Garrett “the Ultimate Warrior” Wilson is New “Road Warrior”! Interview By Ken Hissner, Doghouse Boxing (Dec 4, 2010) - Tweet
Move over Glen “Road Warrior” Johnson for there is a new “Road Warrior” in Philly named Garrett Wilson whose 9-5-1 record with 3 knockouts can be very misleading. Ask Aaron Williams, now 20-3-1, after Wilson stopped him in the seventh round on November 5th. The fans in Mayfield Heights, OH, were not too pleased with Wilson.
“The promoter came into the ring after I stopped Williams and started yelling at me. As he yelled I could see the fans closing in on the ring. We (Rodney Rice, trainer) had to have the police called in and escorted from the ring. My trainer and I decided to take an earlier flight (3am) home to Philly,” said Wilson.
“I only had 13 amateur fights. My trainer was Eugene Pearson and I trained at Happy Hollow gym in the Germantown section of Philly, said Wilson
Wilson started his career away from home in District Heights, MD, weighing 192, at 5:09, against Robert McConnell at 191, who was also making his debut. Wilson dropped McConnell with a vicious left hook in the 2nd round. He beat the count but was in no condition to continue. In his next bout 2 weeks later this writer was at ringside and would eventually see 10 of Wilson’s 15 fights.
In the previous show, also in Lewes, DE, Wilson’s opponent Joshua “Juice” Harris was very impressive in scoring a knockout. He was a big southpaw from Youngstown, OH, and 1-0-1. Wilson got inside of Harris and pulled off another win, this time by majority decision. “He was the toughest and hardest hitting opponent I have yet faced,” said Wilson. It would be over 5 months before Wilson would get into the ring again.
Wilson would fight another Philly fighter in Reshawn Scott, 1-1, at the legendary Blue Horizon in Philadelphia. Wilson was down to 183, same as Scott. Once again he would win by majority decision. They would meet again in 2010.
In December of 2008 Wilson would travel to Cincinnati to face Dyah Davis, 12-1, the son of Olympian Gold Medalist Howard Davis, Jr. “I thought I won the fight,” said Wilson. This writer talked to the elder Davis after this fight because Wilson was down to 172 per the report. “He was that weight and if you don’t have any lateral movement, Wilson will run you out of the ring,” said Davis. This bout was his first over 6 rounds.
Next up would be in March of 2009 at the same Blue Horizon against the Kensington section of Philly, Dennis Hasson, 6-0, over 6 rounds. Wilson was at his career lowest weight of 169. Hasson had a good amateur career at Northern Michigan under Philly’s Al Mitchell. Wilson seemed “washed out” at that weight. His then trainer Rev Thompson was known to get his fighters as low as they could get and it backfired this time. Hasson dominated the first 5 rounds before Wilson could get started in the sixth and final round. “He was tough,” said Wilson. “He hit you, he hurt you,” said Hasson.
After suffering 2 defeats in a row Wilson would venture to Bally’s in Atlantic City in June to meet yet another Philly boxer in Louis Robinson, 2-2-1. His weight was back up to 178 and he really impressed by knocking out Robinson in the third round. In September it was back to Bally’s against a former 2001 National Amateur champion named Alfred Kinsey, 6-3-1, from Atlantic City. It was nothing for Wilson to fight an opponent in their hometown by now. In a near shut out, , Wilson won over 6 rounds. “I was surprised the fight was as easy as it was,” said Wilson.
This time Wilson would travel to the western part of PA, to meet Virginia’s Otgonbayer Daivi, 3-3-1, over 6 rounds. They would meet at the annual Thanksgiving show at the Avalon Hotel, in Erie, promoted by Mike Acri. Wilson won a close decision when Daivi was penalized a point for rabbit punching which cost him a draw.
A little over 2 weeks and 14 pounds later Wilson would appear in the Shipley Arena, in Westminster, MD, against the former 2006 US Amateur champion Adam Willett, 1-0, from New York. Covering this fight I thought Wilson would be over his head with Willett’s amateur background. This was a good close fight with Willett taking a knee possibly from the pace Wilson was setting. It cost him the fight by split decision in 4.
The following month Wilson would travel to New York’s Madison Square Garden on the undercard or Philly’s Rogers Mtagwa and Yuriorkis Gamboa’s WBA featherweight title bout. Wilson had enough time to get his weight down to 177 but would be facing Puerto Rico’s Olympian at 6:06 Carlos Negron, 6-0. This writer witnessed Negron against an American Olympic hopeful in a USA vs Puerto Rico match. Against Wilson it was like a giraffe against a rhino. “I kept trying to land my left hook to his jaw instead of working the body more. I lost this fight,” said Wilson.
Wilson would get a “break” in fighting former contender Omar Sheika, 28-9, at Hamilton Township, NJ. In an interview with Sheika before the fight he stated “I know the guy can’t be a puncher with only 2 knockouts.” Would he be in for a surprise in the 2nd round when he had Sheika and the Sheika fan’s in an uproar as Wilson had him out on his feet and let him off the hook.
It was only the experience of Sheika that saved him from a knockout. By the 4th round Wilson seemed to have punched himself-out. When the referee stopped the fight at 1:32 of the 4th Wilson was upset. “He had him in the 2nd round and couldn’t finish him off,” said J Russell Peltz. He was the matchmaker for the show.
In June things didn’t get any better for Wilson in the sense that he would lose his 3rd straight fight west of Philly in Reading. He would lose to local southpaw Julio Cesar Matthews, 9-0, over 6 rounds. Not counting his debut opponent that would be the 5th unbeaten fighter in 12 fights Wilson had faced.
The next month he had a rematch with Scott whom he had won a majority decision over in this 3rd fight. Rice would be his new trainer for this one and it showed in the outcome compared to the first time these 2 met. Wilson electrified the crowd in Philly starching Scott in 1:29 of the 1st round!
In September Wilson would travel to the western part of the state to Johnstown and meet local boxer Andres “Taylor Made” Taylor, 16-1-1, who fought a style similar to Mike Tyson. It was a competitive fight at the start but Wilson just outworked Taylor.
The scoring in this 8 rounder was split. Pat Casey had it 78-74 for Wilson which was in line with Dave Ruff the writer with Doghouse Boxing. Chip Snider had it 76-76 even. Apparently the third judge didn’t show. Instead of referee Vic de Wysocki scoring the fight the Executive commissioner Greg Sirb filled in as judge. His score was 76-74 for Taylor making it a split decision draw. Seems the local fighter dodged the bullet. Wilson was up to 196 while Taylor came in at 197.
Peltz mentioned how Wilson will take short notice fights to help pay the bills for his family. This is something Wilson never talked about until after the interview when I contacted him through his trainer, Rice. “Garrett’s wife Janae and their 4 children have played a big part in short notice fights. He also enjoys a good fight. Their infant son was born early with low sugar, an enlarged heart and underdeveloped lungs and was still in the hospital while Garrett was training for and when he fought Williams,” said Rice.
In Wilson’s last fight in November as reported earlier he stunned the once promising prospect Aaron Williams with a stoppage in 7. “I’m going to stay at cruiser for now,” said Wilson. At times Wilson reminds one of the Camden Buzzsaw, Dwight Qwai Ali, formerly known as Dwight Braxton. Sooner of later Wilson will score a big win over a contender and join the ranks in line for a title bout. Most likely it will be “on the road”.