By Ryan Maquiñana
Rising junior featherweight prospect Tramaine Williams has advised BoxingScene.com that he has signed a five-year contract with Top Rank.
After appearing on several Top Rank cards in 2012, Williams and his team were finally able to come to terms with the Las Vegas-based promotional giant.
“I think they’ve signed the best prospect,” Williams said Friday night. “I’m very excited and relieved at the same time, but content with how everything went.”
The 20-year-old Williams (5-0, 2 KOs), who hails from New Haven, Conn., now resides in Houston, where he is trained by Edward Jackson and managed by James Prince.
Dubbed “The Midget” for his 5’4’’ height, the southpaw with blinding speed entered the pro ranks last year after an amateur career that included a 2011 National Golden Gloves championship and four Silver Gloves titles.
With promotional support now behind him, Williams feels he’s sufficiently equipped to commence his rise up the 122-pound ladder. After all, Top Rank has not only steered the career of current junior featherweight king Nonito Donaire, but also the arguable top dog at 126 pounds, Mikey Garcia.
“I love it,” Williams said of his new deal. “They’ll keep me active. I believe that they’ll do the same with me [that they did with Donaire and Garcia]. I don’t want them to protect me. I’ll fight anybody, of course not now, but when the time comes.”
Heading into his last outing against Rafael Casias last December on the Donaire-Jorge Arce undercard in Houston, Williams raised a few eyebrows when he took the dais at prefight press conference and proceeded to call out all the elite fighters in the division.
“[Top Rank CEO] Bob [Arum] kind of caught me off-guard when he had me speak, but yeah, you have to do things that people will remember, to make them want to see you lose or tune in to see you win,” Williams said about the impromptu speech. “Either way you have it, they’re going to be tuning in.
Of course, don’t mistake the youngster’s assertiveness for hubris.
“I don’t want to sound too cocky, but I just want people to know how serious I am about all that I said since my first time I was in the Top Rank offices,” Williams said.
Williams would box his way to a unanimous decision against Casias to cap a 5-0 inaugural year as a professional, and the promising lefty has targeted his next career objective in 2013—the WBC Youth junior featherweight title. Until then, “The Midget” will continue to grow in the ring.
“I feel Top Rank will guide me to become a world champion soon,” he said. “The prince shall one day become king eventually.”
*NOTE: Boxrec.com continues to spell Williams’s first name as “Tremaine”. The fighter went on the record to confirm that it is instead spelled “Tramaine”.
Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at [email protected], check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.