By Ben Jacobs
Few people believed that Thomas Williams and Edwin Rodríguez were destined to box a dull 12 round affair when they squared off on April 30 at the StubHub Center. Given the styles of both men and their respective power, a knockout was on the cards as soon as the fight was signed. Williams recently spoke to BoxingScene.com from his vacation spot in Puerto Rico, expressing his delight at being able to stop Rodríguez in the second round.
“It was the most satisfying win of my career so far because a lot of people wrote me off for that fight,” enthused Williams.
“I called it before the fight, it wasn’t going the distance, it will be over early. My phrase was ‘Don’t blink’.
“They said that Rodríguez had too much experience for me, that he had fought better opposition. Basically they were saying he was a better fighter than me so getting him out early was the best win of my career. It felt really great to me.”
Rodríguez did manage to catch Williams with a good shot in the second round which the southpaw accepts is the nature of the sport.
“He caught me with a right hand but that’s boxing, you get hit. But what determines the character of the fighter is what you do after you get hit.
“Coming from his previous fights, I don’t think he was as aggressive as he usually is, I thought he was more passive this time. Ronnie Shields said that he wanted him to control the distance from the outside, so he wanted him to box, which is what I expected. Once we got in there and he got hit, he tried to be aggressive and bring the fight to me.
“I think my power was underrated before this fight, but I think other fighters will be mindful of it now.”
The only loss on Williams’ record is a TKO stoppage by former WBA light heavyweight champion Gabriel Campillo. Yet Thomas insisted that defeat served to make him a better fighter and take the sport even more seriously.
“People will bring that fight up even when I win the world title but that fight helped me, it turned me into a monster,” explained ‘Top Dog’.
“If you look at my fights since then I’m drilling them. Anyone who gets in the ring gets drilled. I had other things going on in my life and I wasn’t as focused as I should have been. It definitely helped me out, it turned my career around. “
As previously reported on this website, Williams is close to agreeing a world title challenge against WBC champion Adonis Stevenson.