Jeremy Williams Makes Comeback as a Cruiserweight

jeremy williams17.08.07 - By Chris Williams: Former heavyweight contender Jeremy Williams (41-5-1, 35 KOs) will be making a comeback fighting as a cruiserweight against Gary Gomez (18-8-1, 7 KOs) on Saturday night at the South Town Exhibition Center, in Sandy, Utah.

Itís perhaps too late in the game for Williams now to be moving down to the cruiserweight division, a move he should have made shortly after turning pro in 1992, but he has an goal, he says, to become the champion of the world and will continue on with his stalled career. Gomez, 32, doesn't figure to be much opposition to Williams, so we'll not likely learn how much he has left until he steps it up against better opponents (hopefully, soon for his sake) in the future.

With a chin thatís been less than sturdy in his 15-year professional career, having failed him on three occasions, Williams may be in a big surprise when he takes on fighters like Mormeck, Bell and Maccarinelli, finding out quickly that they punch almost as hard the best heavyweights. However, if Williams can manage to avoid those fighters, aiming instead at lighter punching cruiserweights like Sam Cunningham and Marco Huck, heíll be okay for a little while.

That said, Williamís advanced age will be a factor that will be working against him. As such, he doesnít have much time to take the go slow method for getting to the top, hence heís going to have to move quickly after Saturday nights bout with the soft-punching Gomez. No doubt, Gomez has been chosen as a first opponent mainly because of his weak power, only having seven KOs on his record. For Williams, thatís an important statistic, especially in light of his last fight against Peter.

Itís been two and a half years since Williams last fought in December 2004, a terrible 2nd round knockout loss to Samuel Peter in which Williams was literally out cold for more than a minute. Following the loss, Williams, now 35-years old, stepped away from boxing to pursue training fighters, most notably in The Contender reality television series, as well as fighting MMA bouts where heís so far found success with a 4-0 record. Williams had an outstanding record as an amateur, compiling a record of 168-4, and was the U.S. light heavyweight champion from 1989 to 1990.

After being beat out for a shot at the 1992 Olympics, Williams turned professional where it was immediately clear that, at barely 200 lbs, Williams was smallish for a heavyweight and would have problems once he stepped it up against the bigger fighters in the division. Williamís awesome power, however, was a good equalizer and helped also mask his weakness for taking hard shots, to a certain extent. Williams soon found out, unfortunately, that while he could beat most of the good 2nd tier fighters with his powerful left hook and right hand combination, he failed against the top echelon fighters, like Larry Donald, Brian Nielson, Maurice Harris, Henry Akinwande and Samuel Peter.

More worrisome than that, however, was how he lost - being stopped brutally by Akinwande, Nielson, and Peter. Clearly, it was obvious to many boxing experts that Williams was too small for the heavyweight division and was wasting his career in the slim hopes of winning a championship.

Itís uncertain how Williams will perform as a cruiserweight, in particular because of the fact that heís had to drop 20+ pounds from his former 220 pound fighting weight as a heavyweight to make the 200 lb cruiserweight limit. Like other fighters that have been forced to drop mostly muscle, Williams may find out that heís sacrificed too much of his power in the process of melting down and may find that he's no better as a cruiserweight than he was while fighting as a heavyweight. Nevertheless, Williams doesnít have much choice at this stage of the game, because his back is against the wall with no other direction to turn to.

Article posted on 18.08.2007

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