Solomon Maye doesn’t just plan on beating Jean Pierre Augustin in their heavyweight rematch next Friday at Twin River Casino. He’s hoping to force his opponent into a new line of work.
“I don’t think boxing is his sport,” said the New Haven, Conn., native. “He’s going to have to make a career decision on the 17th.
“If he didn’t change anything up from the last time – if he didn’t grow a heart from the last fight – I don’t think I’ve got anything to worry about.”
The four-round Maye-Augustin rematch is one of several regional rivalries on the undercard of “Rhode To Redemption,” presented by CES Boxing on Friday, July 17th, 2015. The two fought to a majority draw in April, a verdict disputed by both sides.
Augustin (4-0-1, 2 KOs), the Lawrence, Mass., native formerly trained by Vinny Paz, is confident the July 17th rematch will be a different story now that he’s working exclusively with Rhode Island-based coach Victor Fagnant, who also trains unbeaten welterweight Nick DeLomba.
“We’re working on a lot of angles and footwork, incorporating different things into the game plan,” Augustin said. “He’s helped me improve a lot in this camp.
“I’m going to be a lot more aggressive this time. I’m not going to allow him to dictate the pace. I’m not going to allow him to impose his will.”
Augustin will also enter this fight with far less pressure to perform. His previous relationship with Paz, which developed from Augustin playing a starring role in the upcoming Paz biopic, Bleed For This, caused a media frenzy in New England.
Augustin spent a lot of hours during camp conducting interviews with various newspapers and television crews, many of them referring to him as Paz’s protégé, big shoes to fill for a 29-year-old fighter who’d yet to debut in front of the New England fans.
“It affected me a little bit,” Augustin admits. “I’m not one to make excuses, but all the cameras and everything, coming from not doing interviews at all to being in the spotlight kind of took a mental toll on me.
“I’m not sure it affected me once the bell rang. Solomon put on a tough performance. He came forward and did what he had to do. I just didn’t prepare myself well enough.”
Maye applied pressure from the opening bell and the two found themselves entangled against the ropes early and often. As a result, Augustin fell through the ropes in the first, third and fourth rounds, four times over the course of the fight. Much like their opinion on the final outcome, the two also disagreed on who was to blame for the sloppy footing.
“I wasn’t having problems with my footwork. I have several legit photos of him throwing me down, holding and pushing,” Augustin said. “You can see my hands flailing.”
“He was just scared,” Maye countered. “When he saw me coming and applying pressure, he got scared. A lot of times, I didn’t even touch him and he just fell through the ropes.
“There were a couple of times he had me against the ropes, but I didn’t fall through the ropes. It wasn’t a balance issue. It was more of a scared issue.”
The debate will end next Friday when Augustin and Maye finally settle the score in what has become an intriguing heavyweight rematch.
“I’m really confident. I mean, I respect him. I respect him for getting in the ring, but I know what I’ve trained to do and what I’m ready for,” Maye said. “This is a big fight for me.
As for the first fight, Maye said, “I think I won, although I could’ve done more to win that fight and I let him slide. I let him live. This fight right here, I’m just going to go in there and bang out and if he can’t take it, he’s definitely going to lose.”
Tickets for “Rhode To Redemption” are priced at $40.00, $100.00 and $125.00 (VIP) and available for purchase online at www.cesboxing.com or www.twinriver.com, by phone at 401-724-2253/2254 or at the Twin River Players Club. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Super middleweight Vladine Biosse (15-6-2, 7 KOs), known in his hometown as “Mr. Providence,” returns to Rhode Island for the first time in two years when he faces the hard-hitting Chris Chatman (12-5-1, 5 KOs) of Jersey City, N.J., in the 10-round main event. “Rhode To Redemption” also features a dynamic, six-round welterweight co-feature between undefeated Nick DeLomba (7-0, 1 KO) of Cranston, R.I., and southpaw Juan Rodriguez Jr. (12-2, 5 KOs) of Union City, N.J.
The undercard features several regional rivalries, starting with a four-round junior middleweight bout between Joe Wilson Jr. (3-2) of Hartford, Conn., and Andy Gonzalez (1-0, 1 KO) of Worcester, Mass., while unbeaten Worcester, Mass., junior middleweight Khiary Gray (7-0, 5 KOs) also returns in a six-round bout.
Framingham, Mass., super lightweight Julio Perez makes his pro debut against Boston’s Rafael Francis (0-4) and New Bedford, Mass., welterweight Scott Sullivan (1-1, 1 KO) returns to face Providence’s Angel Valdez (0-2), both four-round bouts. Lawrence, Mass., lightweight Jacob Solis (1-0) will make his Twin River debut and fight for the first time since 2012 when he faces Salem, Mass., vet Matt Doherty (2-1, 2 KOs) in a four-round bout.