By Jake Donovan
A light heavyweight showdown between Thomas Williams and Marcus Browne that has been in discussion for several weeks finally has a home.
Sources involved in negotiations have informed BoxingScene.com that the crossroads bout between the veteran contender and the unbeaten prospect will take place February 18 at a venue to be determined in Cincinnati, Ohio. It will air live on Showtime, in supporting capacity to Adrien Broner’s homecoming headliner versus Adrian Granados.
An official announcement is expected to come upon confirmation of the venue.
The show likely will land on the campus of Xavier University. The US Bank Arena – where Broner has headlined four times – is unavailable due to a scheduling conflict and the date is locked in to accommodate Showtime’s schedule.
Williams (20-2, 14 KOs), 29, Fort Washington, Maryland, will fight for the first time since suffering a knockout loss versus World light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson in his first world title bid last July in Quebec City, Canada. Williams went after Canada’s Stevenson (28-1, 23 KOs) in their Spike main event from Videotron Center, but paid a heavy price for his bravery as he went out on his shield in giving Stevenson his seventh successful title defense.
That very level of courage is what landed him the title shot. Williams went toe-to-toe with Edwin Rodriguez, outslugging the fellow veteran light heavyweight contender en route to a 2nd round knockout in their non-stop shootout last April live on Fox in prime time.
Browne (18-0, 13 KOs), a 2012 Olympian from Staten Island, New York, will end a 10-month layoff when he steps in the ring against Williams. He too enjoyed the taste of primetime exposure, but didn't exactly leave a lasting impression. The 26-year old southpaw was considered fortunate to have prevailed in a controversial eight-round split decision win over then-unbeaten Radivoje Kalajdzic (22-1, 15 KOs) in their April 16 NBC-televised clash at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Browne scored a first-round knockdown against Kalajdzic, but had to survive trouble later in that eight-rounder, including a sixth-round knockdown.
As for the evening's main event, Broner (32-2, 24 KOs) will end a 10-month layoff of his own in the main event against Granados (18-4-2, 12 KOs).
The former four-division champion will fight for the first time since stopping England’s Ashley Theophane (40-7-1, 11 KOs) in the ninth round of their April 1 fight in Washington, D.C.
Granados, of Cicero, Illinois, upset then-unbeaten Amir Imam (19-1, 16 KOs), of Albany, New York, in the ninth round of their November 2015 fight in Quebec City. He has since added a stay-busy win over Ariel Vasquez last July while awaiting such an opportunity to come to surface.