Exclusive interview with the former world champion
Former bantamweight world champion and the only three-time U.S Olympic boxer Rau'shee Warren is still representing hard for U-S-A.
The bantamweight division is stacked with exciting talent with the hard-hitting Japanese sensation Naoya Inoue (whose won 15 of his 17 fights by knockout) from the unheralded Zolani Tete, to the come backing Nonito Donaire.
And now it has a prominent American fighter as well with Rau’shee Warren competing for the WBC bantamweight title this Saturday on the undercard of the Pacquiao-Broner PPV broadcast.
"I am on a mission and looking and fighting the big names that are out there right now in this division,” the former champ told the author after a training session at the Headbangers Gym in Washington, D.C. “ and I am the only Americans at this weight class, and I hope to get more attention,”
This weekend Warren is fighting undefeated Frenchmen Nordine Oubaali (14-0, 11 Kos) for the title in a rematch of their 2012 Olympic showdown. Warren lost that fight by a single point and believes his style is more suited for the professional ranks.
“I don’t think this fight and the division gets the respect that it deserves this fight will help open up the door for this division with the casual fans.
A native of Cincinnati a town that has produced its share of world champions (most notably Ezzrard Charles – “the Cincinnati Cobra”) and his good friend Adrien Broner who will be fighting in the main event on Saturday. Warren won the WBA bantamweight title from Juan Carlos Payano in a rematch of their first fight before losing that title to Zhanat Zhakiyanov in a close and disputed loss.
As an amateur, he also fought Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux who returned to action this January with a first-round knockout of Giovanni Delgado. The way Warren tells it an injury to Gary Russell’s injury set-up that fight.
“Russell was injured and wasn’t going to be able to make it the world cup, so I figured hey I could eat and fight at 118 pounds as opposed to 112lbs. So I kind of took it at the last minute, and you know what he was a great fighter.”
Asked if he would be willing to fight Rigondeaux in the professional ranks “If it happens who knows but, it could be great.”
Warren is also a big fan of the sport and see’s great things ahead in 2019. With a fight in January, he hopes to fight three or four times this year.
“I am looking forward to a rematch of Tony Harrison and Jermell Charlo. I am looking forward to seeing Gervonta Davis taking a big step-forward, and after I finish in the ring on Saturday I will be looking to see Adrien Broner take care of business with Pacquiao – it only takes one punch.”