Thomas “Top Dawg” Williams Jr. (15-0, 10 KOs) and Cornelius “Da Beast” White (21-2, 16 KOs) will fight for the vacant WBO and NABO title on ESPN’s Friday Fights January 24 at the Little Creek Resort Casino in Shelton, Washington.
The bout was changed to the main event after welterweight prospect Javier Molina fractured his hand while sparring. The undefeated Molina was scheduled to battle former junior welterweight champion Kendall Holt.
Williams, 26, a southpaw, who fights out of Fort Washington, Maryland, fought four times last year, winning twice by knockout. In what many consider his most impressive performance, he dominated former contender Yusaf Mack last November.
White, 32, from Houston, Texas, is looking to rebound after being stopped by current light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev. While the loss shocked him, White refusedto make excuses.
“When I fought Kovalev, I trained real hard,” White told this writer on the phone last week.
“I was ready for the fight, but his power was unreal. I’ve never been hit like that. I don’t think anyone can take his power.”
In an effort to learn more about his opponent, White watched a tape of a Williams fight. He came away impressed.
“Williams has never lost,” White said matter-of-factly. “He’s a southpaw with fast hands. He doesn’t know how to lose.”
White was once in Williams' shoes. He won his first 16 bouts fight before being stopped in the opening stanza by Don “The Bomb” George in 2011. He came back to win his next five fights until running into Kovalav.
Back to back losses are not something he wants to think about.
“This is really an important fight for my career,” White said. “You can’t have two loses in boxing these days. Two losses can end your career.”