Juan Carlos Payano/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions
Movie sequels often bomb, but rematches in boxing sometimes are better than the first fight. To that end, Juan Carlos Payano of Miami believes he is going to be even better than he was when he defended his bantamweight world title with a split-decision over Rau’shee Warren this past August.
Payano (17-0, 8 KOs) and Warren will square off again Saturday at UIC Pavilion in Chicago (on NBC, 5:30 p.m. Pacific time).
“I had a great training camp and everyone will see the improvements I’ve made since I fought Warren last August.” Payano said. “… I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on my strengths and weaknesses. I’ve put in a lot of work during this training camp to better myself and I feel I’m at the top of my game right now.”
Payano, 32, delivered a warning.
“I’m going to leave everything in the ring on Saturday night,” said Payano, originally from the Dominican Republic. “I have the blueprint to beat Warren. I’ll be ready for war. There is no doubt in my mind that my hands will be raised in victory once again. Warren is in trouble.”
Also on that card, light heavyweights Andrzej Fonfara (28-3, 16 KOs) of Poland and Joe Smith Jr. will square off in a 10-round bout. Smith, of Long Island, N.Y., is 21-1 with 17 knockouts.