The Moldovan-born Dub has been relatively outspoken since turning over and even heralded himself as the best of the Irish light welterweight prospects before his Last Man Standing fight.
The fighter, who hasn’t had a problem with calling people out early on and is open about his title ambitions, now had every reason to shout from the rooftops after his fourth pro win – but was a lot more reserved.
Rabei dropped and eventually stopped a game and brave Mark Morris to win an all-Irish clash in style on what may prove to be a game-changing Last Man Standing show. The manner of win certainly gave the Steven O’Rourke-trained fighter excuse to shoot his mouth off, but the 24-year-old prospect went a new direction and played down a career-best win.
“I wouldn’t say it was a statement. It just came really,” he told Irish-Boxing.com following the four rounder which was ended when Morris was pulled out by his team ahead of the final round.
“Everything worked to plan. He can bang, he is a tough guy, but I came out on top,” he added before stressing there was something different about claiming derby victory.
“To know that Mark – and I’d like to thank him for coming down – was coming here to try and stop me it adds to the win.”
The third round stoppage was Rabei’s first in four attempts. The obvious suggestion was that Morris, who was admittedly out of his comfort-zone weight-wise, fought with an aggression that gave Rabei more chances to land flush than against survival specialists.
However, the victorious fighter explains there is more to it than that.
“Mark is a very forward guy and he was leaving more gaps that I was taking advantage of, but I think it’s more knowing the pedigree of Mark that we sat down and studied him.”
“When you’re fighting a journeyman, you don’t get much tape, or you might get a late change so you don’t study them in depth but, in this case, we had a specific game plan,” the Assassin boxer added before reflecting on the fight.”
“Steven and I had a few shots planned and the left hook was one of them. That landed in the first few seconds and, after that, his team were calling for him to watch the left hook so I tried to work the other side of the body to bring the guard in.”
“I caught him in the solar plexus with a shot and I saw he was struggling. At that stage, I should have maybe taken a step back and tried to land cleaner shots instead of pushing and smothering my work.”
“Look, it’s a learning curve, I will learn from it and bring what I can from it into the next fight. I can relax and bit more maybe, but I am happy to get a stoppage.”
A step up in class will now be followed by a step up in rounds for the pugilist who looks set to fight abroad a few times this year.
“I am going to six rounds next and I want another tough fight. I feel really fit I think I could have went another three.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)