Ryan Rozicki puts his unbeaten record on the line against the powerful Oscar Rivas on Friday night in Montreal.
Rivas, a 27-1 fighter, looks to continue his comeback after getting beaten by Dillian Whyte for the vacant WBC Interim world heavyweight title. It was his first career loss, but he’s not without a chance of getting another title fight.
Rozicki hasn’t faced anyone of note, but unbeaten records should always be respected.
Boxing betting lines are available for the biggest fights, and Rivas is the favorite to win.
Rozicki Steps Up to Plate
Rivas was set to fight Bryant Jennings in the brand new Olympic Theater, but with Jennings refusing to get vaccinated, Rozicki has stepped up to take his place.
It wasn’t an easy decision for the WBC to scratch Jennings from the newly created Bridgerweight Division, but he forced their hand.
“As an organization, the WBC respects the beliefs and decisions of our fighters. However, the WBC must also respect and abide by the governmental laws and regulations of each country where WBC-sanctioned events take place,” British Boxing News said.
It’s good to see Rozicki take the fight. He could have protected his unbeaten record against an easier fighter, so credit where credit is due.
I’ll be calling next weekend’s WBC Bridgerweight title fight between Oscar Rivas and Ryan Rozicki, the first world title fight in Canada since the pandemic began.
Former super bantamweight champ Steve Molitor will join me.
— Corey Erdman (@corey_erdman) October 14, 2021
Rozicki doesn’t care about taking the fight on short notice and he’s keen to show off his skills on the world stage.
“I’ve been working toward this moment from the second I stepped in the ring as an amateur,” said Rozicki. “Short notice, no notice, it doesn’t matter. When someone offers you a world title shot, it’s time to rumble. I’m ready to make history.”
Because fighters in the new weight class must weigh between 200 and 244 pounds, Rozicki will be moving up in weight whereas Rivas drops down.
“His size doesn’t worry me. From cruiserweight up, everyone hits hard,” explained Rozicki. “I know I hit harder than Rivas. He’ll be surprised when he feels this cruiserweight punch. I promise you that.”
The sportsbook doesn’t think Rozicki has much chance against Rivas, but there is always a puncher’s chance in boxing.
Experience Edge With Rivas
It wasn’t until Rivas faced Jennings that he experienced a tough fight, but the TKO win put the 34-year-old on the map.
The Colombian, who now resides in Canada, won a raft of titles with the victory over Jennings. His loss to Whyte was expected, especially against a high-quality opponent.
Whyte is a premier heavyweight with a 25-1 record, so it was always going to be a tough ask. However, losing via unanimous decision should have given him confidence that even the best can’t knock him out.
The sportsbook has Whyte at -220 to beat Otto Watlin at the O2 Arena in London on Oct. 30, so that shows how dominant he is.
That fight came in 2019, and he has fought once since. He defeated Sylvera Louis in Quebec in March, but that was a fitness test for this upcoming bout.
“Oscar Rivas is in the best shape of his career,” according to his trainer, Marc Ramsay. “I know Rozicki very well and he is very dangerous. He reminds me of a big Joe Smith Jr., who without being the best technician, compensates with enthusiasm, aggressiveness and determination in the ring”
Rozicki has finished all 13 of his fights via knockout, so Rivas can’t take this fight cheaply. He will likely attack the body before searching for the head in the mid-rounds.
It’s scheduled for 12 rounds, but we would be surprised if it went the distance. Betting online markets would be too, so we expect it to be done before the seventh round.