Bahamian road warrior Sherman “Tank” Williams heads to Finland in a few weeks, not for a Scandinavian vacation, but to ruin undefeated Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius’ return to the ring, as well as to give the big Finn his first loss as a pro.
“I’m going to Finland to give Helenius more than he can handle,” Williams said from his Florida training camp in Vero Beach. “I’m bringing my ‘Conch’ (over-hand right) punch and to spoil things for him.”
Former European champion Helenius (17-0, 11 KOs) has been out of action nearly a full year, since last December 3 when he suffered a shoulder injury during his highly-controversial 12-round split decision win over Derek Chisora. The 6′ 6 ½” Helenius, ranked No. 13 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO), has knocked out a trio of former world heavyweight champions: Sergei Liakhovich (TKO9), Samuel Peter (KO9) and Lamon Brewster (TKO8).
“Helenius brings size into the ring,” WBO No. 10 rated Williams noted. “He’s 6′ 6″, 6′ 7” but guys that size rarely stand-up straight. I’m sure I can reach him. I’ve been in the ring with big guys before like Jameel McCline, who I fight in his hometown at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. I beat him from pillar-to-post but only got a draw. I’ve sparred with Wladimir and Vitali (Klitschko brothers) and reached them.
“I looked at Helenius’ record and he’s beaten some name fighters, but I think he padded his record by beating them long after their primes. Helenius is going to be eating a lot of ‘Conch’ on November 10th.”
Williams (34-11-2, 19 KOs), a bonafide Bahamian sports legend, traveled halfway around the world to Macau, China on June 28 to defeat (53-5-5, 20 KOs) for the WBO Asia Pacific and WBO Asian Boxing Council Championships.
“I’m a warrior, a fighter who’ll fight anybody, anywhere,” Williams continued. “I’d love to fight at home in The Bahamas. I’m proud of my country. People there are proud of me and behind me; unfortunately, no casino or hotel there will host a show. I train and my manager, Si Stern, sets-up my fights, whether there in Finland, China, Russia or wherever. I’m an international fighter. No matter where I fight, it’s in a ring with only two guys, and I’m always confident of knocking out my opponent.
“I thought I was going to defend my title in China. They were going to have me fight on August 12, then in September, and again on October 12th. They’re still working on a date but I couldn’t wait around. I guess they’re on their own schedule, or on Evander Holyfield’s (Williams’ fight vs. Holyfield was changed three times). We’ve been patient. This fight came up and with only a three-week notice; we still felt it was worth it. I would still like to fight again in China.”
Stern added, “I’ve suffered over the years trying to get Sherman a fight against the Klitschkos and other top heavyweights. They had no problems sparring with Sherman, but they didn’t offer him a fight because he’s such a big puncher. They avoided fighting Sherman because they weren’t willing to take the risk. It was very frustrating but we never looked back. Now, thank God, Sherman is getting a chance he deserves against Helenius. So, get ready, top heavyweights, ‘Tank’ is ready, willing and able to get in the ring with you.”
“A lot of guys won’t fight in Europe because they stand a good chance of getting robbed,” Williams concluded. “I’m excited that this fight is on TV (Epic) in America and The Bahamas. I’m fighting in his backyard and it will be an action-packed fight. If I get robbed, though, it won’t look as bad knowing people back home will be watching on television I’m not counting on it going the distance but, if it don’t knock him out, everyone will at least know that I gave my best and did my job.”