The stage is set for Sherman “Tank” Williams to make his return to the ring in New Providence – he fought last year in his hometowm of Freeport, Grand Bahama, but this will be his first appearance in a New Providence ring since he knocked out Manuel Banquez of Colombia in 2014.
The Bahamian boxing icon said he’s thrilled to be back in New Providence and will definitely give the fans a treat on Saturday night. Williams, now 46, will fight American Stacey “Big Foot” Frazier, 48, in a 12-round UBO (Universal Boxing Organization) title fight event this Saturday evening at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium. The fight featuring the two behemoths will be the main event in the “Back Yard Rumble” show which is sanctioned by the Bahamas Boxing Commission (BBC) and staged by Bahamian Sons Promotion. The show gets underway at 7 p.m.
Williams (41-15-2, 1 No Contest, 21 KOs) was initially scheduled to take on Orlando Antonia “Knockout” Farias (32-18, 20 KOs) of Argentina, but Farias got injured in sparring, and promoters were left scrambling for a replacement. Along came Frazier (16-21, 15KOs), who said he is grateful for the opportunity.
Williams has never been stopped in 59 pro fights and is looking forward to coming out on top on Saturday night. The Bahamian heavyweight champion went the distance against former world champions Joseph Parker and Ruslan Chagaev, and also carried top contenders Christian Hammer, Robert Helenius and Manuel Charr to the distance.
“I feel good,” said Williams at the official press conference yesterday. “I trained hard for this fight and I’m in good shape. Even bigger than me is setting a platform for the young, up-and-coming Bahamian fighters. I’m so excited for them, especially the ones who are turning pro on Saturday night. These guys here in Nassau have what it takes. We want to be able to inspire the entire country, and these guys are a part of the process. It’s all about having competitive bouts to inspire the nation.”
Turning pro on Saturday night are young Bahamian fighters such as Israel Johnson, Chino Sherman, DeAngelo Swaby and Kendrick Stewart, who all train under Ron Rogers from Strikers Boxing Gym in New Providence. Malik Glinton will also be making his pro debut on Saturday night. They will all be taking on Jamaican fighters on the undercard.
“All praise and glory to God,” said Williams. “I just feel blessed to be here with this opportunity. I’m looking forward to it, and my goal isn’t just to win, but to win via a knockout.”
Glinton added: “I’m thankful for the opportunity and looking forward to having a good fight and putting on a good performance.”
As for Williams, he said he was looking forward to taking on Farias, who is an experienced and dangerous fighter who has fought for the UBO, World Boxing Council’s (WBC) cruiserweight, World Boxing Organization’s (WBO) latino cruiserweight and vacant South American cruiserweight titles. In Frazier, he said he’s thankful for the opportunity and looking forward to putting on a show.
“This is going to be an exciting night,” said Williams. “I’m looking forward to a great fight and I hope everyone comes out and supports this event. I was looking forward to fighting Farias, but I’ve been in the gym and working on all the basics. Stacey Frazier is taller so I just have to re-adjust my fight plan, try to get inside and just be successful.”
At 46, Williams said his faith and belief in God is the main thing that keeps him going.
“I take my fitness as a lifestyle. I’m in the gym training five to six days per week, and I feel like I have a lot of fire left in me. Also, I have a lot of passion for the sport and I want to keep this going as long as I could,” he said. “I’m always active. I’m 40-plus, but I’m thankful to God that I could still be performing at a high level. As long as I have the passion and desire, I’m going top keep pushing through.
“Being successful on Saturday night, the plan is to be back in the next three to four months and fight again. Also, we really have an opportunity here to showcase our Bahamian athletes – the young up-and-coming fighters. I definitely want to be a part of their progress, and just try to bring fights here to The Bahamas on a regular basis. We are on the right track and I am totally motivated.”
Promoter Chris Vendola said Williams is known all over the world for this famous “conch punch”, and the idea behind the promotion was to bring someone here to The Bahamas who could really give him a test.
“Orlando Farias got hurt in sparring, but we believe we found a suitable replacement. Stacey Frazier was in camp and is ready to go. Sherman is going to have a big test ahead of him and we’re looking forward to a good heavyweight fight on Saturday night,” said Vendola. “It’s going to be action packed and something that the Bahamian people wouldn’t want to miss. It’s going to be a slugfest and we’re really looking forward to it.”
BBC Secretary Calvin Greene said they are delighted to provide sanction for the show.
“The commission is committed to boxing and making some things happen in the country. Bahamian Sons Promotion is continuing to make boxing viable in The Bahamas again, and we’re looking forward to grow along with them and make sure boxing becomes prominent again in our country,” said Greene. “Speaking on behalf of the commission, I just want to let Bahamian Sons know that we are here to support them and we look forward to a good show.”
Also making an appearance at the press conference yesterday was former Bahamian lightweight fighter Quincy “Thrill-A-Minute” Pratt. The legendary boxer encouraged boxing fans, and sports fans in general, to come out and support the show.
“Boxing is at a hot point right now, and I want to invite the fans to come out and support this event. There are some young guys who are turning professional on the undercard and I have high hopes for them. It’s going to be a great show and I’m asking the fans to come out and experience the ‘conch punch’. The Kendal Isaacs Gym is the place to be on Saturday night,” he said.
During his 21 years in pro boxing, Williams has used his vaunted “conch (overhand right) punch” to knockout 21 opponents. He defeated former world cruiserweight champion Al “Ice” Cole, fought world title challenger Jameel McCline to a draw and was leading Hall of Famer Evander Holyfield until their 2011 fight was stopped due to a questionable referee decision of a “no contest”.
Bahamian Sons Promotion seeks to bring live televised professional boxing to The Bahamas, showcasing national and international fighters. Kimberly Williams, president of Bahamian Sons Promotion and the wife of Sherman “Tank” Williams, said: “Bahamian Sons Promotion’s mission is to provide competitive boxing featuring some of the best in the sport. We want to create a competitive platform that one, will allow young Bahamian fighters an opportunity to turn pro in a fair and balanced forum while attracting other big names of the fight game to The Bahamas which in turn will bring exposure to The Bahamas, showcasing the beauty of the islands.”
Williams has won numerous titles during his career including the WBO China National, Oriental and Asia Pacific, the WBC Caribbean Boxing Federation (CABOFE), the World Boxing Association’s (WBA) Fedecaribe and the World Boxing Foundation’s (WBF) Intercontinental titles just to name a few.
The official weigh-in will be held today at 5 p.m. at Compass Point on West Bay Street.