I can not think of a more interesting instate fight in some time. There are a ton of story lines to this fight. Both Matt Vanda and Phil Williams have spent a good portion of the year trying to get a fight with Zach Walters and both were unsuccessful in their quest. When neither was able to seal a fight with Walters, they turned to each other. Both Vanda and Williams have shown they are willing to step in the ring with any worthy opponent, and right now there is no more worthy than each other.
Matt Vanda’s career has seen him go from protected prospect to fearless warrior who is willing to step in the ring with anybody. I have no doubt that if Raphael Butler or Joey Abell called out Vanda, he would come running with a pen to sign the contract. To start his career he faced many of the same critics that some of today’s prominent boxers face. People said he was handed victories with over matched opponents. People questioned things outside of the ring. There has been talk of home town decisions in his favor. Now at 50 fights, 41 of them wins, Vanda has gone the whole spectrum of boxing talk. Today, the first comment by most when Vanda’s name is brought up is Warrior. Not too many would debate the star power and drawing power of Matt Vanda. Like I have stated before, you put Vanda in there with any number of guys from 154 to 170, and you have a huge fight. I don’t know that I can think of any other guy in Minnesota that this can be said of. The League loves its peoples champ.
For Phil Williams things have been much different. He has never wanted to follow the traditional path to the top. The Drill has not been a fan of build up fights. He believes in challenging himself by fighting the perceived best. He hasn’t always gotten his wish but after his fight with Matt Vanda, he will have only 13 fights, and will have fought Antwun Echols, Marcus Oliveira, and Matt Vanda. Pretty nice competition for a guy with so few fights. I was there when Williams put his money where is mouth was and turned down easy money because he didn’t feel there was any competition, or sporting chance in a fight. Its hard not to like that when most follow the build up approach.
Their paths may be very different but their destination is the same. Hinckley Grand Casino, November 13, broadcast on Fox Sports North. We will be breaking down this fight in the coming weeks with keys to victory for each fighter. Stay tuned we are just warming up.