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excerpted from KO Sept 1985

repeatedly scored with the jab that is Muhammad Ali

commanded and demanded the frequently compared to Holmes', and even

attention of the world by winning a gold talked to his man, ensuring victory in the

medal at the 1960 Olympics, Carl Williams psychological, as well as the physical, war.

was 10 months old. When Larry Holmes decisioned Ken Norton to begin one

Williams' graduation was impressive,

especially considering what had transpired in

most dominant title reigns in heavyweight round one. But was Carl Williams satisfied?

history, Carl Williams was 18 and -getting "I couldn't watch the film more than

into the basic trouble kids get into.- He still once," he said. "He hit me with right hands

hadn't punched anyone—at lead .it flush. To me, that's like taking a beating.

boxing gloves on. Tillis was really a piece of cake. He was a big

Carl "The Truth- Williams is now 25.11 jump up in class compared to fighters like

Terry Mims, who were pushovers, hut I

he isn't already the best young heavyweight

knew I could handle him. I knew I was

prospect in the world, he will be by the

physically stronger and mentally sharper.

year's end. When Ali completed an amazing

But my twos were inoperative that night I

and unprecedented 14-year run by defeating

had a cold, and I sustained an injury to my

Leon Spinks and then retiring. Larry

right hand in training. I regret going

Holmes was 28 and visiting for the baton,

through with the fight, but I got bad advice.

ready for his own run. Today. seven years

People haven't seen me at my best."

later, Holmes is decelerating as he

How good can Williams be at his best?

approaches the finish line. The likely

Considering the fighter's natural gifts and his

candidates to nod sprint to the front

limited experience, the possibilities are

include Pinky Thomas, Greg Page, David mind-boggling. The heavyweight grew up in

Bey, and Gerry Cooney. Then there's New York City (he now lives in White

undefeated (1601 Cart Williams, 6'4", 220 Plains, a suburb), and fought in the streets,

pounds, quick, mobile. strong, and

not gyms and rings, until age 20. He opted

possessing an almost unbelievable 85-inch

to try boxing after watching top amateurs

reach. You'll know -The Truth" when you

like Marvis Frazier and Tony Tubbs and

see it.

deciding he could beat them. Not eventually,

"My friends and I used to watch boxing

all the lime.- said Williams, one of the more or after a hit of practice. Right then. If you

articulate fighters in the game. "We'd watch Carl Williams has bowled over many of his opponents haven't already noticed, confidence isn't one.

all the big fights. the Sugar Ray Leonard (stopping Michael Greer on opposite page) of Carl Williams' weaknesses.

fights, and bet on them. We had a slogan in winning all 16 of his pro bouts. Will The Truth

"By 1980 I had already been molded into

be victorious after challenging for a world title

about Leonard that he was nothing but the (above)? a style because my street fighting style was

truth. When I started boxing, I remembered

methodical boxing," he said. "I put up a bag

that. I started beating bigger guys. guys with and watched his heralded foe fall on his

in my basement and hit it for 30 minutes, 60

experience. I used to call myself 'The Man,' butt. Williams rose quickly, but this was no minutes at a time. I used to run and train

but then I said about myself, must be The harmless flash knockdown. A few seconds

brutally. Then I went to the gym in

Truth.'" later, Tillis landed a right and a straight left,

O'Connell Park and fought in the Golden

• • •

and back down went Williams. The Truth, it Gloves without even one smoker. They said

On October 23, 1984, at the Atlantis Hotel seemed, was nothing more than one big

it was natural ability."

on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, promoter snow job.

Williams won his first four amateur fights

Jeff Levine hosted a coming-out party. After Forty minutes later, the ring announcer

and, with them, the New York Golden

15 bouts, mostly against fighters who told us that one judge gave Tillis that first

Gloves Sub-Novice title. A year later, he won

weighed 30 pounds less, fighters who shook round and not another. Another judge gave

the Gloves Open crown and the World Cup.

when brushed with a jab, fighters who Tills two rounds. The third could have been

He ended his amateur career with only 22

should've moved back three spaces and termed generous for awarding the Tulsa

bouts (21-1, the loss being via

never passed Go, Carl Williams faced his cowboy three rounds. By the end of the disqualification to Benny Heard in the 1981

think he exercises a lot of displaced hostility)

If things are not going well in one phase of

his life, he'll strike out. And since I'm in the

gym with him every day. I'm an easy target. I

would never call him loyal. He's selfish,

disrespectful, and ungrateful, in my opinion.

Sometimes I think he can't be that bad, that

he's just trying to set me up."

Unlike most disgruntled fighters,

Williams does not complain about his

eaming. In Williams' ninth fight, an eight-

rounder at the Felt Forum and his last bout

for Madison Square Garden, he was paid

$7,500, far more than the average paycheck

for Forum main-eventers. He made $75,0C

in three fights in 1983 with promoter Dan

Duva, and signed with Jeff Levine in 1984

for three years and $50,000 up front. He

was paid $20,000 for a Westchester bout

against trialhorse Lou Benson (his first bout


network TV, are extraordinary. But

promoters judge Williams as an

extraordinary property, and they've been

willing to demonstrate that in the most

definitive way—with their checkbooks.

Talented, undefeated heavyweights, you so

are an endangered species.

As we went to press, Levine was

attempting to finalize a bout with NABF

champion James Broad, a fighter Williams

calls "a fat kid, the dough boy." After the win

over Tillis, and Williams' sparkling

September 1983 fourth-round stoppage of

one-time prospect Percell "Magic" Davis,

Broad would seem to be the perfect level o

opposition. At this point, Berlingo believes

there is no need to be overly selective.

"The only thing that he still needs is

experience and seasoning," he said. His

is phenomenal and his timing is beautiful

He throws a great assortment of punches

and he's durable. I don't know if he a_tea

rock-hard jaw [the only criticism consist

get clipped by

the same combinations

now he has .111 the tools to beat anybody y.


from winning the heavyweight championship

:h, (as,ts;,I've been


know because sets the job done. By the

fight for title.


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