Derric Rossy: More everyman than journeyman
He gets the call when a guy needs testing, when a young gun is at the juncture in his career, when his people want him in tougher.
Derric Rossy has a record that is not glittering in the least, 30-11 (with 14 knockouts) as of today, two days before he meets 15-0 Erkan Teper in Germany on Sunday, July 3, but one that deserves deeper inspection.
You’ll notice he gets gigs against fighters perceived to be higher than he on the food chain. Former WBC titlist Bermane Stiverne, possible future contender and American Trevor Bryan, title challenger Czar Glazkov, etc.
The Long Island resident, age 35, and a former footballer at Boston College, knows his place, his role, where he stands in the mix, as of 2016. Now, that is not to say he accepts it, that he’s reached a capitulation point, where he knows he’s a “journeyman” who will engage in just enough combat to help make for a reasonably entertaining fight. He is by no means that guy you want to get to give your dude rounds, wing two heavy shots per round to lend a look of credibility to the outing, but one who will lose 100-90, times three.
The Stiverne fight, Rossy maybe won. If he were the “connected” guy, promoted by Don King and not Sal Musumeci, he might have snagged win No. 31 last November. But he doesn’t traffic in the “if” scenarios, not for long anyway. It would be detrimental to his psyche, which would not be aided by a hardening to the point of ineradicable cynicism.
Rossy is upbeat as he messages with RingTV, from a hotel room in Germany, ticking down to the clash with Teper, a 34-year-old German resident of Turkish origin who’d been on suspension for being PED positive in his last fight versus David Price.
We talked about Rossy’s weight, his mindset, how he looks at this campaign at this stage of his fighting life. “My weight should be 230 to 232 and training has gone extremely well,” said the fighter, who trains with Grant Seligson at the famed and fabled Gleason’s Gym in DUMBO, Brooklyn.
“I was able to parlay Joe Parker’s training camp into my own when I was out in Vegas when I found out I might be fighting Teper. The mindset is just going into the ring with a relaxed mindset, do what I normally do and that’s out-box my opponent and if they get knocked out, they get knocked out. I know they are bringing me in to get Teper a win and keep him from losing his ranking. He is a good, tough, brutish fighter; there are not going to be any surprises from him. I’m prepared and ready and no matter who brings me in to fight, they always get more than what they bargained for,” continued the fighter who will have his dad and Seligson with him in Germany. “I just hope I don’t get screwed out of a win like I have been in the past. If I lose, Mike, I lose; I can live with that. I’m not caring so much for the result as I am focused on being the best Derric Rossy I can be and shining in the ring.”
With Teper’s recent history, I asked about testing. Is Rossy confident the playing field is level? “I mean so far what I have read is that they are on him with with random screening for the PEDs but I have no idea what their protocols are,” Rossy said. “I mean, with everyone’s eye on him and the risk of being banned from the sport indefinitely, I would imagine he would be on his best behavior but you never know. I’m ready and if he wants to cheat me and my team, I just hope the commission here is doing the due diligence to keep the playing field even.”
Confession: Rossy is easy to like. He is known as the most easy-going guy at Gleason’s. One wants to see such people get over the hump. It’s so easy to see such souls as mere “journeymen.” I get curious; does Rossy get offended when someone labels him a “journeyman”?
“I can understand why they put me in that category because I’ve been around for awhile in boxing and have lost to top-tier opponents,” Rossy said. “I don’t have the big wheel behind me turning as far as promoter or promotion company, giving me the right wins and deals. I’m a ‘pack your own lunch/ lift up your sleeves’-type of fighter. My personal definition of a journeyman fighter is a guy showing up and getting a paycheck with not much emphasis on the end result of the fight. I don’t know how to not compete to the best of my ability. I’m the guy no one knows and more losses on my record than one would like, so people label me a journeyman. So I disagree with that label but it’s up to me to lift those labels put on me by others. People put a lot of emphasis on losses, not in the manner in which you lose. Everybody cares how you win and they don’t care how you win as long as it’s a win. I get that aspect and that’s the nature of the beast. I need to win and that’s what I set out to do every time I go into the ring.”
Michael Woods is a ‘pack your own lunch/ lift up your sleeves’-type of writer. What most folks don’t know is he spends 15 minutes of every hour in the john so he can stick it to the man. But no one notices because he works from home.