By James Slater: Boxing in Macao, China yesterday, heavyweight fringe contenders Sherman “Tank” Williams and Chauncy Welliver put on a 12-round fight that both entertained and surprised the fans. 39-year-old veteran Williams improved to 35-11-2(19) with a majority decision win over 29-year-old Welliver.
Winning by scores of 119-110 and 115-112, Williams, hailing from The Bahamas, drew level with “The Hillyard Hamer” at 114-114 on the third card. Welliver, who had won his last 18-fights, lost for the first time since his October 2008 stoppage defeat to Odlanier Solis and he is now 53-6-5(20)
Pretty much an upset-minded guy, Williams was having his first fight since surprising Evander Holyfield and boxing “The Real Deal” to a 3-round No Contest. The January 2011 fight saw Williams rock Holyfield in the early going, before the former four-time heavyweight king was unable to carry on after a suffering a cut left eye, the result of a 2nd-round accidental clash of heads. A number of people, Williams included, feel Evander chose to quit that night.
Since then, the durable 245-pounder (stopped just once in his 15-year pro career; by a then 14-0 Robert Davis back in May of 1999) has been looking for a big fight. The Welliver fight came up in China (where Williams is reportedly extremely popular, despite never having boxed there before) and “Tank” got himself into great shape and took the opportunity with both hands.
Welliver had been making steady progress towards a big fight of his own, working hard and getting into better condition each time out, yet it could be a long way back for him after this setback. Williams, however, could be in a position to be able to cash in with a decent payday or two. Depending on his level of ambition, Williams might see himself matched with a couple of promising up-and-comers. Guys like Tor Hamer, Magomed Abdusalamov and other young heavies would be given good work by Williams, and the veteran would almost certainly give either guy rounds.
Another fight in China is also a possibility for the high-quality journeyman, but Williams can celebrate either way. He wasn’t expected to hand Welliver his sixth pro loss, but the tough warrior who has been in with guys like Manuel Charr (LU10), Ruslan Chagaev (LU8), Tye Fields (LU12), Al “Ice” Cole (WU10) and Jameel McCline (D10) did the business yesterday.