Wolverhampton’s Kyle Williams remains confident he can transfer the glories from his former calling into the boxing ring.
The kickboxer-turned-pugilist laces up the gloves for his third pro bout at Walsall Football Club on Friday September 2, writes Craig Birch.
Boxing legend Ricky Hatton will be among those at the Banks’s Stadium, coaching and co-promoting a bill titled ‘On the Rise,’ in conjunction with Errol Johnson’s Black Country Boxing, sponsored by Grosvenor Casino. Williams went to the top table in kickboxing, winning the ICU world featherweight title. He’s dropped down to bantam since switching sports.
He continues to work by day as an instructor at Fran Zuccala’s Eclipse Kickboxing & Gracie Jiu Jitsu Academy in Wolverhampton city centre.
The second dan black belt teaches children, teenagers and adults at the same venue where he first learned his own skills since the age of six.
The 24-year-old grew into major honours and has ambitions to do the same in the boxing, as the likes of Scott Quigg have before him.
He said: “I want to win a British title, at the minimum, and the maximum would, of course, to become a world champion. It’s not impossible.” Williams has picked up additional sponsorship from Jobsworth Recruitment Solutions, from Halesowen, in the run up to fight night. He’s already outpointed Anwar Alfadli and Ian Halsall since first punching for pay, both for the loss of just a share of a round in 40-37 decisions.
Both were vastly different displays, boxing for the last two rounds with a bad cut in the Alfadli fight before getting the upper hand of a competitive affair with Halsall. Now Robbie Forster, ‘the Bull Terrier’ from Wales, will be in the other corner to present his next test through the ropes.
Williams said: “He’s game and comes forward, a lot like my last opponent. It will be a tough fight, but I believe I’ll get the win again.
“It’s my third fight in, I’m getting stronger by keeping busy and I’ll be looking to put on a great performance. I’m better all of the time.
“My last display was an improvement on the first one and that’s the way to keep progressing. Each training camp seems to add something to my game.
“We’ve been working on keeping my range, I think I could have got the stoppage against Ian if I stayed inside and got my angles correct a bit more.
“If Robbie can bring something else out in me, then it’ll be another good night.”
Headlining will be Halesowen’s Lennox Clarke, the big-punching super middleweight who is closing in on major title shots.
Clarke has wiped out Richard Horton and then Dean Gillen inside a round the last two times he has boxed in the town.
The undefeated 25-year-old is now looking to extend his record to 13 wins, having already registered five TKOs, without reply.
Hatton will lead heavyweight Nathan Gorman and super welterweight Reuben Arrowsmith into battle, as part of the supporting cast.
Gorman was supposed to take on Dave Howe in a battle of the big men at Cannock’s Chase Leisure Centre last month, but withdrew because of a hand injury.
His clash with Howe has now been made for a Central title so Gorman, from Nantwich in Cheshire, first warms up in Walsall.
Arrowsmith, from Market Harborough in Leicestershire, boxed his first four bouts in Walsall and made it 6-0-0, scoring his first stoppage to boot, halting Viktors Drizlionoks last time out.
Adam Harper, from Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire, also features after claiming British and International Challenge middleweight titles in just five contests since first punching for pay.
Tickets are on sale now at £30 for a standard unreserved seat with VIPs at £60, including a two-course meal on tables of 10. For more information and to purchase, call the Walsall FC Box Office on 01922 651 414.
Sponsors Grosvenor Casino Walsall, Bentley Mill Way, will host the weigh-in and after-show party (over 18s). A number of free cars from Yellow Taxis will go from the club to the casino.