch movies too, but mostly fishing. I like being around the ocean. It relaxes my mind. I get away from everybody and be there with nature.
BH: What are your thoughts on the other prospects in your division?
RB: I can’t take anything away from the other guys. I am human they are human and anybody can be beat so you know, as long as they don’t sit on the top and act like nobody can touch them, then I have respect for them. I just hope they aren’t being cocky because I am on my way. I will get my shot. All I have to say is that I am coming.
BH: For the ones who are reading this, how would you persuade them to come see you? I guess what I am saying is why should somebody come to see you fight?
RB: Hmm…Why should they come see me fight? Well, because I think that my fighting style and what I bring to the ring
brings back the excitement to boxing. Most of these fighters are lazy. It’s what Teddy Atlas calls ‘The Silent Agreement.’ They both agree to go soft on each other in the ring. I am not (soft). I have the power and what I have; I can bring the spark back to boxing.
BH: What can the ringside fans expect from you come fight night?
RB: They can expect me to just come in and fight this guy. I will go toe-to-toe with this guy. He can either get knocked out or take a beating for six rounds. It doesn’t matter to me.
BH: Is there anybody in particular that you would like to step in with?
RB: I say any of them. It doesn’t matter to me. I’ll fight anybody.
BH: Is there anything you would like to add or say in closing?
RB: All I have to really say is that I feel like I have been doing this for a long time. I haven’t taken no shortcuts and people don’t realize how hungry I am. I don’t care how much experience a fighter has. I bring so much fire to the ring. Everybody out there better watch out because I am focused and I am coming.
I would like to thank Christy Martin for setting up this interview, and thanks goes out to Rowland Bryant for speaking his mind to the Doghouse.
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