Undefeated middleweight Bo “Hands of War” Gibbs Jr. will face his toughest challenge to date when he faces Delray “The Rainmaker” Raines in a ten round bout Saturday, January 9 at the Firelake Arena in Shawnee, OK.
A solid amateur who made it to the US Championships and National Golden Gloves, Gibbs Jr. has a perfect 14-0 record with seven wins by knockout. Having fought all of his bouts in Oklahoma, Gibbs Jr. brings a large crowd with him each time he enters the squared circle. So far, the 24-year-old Carney native has been dominant as a pro and he's confident his string of success will continue against Raines.
“It's a step up on the pro level but I had over 100 amateur fights and faced a lot of top guys. I know he's fought a lot of good opponents but he's never been in the ring with me. I plan to show him things he hasn't seen before. I'm strong, young and I'm fast but most importantly I'm smart. I believe I can do it all in the ring. The fans will see what I'm about because I guarantee I'll win on the 9th.”
A familiar face among locals, Delray Raines, 19-11-2 (14 KO's), is undefeated in the Sooner State.
Living and fighting out of Paris, AR, Raines made headlines by knocking out local contender Tracy Sneed and fighting to draws against former NABA kingpin George Tahdooahnippah and top rated Carson Jones. Never one to back down from a challenge, Raines has faced WBA junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara, former titlist David Lemieux, Joe Greene, Tarvis Simms, Aaron Mitchell, Alfredo Angulo, Dominik Britsch and Ronald Hearns. Even with the aforementioned experience advantage, Raines believes Gibbs Jr. is a good fighter.
“I don't knock anybody he's faced and am not looking past him,” said Raines. “I don't expect this to be an easy fight because he's a big puncher and was a good amateur. I know his promoter has faith in him otherwise they wouldn't be stepping him up. On another note, I'm originally from Oklahoma and I'd love to get more respect here for what I've done in the ring against the hometown fighters. On the 9th, I'm planning to continue my streak of success here by using my experience, reach and knowledge en route to victory.”
“This is a very interesting fight,” said Promoter Bobby Dobbs of HD Boxing. “Raines is a huge step up for Bo. He's fought many of the world's best and had three of his best performances here in Oklahoma. Bo is a very talented fighter and he's won all of his fights handily. At the same time, he's never face anybody with Delray's experience. I give him a ton of credit for wanting to test himself. This is a tough fight for both guys and an evenly matched bout that fans will enjoy.”
In separate undercard bouts, female featherweight standout Nikki Burleson of Oklahoma City meets Tiffany Alexander, Shawnee's very own Dennis Knifechief faces surging Californian Martin Morales and lightweight knockout artist Nico Venetis travels from Hamburg, Germany to face an opponent to be named.