Tomorrow night, Duluth Minnesota’s, RJ “T-Rex” Laase (10,1) steps into the ring in Hinckley, MN for the second time. Nobody can forget his thrilling bout against then undefeated Justin Jones. In that fight Jones was the aggressor and Laase was the master. Non stop action with RJ winning by UD.. Many calling it early candidate for fight of the year! This time out T-Rex is granting James Wayka (16,11) his wish. Wayka has asked to fight Laase and the two were set to fight last October before Wayka pulled out. There has been some gamesmanship leading up to the fight and tonights weigh-in may be interesting… They fight tomorrow night, March 15, Hinckley Grand Casino! Below is a Q & A we had with T-Rex Laase.. Follow MNBoxingLeague on facebook and twitter. We are still working on our twitter, but FB is very active…
Many have said your fight with then undefeated Justin Jones is early candidate for fight of the year, what are your thoughts on that bout?
Laase….The Jones fight was a very fan friendly fight. To have people talking about MN fight of the year is a cool. We both left everything we had in the ring that night. I started out strong early, he came rallying back midway through and I shut the show down at the end.
How did it feel to go 8 rounds of live action?
Laase….I learned A LOT. I worked my butt off last camp as I do before every fight. I put in many more miles to prepare for those extra 2 rounds that I’ve never seen before. I’ve been sparring 8 straight with rotating fresh sparring partners for these last two camps to prepare for anything that might be presented in front of me.
You and Jason Hendrickson have been working together for over a year and a half, the progression has been noticeable, what has Jason brought to the table to bring your game to another level?
Laase….Jason couldn’t have been anymore of a perfect match for me. He knows what I do well and what I don’t do so well. Though he has really made a point to correct my mistakes he has never neglected on keeping what I do well polished. He has a good eye on catching mistakes my opponents make and we work on what to do to capitalize on those mistakes.
Uppercut boxing gym in Minneapolis and Lorenzi’s Boxing in Duluth have been your primary spots for training, how much has all the different types and sizes of sparring partners helped you grow in the ring?
Laase….I think it has helped me tremendously. I’ve been in with some of the best fighters the state has to offer. Better opposition brings out the better in you.
James Wayka (16,11) asked to fight you in October of 2011, and now he gets his shot.. How much do you know about Wayka and what should fans expect to see from your fight?
Laase….I’ve watched all the footage there is available on him. He’s been known to be a crafty boxer at times. He’s got the experience record wise on me, but I’m younger, hungrier, and overall believe I’m a better fighter than him. He may be the “bigger” guy but I’m confident that my conditioning, speed and power are on a whole other level right now. As for every fight I expect a win. No matter if it’s a KO or goes to the cards I vision my hand being raised as my name is announced.
Aside from your fight with Wayka, you’ve also been working on promoting a show in Superior, WI at Wessman arena. While you are not fighting on the show, how do you maintain focus on two very time consuming tasks and the pressure that comes with them?
Laase….The first two shows I promoted I fought on. I think some would agree I handle pressure quite well. The nice thing about the April 13th show is that I’ve been working on the show since the Monday following the Jones fight. I have a lot of stuff already taken care of way ahead of schedule on this show so I can really focus on my March 15th showdown with Wayka. The week before the fight I block out RJ the promoter and focus 100 percent on RJ the fighter.
What made you decide not to fight on your show?
Laase….A few different reasons; 1, I want to be able to sit back and enjoy the product I put together for once. 2, If I can’t see the mistakes or good things from the show first hand I won’t be able to fix what needs to be done. 3, I want to see how well a show does with out me on it. I don’t plan to fight forever and promoting is a second passion of mine that I want to continue to do after I hang em up. I need to make sure it’s something I can do successfully with out being the “draw”.
March 15, aside from your fight what should fans be looking forward to?
Laase….Another stellar show from RDS Boxing! Fort and Green on any card is always worth catching.
How would you like to see 2013 play out for T-Rex and T-Rex Promotions?
Laase….The goal is to stay healthy, active and get that 15th win. Which means a busy 8 months. As for the promotion I want to make my return to the twin ports on my September Wessman show.