By Przemek Garczarczyk
Photo: Team Bryant
“Rowland is this special, quiet guy which you should fear the most. But if you are in the ring against him it’s too late – you can see this anger, this power he puts in every punch. After the Andrade stoppage, he was mad that the referee broke off the fight because he wanted to hit him more, inflict more pain. You cannot teach this,” – said Josue Aguilar, trainer of Rowland Bryant (16-1, 11 KO), who on August 2 at Roseland Ballroom in New York will challenge undefeated South African Thomas Oosthuisen (19-0, 13 KO) for the International Boxing Organization super middleweight title.
Bryant, who was always a boxing enigma, shocked many people when he stopped former IBF title challenger Librado Andrade last April in Texas and in this Fightnews interview, Bryant is confident, that getting IBO title will be just the beginning.
Do you agree that is really hard to be prepared for whatever you can bring into ring because, nobody knows the real Rowland Bryant? Just three fights in the last three years…
As you know, it was not my choice , just the complicated circumstances happened in my life. If I would be my next opponent, I would rather think about how good this guy must be. First, 13 straight wins, than nothing, and now stopping Andrade. I would like Thomas Oosthuisen think about that.
Are you surprised? He must underestimate you even though beating Andrade should work as a warning sign?
I’m not sure he underestimates me, but if he does it will make my job easier. I cannot be intimidated, I cannot be taken off my path. Things don’t work this way with me – I know what I should do and it’s always up to me, never the other guy.
It’s hard not come to this conclusion knowing Oosthuisen just fought Marcus Johnson 10 weeks ago and fighting for the IBO super middleweight title should be important enough to get some break before fighting again.
Yeah, if you say this like that, maybe he’s taking me lightly, seeing some guy shorter couple of inches then him, with shorter reach, just 17 fights. But I see it differently – I see Oosthuisen as the young guy who thinks that world belongs to him already but also as a fighter without noticeable experience, who just assuming that his jab will be enough to win the fight. He’s a high output guy, but I like people coming straight at me. To be honest, I was more concerned before the Andrade fight that before this one. Andrade fought the best, he knows every trick in the book, with one punch KO power and I did not fight anybody like him before. Instead of just having an easy tune-up fight after a two-and-a-half year break from boxing, winning against Librado gave me a great dose of confidence. I always knew what I’m worth it, but it’s nice to convert some other people to thinking the same way. Oosthuisen being bigger than me and the saying “the bigger they are, harder they fall” will work also on August 2 in New York.
I spoke before our interview with one of your sparing partners, currently #1 ranked WBC cruiserweight contender Francisco Palacios, who told me that when you hit, you mean business – even when your are hitting with 18 ounce gloves.
There’s no other way when you are stepping into the ring. I want to say thanks to Francisco and all the people who believed in me when nobody else did. There are no excuses, everything was perfect this time – training camp, preparations, everything to get my first title and go forward from there. With my trainer Josue Aguilar, we have plan A and B for Oosthuisen, but without the determination I have, no plan could be successful. Believe me – I have determination that would be enough for 10 fighters, not just me alone. It’s special drive, because boxing saved my life, make me hang on when everything around me was falling apart.