Thursday, 28 July 2016

Is Stevenson a bridge too far for Top Dog Williams?


Can Thomas Williams Jr upset the odds on Saturday against WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson?  Throughout his whole 21 fight career so far, Thomas has never faced an unbeaten opponent, in fact Williams has been on the floor twice in his last 6 fights, a statistic that doesn't bode well when preparing to face a noted world class puncher like Stevenson...The son of a former DC heavyweight contender  of the same name, who served time in jail for fight fixing in 2004, Williams remained unbeaten through the first 4 years in the paid ranks, appearing destined for great things. In 2014 Williams entered his 18th pro fight, hoping to defend his WBO, NABO light heavyweight titles against former world champion Gabriel Camillo, the fight should have been a perfect opportunity to shine against a proven opponent, instead Williams was exposed and unraveled under pressure, the fight was stopped by the ringside physician due to a cut at the end of the 5th, yet Williams looked on the cusp of quitting regardless..  This defeat remains the only blemish on an otherwise impressive record, 20/1 (14 Kos.) The Campillo fight gives us a small insight as to how this fight could go for Thomas, the one factor he had issues with on that occasion was pressure, he wasn't necessarily under heavy fire just pushed beyond his comfort zone by a proven operator, and if he struggled with the pressure of a Gabriel Campillo, he's going to have to adopt an alternative attitude when facing Stevenson, who is levels beyond Campillo..   In 2010 Stevenson himself faced his first defeat, a second round stoppage at the hands of journeyman Darnell Boone, six fights later in 2013 Adonis avenged this loss setting him up for the biggest fight of his life against the then Champion Chad Dawson..  In a huge upset Stevenson knocked Dawson out with a single shot in the opening round, becoming the most unlikely of champions in his 22nd pro outing...  Since beating Dawson, Stevenson has made 6 successive defences, 4 by knockout, arguably against mixed opposition..  He did find himself on the floor in his 2014 points win over Andrezej Fonfara, more a flash lapse in concentration in a relatively one sided fight..  Stevenson is dangerous when he takes aim at a standing target, but can appear frustrated when extended, nonetheless, the guys Adonis has disposed of are hugely superior of those Williams has beaten of late..   Tavoris Cloud and Tony Bellew were only once beaten by the time they faced Stevenson, Fonfara had only two losses and has since proven himself by beating JC Chavez jr..   Bellew himself a WBC champion, Cloud a still live former champion, an example of the gulf in class Williams is stepping into..   An impressive knockout of Edwin Rodriguez in April may have been an appropriately timed audition for his title shot although an less than flattering outing 5 months earlier against Umberto Savigne saw Thomas dropped in the first round of a bout that should have proved routine..  
Stevenson v Williams on paper is an acceptable defence by the now established champion against an impressive (albeit on paper) upcoming prospect..   In all honestly, I think it's come a little too soon..