By Ben jacobs
With the credentials and background that he has, Maryland’s Thomas Williams Jr (17-0, 12 KOs) seems destined to be an achiever in the sport of boxing.
Advised by the influential Al Haymon, promoted by Goossen Promotions and trained by George Peterson, Williams Jr clearly has the support necessary which will help him achieve his goal.
Peterson also trained Paul Williams, another southpaw, from zero fights to world champion status, he was also guided in his career by Goossen and Thomas is well aware of the similarities and comparisons.
“George has known me since I was born! He knew my grandparents, he’s a great trainer, I couldn’t ask for more” Thomas told BoxingScene.
“I saw what he did with Paul Williams. He took him from no amateur background to stardom as a professional boxer. I have some background, three Golden Gloves so I’m pretty sure he can take me to the top.”
Williams Jr has already been involved in two exciting bouts this year. The first was in January in what will surely be a round of the year contender against Cornelius White. Williams dropped White only to be countered himself and put on the canvas for the first time in his career. Nevertheless, he was able to rise and stop White in superb fashion. In April he became only the second man to knock out Enrique Ornelas, in just three rounds.
“I’m still trying to get past that Cornelius White fight but it keeps getting brought up because it was a good round,” he admitted.
“I was dropped and then able to drop him and eventually stop him in the same round. I hurt him, and then I got careless so when I went back to the gym we went back to the drawing board and worked on a couple of things. I showcased a lot of skills and poise against Enrique Ornelas and I showed more patience with him.
“I’m always pleased to get the knockout but especially pleased with Ornelas because a lot of people said it would go the distance. But with me stopping him it made another statement and it’s a good notch on my belt.”
The biggest challenge thus far in his career will come on August 1 against former WBA world champion, Gabriel Campillo. The Spaniard was, in the opinion of most observers, robbed of victory both against Beibut Shumenov and Tavoris Cloud. Like Williams Jr, Campillo is a southpaw who is often involved in thrillers.
“I sat ringside for the Tavoris Cloud fight, I think that was my seventh pro fight, it was on the Paul Williams-Nobuhiro Ishida card in Corpus Christi, Texas. I was excited to see the light heavyweight champion which was Tavoris Cloud fight in front of me so I went out and made it my business to watch it. I think Campillo got robbed, he should have been crowned IBF champion that night, I think he did great.”
While Campillo was unlucky that night, he was stopped in three rounds by Sergey Kovalev and later by Andrzej Fonfara in nine, despite leading on two of the judges’ scorecards. Both men subsequently challenged for a world title.
“That’s a good statistic, Kovalev and Fonfara who beat him got title shots. Maybe as soon as I beat him I’ll get my title shot. I’m not looking at too many more up and coming fights, just straight to a world title.
“I can’t see him lasting the distance with me. I don’t think a lot of guys can. People are game at first but after a while it’s too much. The more it goes on I don’t think he’ll stand up to it.”
Should the 26-year-old be victorious over Campillo, it is likely that bigger fights and interesting options will be available to him in the latter part of the year and early 2015. Another former champion, Chad Dawson is once again on the scene and has stated that he intends to compete at 175lbs.
“I’m not too interested in Chad Dawson. We’re under the same umbrella with Al Haymon. If that fight was presented to me though, of course I would entertain it, but I’m looking at one of the champions. If they say, ‘we’ll put Chad in there and then you get a title shot,’ of course I’ll take it.
“I really don’t think too much of the champions. I think Kovalev is about one punch power, but I don’t think he has the intangibles and skills that a world champion should have. They should have multiple assets. He is very good at that one thing, same with Adonis Stevenson. Bernard Hopkins is different, he’s a smart fighter in there. I saw a stat last night that he hasn’t stopped anyone in ten years, so I just think he lacks the power.”
Williams Jr, as many boxers are these days is active on social media, he can be followed on Twitter @Topdoggjr as well as on Instagram @Thomaswilliamsjr23.