Derrick Osaze: “I’m definitely in a good place and I’m just eager to put on a show.”
By Oliver McManus
The intensely likeable Derrick Osaze has been calling for breakout fights ever since upsetting the odds to become Ultimate Boxxer champion in May 2019. Since then The Punching Preacher has been in action just once; the middleweight stopped Rene Molik inside two rounds in November that same year.
A belated return was slated for November 2020 but a positive test result for coronavirus forced a startled Osaze to withdraw from the proposed six rounder. After a lengthy wait he faces Tyler Denny in a ten rounder on Friday night live on Fightzone.
I caught up with the 27 year old on Wednesday of fight week for a short and snappy interview. Osaze began by explaining how this contest came about.
“It’s a fight that’s been in the works for a while. He was a name mentioned for a date I was meant to have in November but at the time (Ultimate Boxxer) were only looking to put on a six rounder and Tyler’s team wanted it at eight or ten. Then we were given a March date and told it would be over ten rounds, potentially for a title, and eventually it got pushed back to this Friday. I’ve known for a while he was likely to be my next opponent but I haven’t thought too much about it, to be honest.”
Most boxers I’ve interviewed over the past year or so have spoken of a renewed excitement for what feels like a ‘second debut’ after such torrid circumstances. Osaze, a youth pastor in Nottingham, was typically reflective about his emotions building up to the contest.
“We’re past the point of excitement, I reckon; where we’ve been waiting for this date for so long I’m just feeling a sense of relief, at this point. I’ve been calling for these fights for a while, ever since I won Ultimate Boxxer, and this is the sort of opportunity I’ve been looking for. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is, not really, I’m more interested in the belts that are attached and this is the sort of fight to push on for titles from.”
Having spoken to Osaze frequently since he turned professional I’ve become well acquainted with his mannerisms – a very calm, easy going man who I’ve heard cross words from only once. As a teenager he would often have fights as a result of a quick switch in his mood: never a bad kid but often frustrated and ‘misunderstood’. In the years since he’s a developed wise head that, Osaze says, makes him more threatening than ever.
“I’m at my most dangerous when I’m enjoying myself and I’ve been loving life the past couple of months. I’m not one of those to try and put on a front (but) I’ve been in the zone recently and this camp has been incredibly smooth, incredibly calm. I’m definitely in a good place and I’m just eager to put on a show.”
Casting his eye towards Friday night and there was only one thing on the mind of Derrick Osaze:
“Win by any means necessary.”