Can Phil “The Drill” Williams Be Another One Of Boxing’s Great Stories?
By Joseph “The Mad Boxing Genius” Torres (Feb 23, 2011) Doghouse Boxing
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Unless you’re from Minnesota, you’ve probably haven’t heard of the name of Phil Williams. He isn’t the type of fighter that generates seven figure purses. He’s not the man we pay 50 bucks a pop to watch on pay-per-view nor does he have the type of lifestyle that young fighters aspire to have when we see Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao grace our television screens. As a matter of fact, he is what the majority of today’s fighters truly are… working class!

A barber by day and a professional boxer by night, Phil Williams, aka “The Drill” is another Micky Ward or Scott “The Sandman” Pemberton story - fighting who he can to not only make a payday but to get noticed. While getting a late start into boxing by entering a boxing gym for the first time in his early 20’s then fighting his first professional bout at the age of 28, Phil “The Drill” isn’t wasting any time.

In only his 9th pro fight, he fought an 8-rounder against 14-0-1 Marcus Oliveira who is currently 21-0-1. Although that fight served as his first pro loss, he’s hasn’t hit the breaks just yet as he’s taken on tough opposition of the likes of power puncher Antwun Echols, Matt Vanda and a man who has everyone excited after his spectacular 1st round destruction of highly touted Cornelius “Da Beast” White, Don George.

As a young teenager, he participated in many sports such as football and basketball but never once laced up gloves despite the sweet science being his favourite sport of all-time. With no gym around him while growing up he would goof around with his friends mimicking the styles of the all-time greats like Tommy Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard. “I thought I was Sugar Ray Leonard”, says Williams.

The gym that started his road to professional boxing was a place called Glovers Gym. He passed by the gym several times before but the gym doors were always closed with no hours of operation posted anywhere. It wasn’t until a chance drive by one evening that he noticed that there were people inside training. The rest they say is history.

Right now he holds a record of 11 wins, 3 losses with 10 KO’s to his credit. At first glance his record appears okay, nothing to warrant a second look. However, when a man brings his baby to work and has to be barber and father for 8 hours, then head to the gym with his child still in tow and be boxer and father again for more hours of training, the 11-3 record looks pretty remarkable. “I recently got day care for my baby”, stated Williams. This should free up some time for him to focus on training instead of dividing his attention.

And the free time couldn’t come any sooner because on Saturday night, he faces another promising fighter in Caleb Truax at The Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minnesota for a super middleweight catch weight bout of 162 pounds. Caleb is another promising Minnesota fighter who’ll come in with a record of 16-0 with 10 KO’s and 1 draw. The draw that blemishes Caleb’s otherwise spotless record came against Phil “The Drill” himself.

William stated that he wants to take care of Caleb Truax as he felt he did the last time but this time he wants the credit with an official win. He then would like to revenge his first defeat against Marcus Oliveira then start making his mark on the super-middleweight division.

When asked if he can see himself being world champ in three to five years he said without hesitation, “Three years! Less!!!” He definitely won’t lack any opportunity as the super-middleweight division is loaded with great talents like Andre Ward, Lucian Bute, Carl Froch and more. And eventually, those fighters will make the move up to 175 pounds where Williams wants to his career.

Many experts believe that you can’t be a “part-time boxer” and that you have to eat, breathe and sleep boxing to become world champ, even in this day and age of saturated world titles. He claims he now can take the time off from work to train for fights if needed and solely concentrate on an upcoming bout… but he won’t. He loves the barbershop too much to do so. Although he admitted that he’s “tired” at the end of the day, the barbershop in some ways is like his down time.

Will the power punching Williams be able to live up to the potential that former heavyweight title challenger Scott LeDoux and fellow Minnesota fighter saw in him years ago that encouraged him to end his amateur career early and go pro? Who knows? But if he does, maybe we’ll see him on the red carpet at a Hollywood movie premier about his life someday. They can call it The Fighter 2 or Barbershop 3.

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