With two big wins over Mia St. John, IBA Lightweight Champion Jessica Rakoczy knows that if her sport is going to gain the respect of boxing fans, she will need to work harder than her male counterparts do in the gym. On April 1st, on a Goossen-Tutor promoted card airing on Showtime, Rakoczy will be vying for the women’s vacant NABA lightweight title, while defending her IBA title against the tough Belinda Laracuente. BoxingTalk caught up with Rakoczy to get her thoughts on making her sixth title defense and what she plans to do in the gym to ensure victory next week.BoxingTalk: Jessica, you are fighting for the vacant women’s NABA lightweight title on April 1st. What do you know about your opponent?
Jessica Rakoczy: I know Belinda [Laracuente] is a great boxer, and I know she’ll be a tough opponent. Since women’s boxing doesn’t get on TV too often, I haven’t seen her fight before, but I have heard nothing but good things about her.BT: What did you do after your sole loss against Jenifer Alcorn to come back and get two big wins over Mia St. John?
JR: My fight against Alcorn was a close split decision, but I have a different trainer now, and he has me boxing more. He works with me one on one every day, he talks through everything with me so that I understand what I’m doing. That way I’m not just going into the ring and running around like I used to.BT: Do you believe with the popularity of ‘Million Dollar Baby’ that women’s boxing will increase it’s own popularity, and are you the one to become the star of the sport?
JR: I hope it does bring more coverage to our sport. I think everybody has to do their part. All the woman have to work hard in the gym, and show that we train just as hard as the guys do, and that we know what we’re doing.BT: What will your strategy be coming into your fight with Laracuente?
JR: Basically I’ll do the same thing that I always do, which is to box and counterpunch, and hopefully everything is successful. BT: What boxers do you look up to and try to emulate for your fighting style?
JR: I like a lot of fighters. I like Winky Wright, I like Bernard Hopkins…BT: So you like the boxers?
JR: Yeah, boxing is more my style.BT: As a female lightweight boxer, who is the biggest fight out there for you?
JR: That’s a question that everybody asks, but I really don’t know. I would probably have to move up in weight for a really big fight.BT: Is moving up in weight something you are willing to do?
JR: I would, but I would only do it the proper way with a strengthening coach.BT: What are your plans after your fight April 1st?
JR: I don’ t know yet because I haven’t talked with my promoter. I’m just one fight at a time. They usually don’t tell me until after my fight what I’m doing next. BT: What is your prediction for your fight with Laracuente?
JR: Hopefully I’m coming out the winner with two belts: The vacant NABA lightweight title, and my IBA lightweight title that I’m defending.BT: What would you like boxing fans to know most about you as you come into your fight next week?
JR: That I work really hard for each fight, and know that I have to work a little harder than the guys do to get people’s respect.BoxingTalk thanks Ms. Rakoczy for taking the time to speak with us. We wish her continued success both in and out of the ring.
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