On October 22, 2021, GYM Promotions, in association with Three Lions Promotions, presents the inaugural WBC Bridgerweight Championship of the World featuring Ryan “The Bruiser” Rozicki (13-0-0, 13KOs) of Sydney, Nova Scotia, against Oscar “Kaboom” Rivas (27-1-0, 19KOs) of Montreal, Quebec, at the Olympia Theatre in Montreal. Rozicki steps in for Bryant Jennings, who the WBC reports “was not able to subject himself to the Canadian government’s entry requirements concerning COVID-19, or with the post-arrival mandatory quarantine.”
“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.”
The arrival of Bridgerweight boxing presents an interesting scenario for the fighters. Boxers must weigh between 200 and 224 pounds. Rozicki, a career cruiserweight, will be moving up in weight for the contest. Recently, Rivas dropped down below the Bridgerweight limit for the first time since 2009, defeating Sylvera Louis by TKO3.
“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.”
Although both Rozicki and Rivas are looking to make history as the first Bridgerweight champion, the Cape Bretoner is also looking to become the first boxer from his island to win a world championship. The last man to try was Jack Munroe back in 1904. Known as “The Cape Breton Miner,” Munroe lost to heavyweight champion Jim Jeffries by TKO2 in San Francisco.
In fact, it’s been a while since any Nova Scotian won a world title. The most recent was “Mysterious” Billy Smith of Little River. He defeated Matty Matthews for the welterweight crown in 1900. Before Smith, there was George Dixon of Halifax, the first black champion of the world, who held the bantamweight and/or featherweight championships for most of the 1890s. Then, of course, there was the province’s uncrowned heavyweight king – Sam Langford.
“It’s exciting to be part of that history,” said Rozicki. “It’s been over a hundred years since someone from Nova Scotia wore a world title. No one from Cape Breton has ever done it. Time to end the championship drought.”
Three Lions Promotions directing manager Dan Otter believes his man can do it. “I don’t think folks realize the kind of fighter Ryan is. Maybe some haven’t seen him in action yet. The guy is a force of nature. It’ll take something special from Rivas to beat this young man. If Rivas is still standing after twelve, I’ll be shocked.”