Ricardo “Ricky” Williams, Jr. is Back and Wiser for It!
By Ken Hissner, Doghouse Boxing (June 21, 2009)   
Ricardo “Ricky” Williams came out of the 2000 Sydney Olympics like a sure shot world champion. After all, some thought he would be another Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor, also from Cincinnati! “To even be mentioned with Pryor is an honor,” said Williams.

Several nights ago I had the pleasure of meeting one of William’s former opponents in the amateurs, Ebo Elder (www.ebotribe.net). Elder is the former amateur star and lightweight contender who is now
in full time evangelism with Calvary Chapel. I have to tell you, he puts as much into his talks as he did in the ring. I mentioned the name Ricardo Williams to him and a smile came upon his face. “What a fighter,” he said.

In talking to Williams I mentioned Elder right away and he said “He’s my man. I got so tired of seeing him, we must have fought 10 times within a two year period,” said Williams. Williams was a highly decorated amateur winning several junior Olympic titles, along with the 1998 US Amateur and National Golden Gloves titles. In 1999 he repeated winning the US Amateur championship and won a silver medal in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

I asked Williams how tough the semi-final match with Cuban Diogenes Luna was. He won by a 42-41 margin over the Cuban in one of the greatest action fights I have ever witnessed in amateur boxing. “That was the toughest fight I have ever had,” said Williams. In his next match in the finals he would lose to future world contender Mohammad Abdulaev of Uzebekistan. Abdulaev looked like a sure winner until he missed the count with Emmanuel Clottey while ahead on all scorecards going into the final round. He would bounce
back until losing to Miguel Cotto for the WBO light welterweight title. Then a loss to current WBA champ Andriy Kotelnik in 2005 put an end to his once promising career. He finished with a 15-3 record which is similar to William’s current 15-2 record. I told William’s I only talk about the not so pleasant conflicts outside the ring if the fighter wants to. He appreciated not going over his three year absence from the ring again.

I asked him was Pryor a fighter whose footsteps he planned to follow growing up in the same city. “Growing up Ravea Springs was the one I looked up to,” said Williams. Springs, 28-3 (22), lost his first pro fight and then won 16 straight by knockout. He would later fail in an attempt to beat WBC cruiser champ Wayne Braithwaite in 2003.

“I also like Pernell Whitaker and Roy Jones, Jr.,” he added. “I fought the cream of the crop in the amateurs including going 1-1 with Miguel Cotto,” said Williams.

Williams currently trains at the Mount Auburn gym under the guidance of his father, Ricardo, Sr., Gary McNair and Kenny Milliner. “I hope to get back to 140 again with a lot of hard work,” said Williams. I reminded him that too many boxers with so much ability can blow it and then reach 30 and wish they had it all to do over again. At 27, the 5:08” southpaw is still young enough to make up for the time lost from the ring.

Williams had the backing of the Cincinnati “Pizza King” Buddy LaRosa who managed Pryor, and his father Ricardo, until a deal with James Prince came along. Prince also managed Floyd Mayweather. There were no easy opponents starting out for Williams in January of 2001 stopping Anthony Simpkins, 5-0-1, beating Joey Bullock, 4-0, and in his fifth fight stopping Rodney Jones, 25-3, in his home state of Arkansas. “I broke my hand in the 6th round of a tough fight with Anthony Washington, 15-0-1, (2002) and was out of action for nine months,” said Williams. Former IBF light welterweight champion Terron Millett, 27-3-1, would be next, in a fight Williams won almost every round.

In February of 2003, Williams was put in with a last minute substitute Juan Valenzuela, 15-6, who had a 1st round knockout win over future IBF lightweight champion Julio Diaz. “I didn’t like the last minute change of opponents but had no excuses for losing that fight,” said Williams. In April of 2004 Williams was up to the highest weight of his career at 151 against the former WBO welterweight champion Manning Galloway, 59-17-1. “He was crafty and I learned a lot from that loss,” said Williams. Just 26 days later and seven pounds lighter Williams would bounce back with a win but then came the time away from the ring.

In 18 fights the only boxer with a losing record was his first comeback opponent Sebastien Hamel, 9-13-1, of Canada whom had won his last three fights. It was June of 2008 when Williams scored a knockout in 1:31 of the 1st round and his weight was at 145. In less than a year he has won all five of his bouts including Dario Esalas, 31-14 in Las Vegas last October. “He was real good,” said Williams. Though on the downside of his career, Esalas had wins over former WBO light welterweight champion DeMarcus Corley and contender Terrance Cauthen, who was also an Olympic medal winner.

In January of this year he defeated hard hitting Doel Carrasquillo, 12-9-1, over 8 rounds. “He was very durable,” said Williams. Then in March Antonio Leonard, his promoter, joined forces with TKO Boxing Promotions. On that show Williams stopped Dominican Harrison Cuello, 18-8-2, who was on a 3 fight knockout winning streak, in the 3rd round.

Williams is currently engaged (Shrise), and seems to be enjoying boxing again. If he gets down to his proposed 140 he will cause major problems within the division. Coming out of the Olympics this one time sure shot to the title boxer known as “Slicky Ricky” is back and could be Cincinnati’s hottest star since Aaron “Hawk” Pryor put this city of Ohio in the boxing spotlight! Williams is a believer of “second chances”!

Ken at: kenhissner@yahoo.com

© Copyright / All Rights reserved: Doghouse Boxing 1998-2009