Cornered Fight Report
By: Laura Zink
Minneapolis power-puncher, Phil “The Drill” Williams (10-1 9KOs), faced off against former NABF and USBA title holder “Kid Dynamite” Antwun Echols (31-10-4 27KOs) in a 10 round main event. Williams, typically known for somewhat meditative bouts ending in fast and devastating knockouts, clearly showed last night that there is much more to “The Drill” than quick KOs. Echols tested Williams’ adaptability as a fighter with his crafty countering and sheer durability. For both fighters, a true ebb and flow contest ensued. Williams switched his stance to showcase his technicality proficiency and thunderous jab, and Echols, after having his face ripped open by Williams’ straight shots in the 3rd round, continued to withstand the blows and mix it up with Williams, trading shots for shots every round.
“I’ve seen him [Echols] fight Bernard Hopkins twice, so I knew he was a veteran,” Williams said after the fight, “He had been around. He had fought for world titles, so I knew he was going to have moves, and that is what I want to learn and pick up from. If he would have come right at me, I would have knocked him out. But with Antwun, he was crafty. I learned that once I had him that I shouldn’t over-rush him.”
Echols definitely did some punishing himself. Especially in the late rounds, whenever Williams dropped his hands, Echols made sure to pepper Williams with shots to the face. Echols shocking durability and slick boxing pulled him through 6 full rounds, but early in the 7th round, after 2 shots to the head and 2 body slams from Williams, Echols’ corner sprung up from ringside like a line of jack in the boxes to throw in the towel. With Williams’ power as the ring general in this bout, the fight was stopped at 42 seconds in round 7.
Williams was supposed to match off against the Contender’s Jaidon Codrington, but Codrington pulled out last weekend due to either medical issues or a desire to change course in his life and focus on becoming a policeman. Williams expressed skepticism over the reasons for the last minute change of heart.
“With Jaidon Codrington, I was ready to fight him. With six weeks of training, the last week, he just bows out,” Williams said, “He said it was for medical reasons, but I want to see the medical reasons. He’s a popular fighter because he’s been on the Contender, but he isn’t a better fighter than Echols. You can’t just hit him [Echols] and knock him out. With Jaidon, I thought it would only go three rounds.”
Williams, who recently dropped his last fight in April at the weigh-in due to his opponent, Chance Western (1-1), being 9 pounds underweight, was happy to be back in the ring and prove himself as a contender for Minnesota’s best light heavyweight, or super middleweight, or, for that matter, anyone 160 lbs. and above. He is currently setting his sights on the current Minnesota Light Heavyweight Champion, Zach “Jungle Boy” Walters (23-4). Walters has held the Minnesota Light Heavyweight title since 2004 when he defeated Marty “The Wolfman” Lindquist in a second round TKO.
“We are ready to fight with anybody that they will put in the ring, especially Zach Walters,” Williams remarked after the performance. “They put him up too high, and he ain’t been fighting nobody. It’s time to get in the ring and stop running and stop hiding. He can see that I am super middleweight now, so he can’t even run away on that. I’m here now! I feel stronger at super middleweight than I do at light heavyweight, so bring it on! I didn’t even strain to get at this weight. I just finally started working everyday in the gym like I should have been. But if there is a fight for me at light heavyweight, 185, 168, whatever, I’ll take that, too.”
In the co-main event, Osseo’s own “Golden” Caleb Truax (11-0) went a long, meditative, and frustrating distance against Youngstown, Ohio southpaw Durell Richardson (11-2). The 8 round middleweight bout labored on for both of the fighters, Truax working his counterpunching style and Richardson being defensive and primarily running and dipping out of the corners as Truax advanced. The bout was scored 79/74, 77/75 (Richardson), and 80/72, giving Truax the victory by split decision.
“I was kind of upset,” Truax said after the bout, “I knew that he was going to be a slick boxer, but I thought he was going to engage a little bit. He spent most of the fight running and backing up the whole time. I did what I needed to do, just kept working him with my jab and…got the decision. I knew that he didn’t have a lot of power because he only had 4 knock outs in 11 fights, but at the same time you would think that he came here to fight, that he would want to mix it up a little bit instead of skirting around the ring. I wish he would have engaged a little more and given more of a show for the fans. I was getting frustrated big time because I came here to fight. I came to give the fans a good show, and that is not what they got to see.”
Originally, Truax was scheduled to fight another southpaw, James Cook (11-3-1), but Richardson, who replaced Cook provided some ring practice for Truax against southpaws. Truax hopes to fight Minnesota’s most notable southpaw, Minnesota State Middleweight Champion Andy “Kaos” Kolle (18-2). After the bout with Richardson, Truax commented on his experiences with southpaws, both last night and previously in his career, experiences which he believes, stylistically, do not compare to the power and slick, quick punching of the state champ.
“The last southpaw I fought did a lot of the same thing [as Richardson]. He just wouldn’t engage. He would just run around, run around, just backing up all the time. Guys like that are completely different from Andy Kolle. Those fights are not really a fair gauge as to how far we will go with Kolle. I would like to get in with a guy who would actually box more before I get into that fight. Hopefully it happens in August or December or whenever they want it to happen. I just hope it happens. It’s a fight that the fans want to see. I’m happy that Kolle will consider me for a challenger because he is the champ. He gets to pick.”
In a 10 round light heavyweight bout, Marcus “Native Pride” Oliveria (17-0) destroyed “The Next Great Champ” winner, Otis “Triple OG” Griffin (19-5) with a percussive bomb of a right uppercut 2 minutes and 25 seconds into the second round. Oliveria, most noted by Minnesota fight fans for giving Phil “The Drill” Williams his first career loss back in August of 2008, is now notably proving that he is a remarkably adaptable fighter with a keen sense of strategy and truly deadly power. Where his fight with Williams was a testament to his defensive skill and powerful, crafty jabs, his win over Griffin revealed his in-fight adaptations and truly critical power.
“The first round I wanted to see what he had and put pressure on him,” Oliveria calmly commented after the bout. “I know he wanted to fight, and I wanted to give the crowd something that was not too boring. After I tested his power and saw where his skill level was at and saw what kind of combinations he was going to try to throw in the later rounds. But I didn’t really see anything except that he was getting tired. After the first round was over his breathing was caught up dramatically. He was huffing and puffing. So I thought, well, I will give him a different look the second round. I started bobbing and weaving and throwing more jabs, and that was just to open him up more. Then I thought well, I’m gonna throw the uppercut soon, so I’ll start backing up and try to lure him in. And he did exactly that, and that is when I caught him with the uppercut.”
In the third bout of the evening, Willshaun Boxley (5-0) finally got a crack at Maryland’s Thomas Snow (10-1) in a 6 round super bantamweight bout. After an exciting first round where Boxley caught Snow with a punishing right hand, Snow spent a majority of the rest of the rounds staying outside with twirling footwork, slapping at Boxley with jabs, or stifling Boxley’s advances with tie-ups. The rounds began to run a little long, and by the 4th, the restless crowd yelled at Snow, asking him if Boxley wanted to fight.
“No he don’t!” a cocky Snow yelled from the ring after yet another separation from the ref.
In the 5th, Snow did catch Boxley with a jab, Boxley even noting to him in the ring that it was a nice shot. But there was never a moment in the bout where Boxley looked hurt. He did, however, look frustrated…and annoyed. By the end of the bout, with 10 seconds remaining, Snow raised his arms in victory and shuffled around the edge of the ring, showing Boxley that he had stayed away long enough to win a decision victory. The relatively inactive bout was left to the judges, 59/57, 57/57, and 58/57, hailing in a majority decision for Snow.
“Wilshawn Boxley ain’t been through what I’ve been through,” Snow yelled at the crowd after the bout, “I outpointed him, and I outboxed him.”
Boxley had a very different perception of the bout.
“The guy was pretty much running from me the whole time,” Boxley said later that night, “When he found out that I had something to offer, he just kept running. Ever since I cracked him with the right hand, he just kept running. Even after the fight he told me the same thing. He said, ‘You have a very powerful right hand. I had to box you. I had to run.’ The only time that he hit me was with a jab, and that was an open hand. It was a backhand jab, which shouldn’t even count because that is illegal. And anytime that I cornered him or cut off the ring, he held. He held so many times that he should have had a point taken a long time ago. I think it was the wrong kind of decision. I don’t think that they really saw what was going on out there.”
In a 4 round middleweight bout, Michael Faulk won a mixed decision against Marvin Rodriguez (1-1). St. Paul’s Michael Faulk was fighting his pro debut. Rodriguez began his pro career last January winning a split decision against Charles Meier (pro debut) and lost a unanimous decision to Dion Savage (4-0) last April.
In a 4 round featherweight match, 20 year old Ismail “Sharp Shooter” Muwendo(2-0) knocked out Josh Jungjohann (0-1) one minute and forty seconds into the first round. Muwendo began his pro career last January in Kampala, Uganda winning a 4 round unanimous decision and introduced himself to Minnesota fans at the Epic Nightclub last April by winning a 2 round KO against Felix Martinez (0-2). Jinjohann also began his pro career last January, losing by 3rd round TKO to Jeremy McLaurin (1-0).