“We don’t try to slug it out, we leave that for the last, if we have no choice…. “A lot of things will happen with a win,…“I think my name will be echoed in boxing with a good representation of who I am as far as being a threat to the title.”–Rossy
“As for today, Rossy remains a work in progress and the obstacles he faces are formidable. Athletes who migrate to boxing from other sports in their 20s traditionally meet with limited success. More significantly, Rossy has other options in life.“—Thomas Hauser (January 13, 2005)
“It’s not an easy road,” he says. “I don’t see how it ever could be in boxing. But so far, so good.“—Rossy (2005)
Aside from the late Charlie Powell, I’ve never much cared for football players who try to become boxers without paying their amateur dues, and that’s what I perceived Derrick Rossy to be. Too Tall Jones had tried and failed; the dreadful Mark Gastineau had tried; Alonzo Highsmith had an excellent record but fought horrific opposition; Ross Purrity did reasonably well as a journeyman and had that one BIG WIN. Seth Mitchell lacked a chin, Only Charlie Powell made a successful crossover from football to boxing. Nevertheless, the energy level and hype suggested Rossy would do likewise. After all, Rossy was a rising superstar, though relatively untested. He was being touted as the best heavyweight prospect to come out of New York in years, as he quickly amassed an impressive record
Rossy, a 248-pound former outstanding Boston College football player had won his first fifteen pro fights, nine by knockout, before meeting undefeated Fast Eddie Chambers. Eddie, a Philly-trained fighter, had eighty amateur fights, had beaten Ross Puritty, Robert Hawkins, Melvin Foster, and Ed Mahone, among others, and knew his way around the ring. In short, he was a cutie.
Rossy’s best wins came against Shannon Miller, and Gary Bell (for the New York State Heavyweight Crown), but his other opponents were on a lower level. Still, local news accounts asserted he was improving with each outing and was more than ready for the more experienced Chambers. But they were wrong as Fast Eddie schooled Rossy before stopping him on cuts in the seventh round. It was a humbling experience for the Medford, NY native
Derrick regrouped and won 3 in a row (including a big UD win over Ray Mercer in Macau, China) before losing to 6’7” Alexander Dimitrenko in Germany. The ex-football player then reeled off 7 more wins. However, he lost to Chambers in a rematch, Kubrat Pulev, and Maurice Harris. He may have hit his career low at the popular UK one-night Prizefighter tournament in London in February, 2012. It started well with wins over Ian Lewison and tough Travis Walker before he ultimately was stopped in the final by Audley Harrison in London on February 23, 2013. The end came in a delayed reaction manner from a straight left.
Then, after winning two in London including a UD over Travis Walker (39-8-1), the likable and articulate Rossy dropped squeakers to Fres Oquendo and Joey Dawkins. Both might well have gone the other way.
At this point, many other fighters might have quit, but Rossy persevered and pulled off a televised upset win over Joe Hanks (21-1) in Montreal as he outworked Hanks with his jab throughout the fight to win a majority decision .He then gave undefeated and touted Vyacheslav Glazkov all he could handle in losing a highly controversial MD in August 2014. The judges scored the fight 95-95, 96-94, and 98-92. Rossy was OK with the score of 95-95, although he believes he won at least 6 of the 10 rounds. But he took issue with the 98-92 score which the fans loudly booed. Said Rossy, “It’s hard to get the words together…I am trying to find out what they were looking at. There is no accountability. You are messing with peoples’ lives. I take my hat off to Glazkov. I know I won that fight. When it is very askew you have to wonder, where is the accountability?” Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHbiRE0DqPA
This set up the 34 year-old Rossy to challenge for the vacant IBF North American heavyweight title against undefeated Uzbekistan Akhor Muralimov (16-0)on February 14, 2015 at the Resorts World Casino in Queens, New York City. This time, Rossy got the nod and captured the title as he used smart separation and his considerable height and reach to take advantage over the shorter and slower Muralimov.
Rossy (now 30-9) has never managed to get past journeyman and/or gatekeeper status, but he is now positioned to do that if he can beat one more solid opponent. And it could not happen to a nicer guy.