by Alex Pierpaoli
Fresh from the biggest win of his creer, a Majority Decision over Yuri Foreman, West Haven’s Jimmy Williams returns to CT to face Greg Vendetti in the 8 round main event of a CES Boxing card this Friday night. Williams-Vendetti is the headline attraction of a scheduled 8 bout card featuring regional talent, promoted by Jimmy Burchfield’s Rhode Island based Classic Entertainment & Sports (CES Boxing).
Jimmy Williams, now 18-5-12 (6), last saw action on June 19th, when he beat former 154 pound titlist Yuri Foreman after their first scheduled bout was cancelled by COVID19 on the day of the fight.
“They tried a lot of veteran moves,” Williams smiled, recounting the last minute postponement and subsequent explanation of their first scheduled bout on March 6th of this year. Williams felt Foreman’s team expected to see him show up looking like a guy who suffered back-to-back losses–Williams was stopped, brutally, by Brandun Lee on October 7th, 2020, and then he dropped a close unanimous decision to Esteban Villalba just under two months later on December 5th. But at the weigh-in for the first scheduled bout with Yuri Foreman, Jimmy looked great. The next day postponement due to testing positive for COVID-19 also gave Team Foreman two more months to prepare once the bout was rescheduled.
When they met on June 19th, Williams had history in mind. A native of Plainfield New Jersey, Williams got his boxing start in Joe Greer’s Boxing Academy and it was there where he sparred Andrew “Six-Heads” Lewis, Kendall Holt, Frankie Toledo and one, Yuri Foreman.
“Yuri was always a beautiful boxer,” Williams said. “He came to support our whole team [Joe Greer’s Boxing Academy] on an amateur show where I boxed.” Williams didn’t know if Foreman remembered him when that bell to start round one rang, but Jimmy remembered Yuri. “I sparred him when I had about 3 amateur fights, at 13 or 14 years old.”
Williams celebrated his 35th birthday on the 16th of this month, and along with his partner Christina, has twin 4 year old boys, Austin and Logan. “They both wanna spar me,” he laughs. “They never get tired!” Both sons watched the recent Jermell Charlo versus Brian Castano fight with him but it’s Austin who’s more interested in the Sweet Science. “Austin watches Ali-Frazier and Logan loves monster trucks.”
After the COVID-19 pandemic shut down professional sports, Showtime Boxing returned to the Mohegan Sun Arena and broadcast numerous fight cards from a crowd-less “Bubble.” There, Williams faced undefeated knockout artist Brandun Lee, almost one year ago.
“It was weird,” Williams said. “It was like you were at a funeral. You could hear the cameras.” Williams also described training during the pandemic has been tricky at times. “You have to watch out who you spar with and who you’re in the gym with.”
“We sparred 46 rounds for this fight,” Williams said. The weight limit for the fight is 154 pounds and Williams sees no trouble in making it. “I walk around at 62 or 63 and kinda eat what I want.” Williams remembers struggling to get under the welterweight limit. “I don’t know how I did it,” he smiles, shaking his head.
Now working with head trainer Dave McDonagh and co-trainer Benny Little, Williams trains out of Danbury’s Champs Boxing Club. He’s also learned that getting away from his family hardens him before a fight and ensures he gets the right amount of sleep which is not always possible in a house with two four year old boys. As difficult as it is for his family, moving in with his trainer for the final two weeks of camp has paid off. “For the Yuri fight I got away. For this fight I got away. In order to see the best version of yourself you’ve gotta sacrifice.”
In Greg Vendetti, his opponent Friday night, Williams expects to see the best version of The Villain possible. “I’ve never met him,” Williams said. “I like what he brings to the table. He fought Lara. He beat Khiary Gray. I was ringside for that. He comes forward, I ain’t gotta look for him. There’s gonna be fireworks.”
His opponent, Friday, Greg Vendetti, of Wakefield, MA, is 22-4-1 (12), and last fought almost thirteen months ago versus Erislandy Lara, one of the top five junior middleweights in the world, according to the TBRB.org.
Tickets range in price from $47 to $157 and are available through Showclix
Seven other fights scheduled on the 8-bout card include:
feather (126lbs) Nathan Martinez, of New Britain, CT, 6-1 (2), fights 6 rounds versus Francisco Dominguez, 7-11-1 (1) of Ciudad Juarez, Chiuahua, MX 7-11-1
bantam (118lbs) Angel Gonzalez, 5-0 (3), of Hartford, CT via Longwood, FL, fights 6 rounds versus Juan Gabriel Medina, 12-7 (11), of the Dominican Republic
female welter (147lbs) Stevie Jane Coleman, 0-1, of Columbia, CT fights 4×2 minute rounds versus Christina Barry, 1-7, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, CA.
heavy (201+lbs) Timothy Hatfield, of Providence, RI, debuts in a 4 rounder versus Kaleb Slaughter, 1-2-1, of Cincinnati, OH
super light (140lbs) Carlos Ojeda Perez, 1-0 fights 4 rounds versus TBA
welter (147lbs) Ramon Caraballo debuts in a 4 rounder versus Samuel Lajoie-Dery 1-0
middle (160lbs) Chordale Booker, 16-0 (7) of Stamford, CT, fights 8 rounds versus Silverio Ortiz, 37-27 (18), of Merida, Yucatan, MX