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‘Tank’ set to finally get showdown with Holyfield

It’s usually three strikes and you’re out, but Bahamian heavyweight boxer Sherman’The Caribbean Tank’Williams has given his opponent, Evander’The Real Deal’Holyfield, another chance to step up to the plate.

On January 22, at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, the long awaited showdown between Williams and Holyfield will finally take place. The fight, which is scheduled for 10 rounds, has been postponed three times. It was re-scheduled during the Christmas break, so instead of enjoying the festive season, Freeport native Williams was preparing, sparring 10 rounds every three days.

“I feel great knowing that it is finally taking place,”said Williams.”The Christmas week is when I started getting phone calls and they wanted to re-confirm and move ahead with a date in January. I was always already, but frustrated with the past. I made up my mind and put the past behind me once they guaranteed me that it will take place. So, I just moved forward and started to train and work out during the Christmas holidays.

“I feel like I will truly be compensated and rewarded when I defeat Holyfield and bring the title back to The Bahamas. We went through a lot of ups and downs and right now I am just looking forward, I am not looking back. The main thing is the mental aspect of it. Right now, I am in a good mental position. I was a bit worried about being over trained, but my training camp, they have a good work regimen. Right now I am feeling very, very good. I did 10 hard rounds yesterday with three different sparring partners. I am not one to boast, but I can hold my own and I enjoy working hard.

“I am excited now and I am staying focussed. I am looking at the big picture which is to go into the ring, take no prisoners and hold no hostages. I am just going to try and bang Holyfield from pillow to post. He is a great warrior, great champion, and it is an honor to step into the ring with a four-time heavyweight champion, but I am prepared to come out on top. He is well experienced, I can’t take anything away from him. One thing that I know and am sure of, is what I have to do on the 22nd, when I step into the ring. I have to take his will of wanting to fight-take his will of wanting to even be in there with me. His greatness will definitely motivate me and bring out the greatness in me. I think that the fight fans should be excited for this heavyweight showdown.”

As the fight date approaches, Williams said he is feeling good and that his endurance is up, as well as his heart rate and pulse. He said he is in perfect shape and even though he had no fights last year, he is ready to add another win to his record. Currently, Williams has a win/loss/draw record of 34-11-2 with 19 KOs. Before losing to Manuel Charr, in October 2009, he was on a nine-match winning streak. The October showing was the last fight for Williams. His opponent, Holyfield, is sporting a win/loss/draw record of 43-10-2 with 28 KOs. The fight with Williams is the first on the year for Holyfield, who is scheduled to take on Brian Nielson, March 5, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Williams said: ”I am getting excited and the date is getting closer. This is the third time I peaked for him. This is the on again, off again, on again fight, so hopefully, the conclusion to this saga is that Saturday. Being human, yes the cancelations affected me. I was very angry, and starting to feel like it was just another bad chapter in my career where these people in boxing do bad things to give the sport a black eye, but you know, I am a warrior and a trooper so my whole career, here in the States and Europe, has been good. I was feeling like it was just another day. I knew that this was part of the business before I even got into it. The mental side of it, it is very tricky, but what I try to do personally, is to stay sharp spiritually. Once you remain in that place spiritually, mental falls into place. I look and live as an optimist. I try to look at the bright side of things and try to stay focussed. I believe that once I put my mind and heart into it, there is nothing that I can’t do.

“The thing I am looking to do, from round one, is to just take the fight to him… pressure him.’Tank’Williams is no secret, everyone knows what I do. I come straight forward, throw left hooks and hit the body, try to get the head with over and right hands. I am not changing anything about my style. I will add a little more finesse to it, use a little bit more head movements. Everyone know that Holyfield has been a great left hook fighter and I am also a great left hook fighter, so we have two left hook fighters in the ring. There will be bullets and gun smoke. I just have to remain sharp and careful-be defensive oriented when it comes to his left hook. I know that, that will always be there. I will look to nullify and take away his hook, so I can land hooks of my own and then explode with that powerful over and right hand to the head and look to connect with vicious body shots. I feel like staying close to Holyfield and throwing a barrage of shots is going to be the key to my victory.”

Williams said a win for him over Holyfield will definitely be the highest point in his career, so far. He said when he steps into the ring it won’t be just for him, but for the entire Bahamas. The fight will be carried live on the internet and will also be live on pay-per view.

Rodgers writes on Ba