By Adam Ewing, Shawnee, OK, 12/17/15- Coming off an extremely controversial draw, Delray “The Rainmaker” Raines (20-11-2, 14 KO) will be back at the Firelake Arena on January 9 fighting for the Oklahoma State middleweight title.
“I’m always ready to fight anybody, and I have fought tougher guys than him, so I expect him to be in better shape and sharper than he’s ever been.”
Throughout his career, Raines has been in the ring with some top-level competition (Alfredo Angulo, Erislandy Lara, and David Lemieux), and his next opponent, Bo Gibbs Jr. (14-0, 7 KO) is a youngster on the rise, making this fight worth the price of admission.
Brooklynfights caught up with Raines, as he took a break from chopping wood to discuss the rigors of camp, the previous fight with “Comanche Boy”, his highly respected resume, and the upcoming title fight.
As camp winds down, Raines briefly reflected on the rigors of this camp.
“There have been some ups and downs,” Raines said. “You have to go through the bad to get to the good. Everything is happening the way it is supposed to happen right now.”
Raines has gone the way of Rocky Balboa in Rocky IV, for his training. From chopping wood, to putting in work wherever; he remains dedicated to his craft.
“I don’t have a gym actually,” Raines said. “We lost our gym a couple years back. We just couldn’t pay for it anymore. I volunteer coach at the Paris (Arkansas) Boys and Girls Club. During the week I can use that whenever I’m done training them. Other than that I train in my trainers carport. I’m not scared to go outside in the cold weather, put a sweater on, hit the mitts, run, do whatever.”
Stacy Goodson has been working with Delray since 2004. Under the tutelage of Goodson, Raines has fought some respectable names in the sport, James “Buddy” McGirt Jr., Kofi Jantuah, Tarvis Simms, Joe Greene, David Lemieux, Erislandy Lara, and Alfredo Angulo just to name a few.
“Stacy “Goodnight” Goodson has done a lot,” Raines said. “He’s trained me when nobody else would. He’s been the father that I should’ve had, the father that wasn’t there for me. I do have a father, he’s still alive, but Stacy took me under his wing.”
There have been several tough fights throughout Raines’ career.
“I’m a different fighter now, Raines said. I’ve cleaned my life up, and if I would’ve been cleaned up by the time I fought everybody, hell I could’ve beaten anybody. Kofi Jantuah was tough as nails. All I remember was getting hit in that fight. He hit really hard, he’s a good guy. Erislandy Lara was good; he’s really fast. I did some things wrong there too. Boxing is a science. That’s why they call it the sweet science. I didn’t have my science sweet, and everything showed. Alfredo Angulo would not stop coming. My lungs out there in California did not work for me. I felt great until the fifth round. He didn’t even hurt me; I just gassed out. I wasn’t going to sit there and take punches gassed out, take brain damage, so I got out of there.”
Raines’ last fight versus George Tahdooahnippah was scored a draw. Oklahoma judges have a different scoring system, as I had the fight 78-74. It is possible the fight could’ve been 77-75, but there is no doubt in my mind Raines won that fight.
“I know I won that fight,” Raines said. “I didn’t fight the way I should’ve fought. I did some things wrong with my weight loss before the fight. I was tired, and it showed, but I still prevailed. I know I won. He does too, that’s why he doesn’t want a rematch. I think that fight made Bo Gibbs think he could beat me.”
In the upcoming fight with Gibbs, Raines’ resume gives him the advantage, at least on paper.
“I should beat this guy hands down, Raines said. “That’s not what I’m going to go by. I’m gong to expect him to be Mike Tyson. If he knows who he is fighting, he has to come ready. I’m always ready to fight anybody, and I have fought tougher guys than him, so I expect him to be in better shape and sharper than he’s ever been.”
Becoming the Oklahoma middleweight champion would be a great honor to Raines. He talked about what it would mean to win the belt.
“Bragging rights for one,” Raines said. “All these guys in Oklahoma saying I’m not the best in Oklahoma, and that they can beat me. I guess I’m going to prove it by fighting all the best guys, Tracy Snead, George Tahdooahnippah, I guess Bo Gibbs is one of them. If I beat Gibbs the way I should, I don’t know if I’ll get another prospect fight in Oklahoma.”
“Honestly I see him coming out strong, maybe nervous, a little hesitant, Raines said. “He’s been sparring with Joe Greene. People have been talking him up. I see him coming out strong, but I don’t see him beating me.”
For tickets to this event go to http://hdboxing.net
(Cover photo and fight poster courtesy of HD Promotions)