By Dave Spencer/Fightnews Canada
The first time, it was a big upset. This time, the roles are reversed as Contender Champion Troy Ross (21-1, 15 KOs) will renew old acquaintances when he meets former amateur champion Michael Simms (20-10-1, 13 KOs) at The Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec tonight. Ross defeated the American fighter in the qualifying tournament held in Tampa that solidified his place on the 2000 Canadian Olympic team, his second of two Olympic Games. It was a stunning upset at the time, and since that time both fighters have seen their careers go in different directions.
After many stops and starts, Troy finally got the break he was looking for when he came away as Contender Champion in the latest incarnation of the popular series shown on Versus. Meanwhile Simms after getting off to a (12-0) start has been the litmus test recently for boxers wishing to prove themselves and has lost six of his last seven against a combined opposition 132-16-2. Two of those six have gone onto world title fights while a third, Grigory Drozd is near the top with each sanctioning body. Troy Ross is hoping for a similar fate should he get by Simms tonight.
“It was a competitive fight and I was well prepared,” said Ross about his recollections of meeting Simms the first time. “It’s pretty much the same thing here, I’m well prepared and know who he is and I’m going in there with a positive attitude and going in there to win.”
Obviously Simms who has been training in Montreal as a sparring partner for Adrian Diaconu will be looking for redemption from the amateur loss where he was knocked down twice. “Revenge is one of the things that every boxer hopes for,” Ross told Fightnews. “This time he gets that opportunity after nine years so I’ll have to go out there and focus on the game plan, which is to outbox him.” Asked about running into a former rival, nine years after the fact, Ross responded, “Once you stick in the sport as long as I have, there’s a guarantee that you’re going to see guys youve boxed before. I’m looking forward to it.”