On September 16th of last year, Jimmy Williams slid through the ropes at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, Rhode Island and put on a clinical, no nonsense display, to come out a comfortable unanimous decision winner against Juan Rodriguez Jr. Following his previous win over veteran of the sport, Issouf Kinda, being retroactively ruled a no contest, Williams was happy to officially get back to winning ways.
When you think about the top featherweight boxers in the world the likes of Leo Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton and Gary Russell Jr spring to mind. But there is another man that the top fighters in the division should be very worried about.
The stadium is still filling up at the Mandalay Bay Hotel Events Center and neither Ward nor Kovalev have yet arrived for their much hyped rematch. The Sky Sports and HBO broadcasts have started and whilst the stadium is nearly empty, a large TV audience has tuned in to watch the up and coming fighters on the undercard. Tramaine Williams walks to the ring. The 5’4’’ featherweight contender has a spring in his step. His opponent, Christopher Martin, is older and far more experienced than Williams. Martin’s ring resume is a who’s who of the featherweight division featuring the likes of Garry Russell Jr.
Just over 4 rounds into their August 26th bout, a powerful Williams’ right hand devastated IssoufKinda, definitively ending the fight. Kinda who has been in the ring with the likes of Ismael Barroso, represented a significant bump up in level for Williams. It was a step up that Williams handled with ease. “It was a huge win in my career and Kinda was a great step up fight for me” said the 30 year old Connecticut native.
“Hammerin Hank is back at 135 and he’s stronger than ever” says an animated Hank Lundy. When the man from Philadelphia is pressed for his future ambitions, there is only one goal, a lightweight world title.
It was in an encounter with the high school bully, when an uppercut left the other guy asleep, that Hank first realized that he could fight. Soon enough, his uncle had him down the boxing gym. And so Lundy embarked on what proved to be a successful amateur career. Highlights included a silver medal at the 2005 national golden gloves and representing the United States at the Pan-Am championships.
Kendrick Ball was always keen that his son, Kendrick Ball Jr, got into boxing and so started him early.He began by working him out on the mitts around their house. Soon enough a young Kendrick Ball Jr was down at the Worcester boys and girls club sparring.
Ball’s amateur career got off to a slow start, losing his first nine fights. It was perhaps hard to see the unbeaten professional fighter that would eventually be sculpted out. Clearly, Ball needed to significantly increase how much he was training. Some additional conditioning was all that was required to reveal Ball’s underlying talent and he went from strength to strength during the last two years of his amateur career. He quickly became one of the most promising amateurs in New England, winning the Rocky Marciano tournament as well as New England’s and Western Mass Golden Gloves. A narrow defeat to the Olympic alternate was evidence enough that Ball had strong prospects in the professional ranks.
By Ben Sutherland: Anthony ‘A1’ Marsella fell into the sport by chance, “boxing was never part of the plan” says the 22 year old Rhode Islander. It began as a desire to be able to defend himself. He went to the gym a couple of times but wasn’t really interested. After going to a local show he was inspired to try again and agreed to enter a local tournament, “I said yes for no other reason than I have too big an ego” says Marsella who has had a competitive streak from the outset.