BRANTFORD — “Friday Night Fights Under the Lights” promoted by the Bell City Boxing Club drew about 320 to the Knights of Columbus Hall in Brantford who, along with a full fight card, saw two Six Nations boxers make their debut to the ring.
Rookie Super-heavyweight Brody Williams and light-heavy-weight Skyler Williams, no relation, each fought well against more experienced boxers, Brody losing a close decision to Tara Mirz from Brampton’s King of the Ring Boxing Club, while Skyler Williams won a unanimous decision over Nolan McKinley.
For both fighters their first amateur bout showed them and coach Bill Williams of the Bell City Boxing Club a lot and it was all good.
“It’s a lot different training than actually being in the ring,” says Brody and echoed by his coach.
There is no hiding the fact that Brody Williams is not in what you would call good shape, but he has lost almost 70 lbs. in preparation for his debut and is still losing weight in the gym. Even so, at the end of the three rounds, it was McKinley sucking air harder than Williams.
McKinley was throwing a lot of punches but did not seem to do much damage to the big man who just kept coming forward throwing bombs. Not all landed but when they did, it backed McKinley off. Encouraged by his corner, Williams landed enough power shots and avoided being hit enough to impress one of the judges to give Williams a round.
“Wow, that felt good,” said Brody following the fight. “But I know I gotta get back in the gym and work a little harder, but I’m proud of what I did.”
And so he should have been. For McKinley, it was like trying to fend off an enraged rhino with boxing gloves. Although McKinley won the split decision, it was clear that he would be going home in worse pain than Williams.
Both Six Nations fighters drew a large and loud Six Nations followings who did not go home disappointed.
Days before fight night, Coach Bill Williams told TRT that Skyler Williams was as fit and as focused as he has seen him.
“His cardio is ridiculous,” he said. “He can go on forever.”
For the first part of the opening round Nolan McKinley, fighting out of Irwins Boxing Club of Thorold / Niagara Falls, and Skyler Williams were getting used the moment, but when the blows started, they flew in flurries, both ways.
Surviving the first round of his first fight relatively unscathed gave Williams the confidence he may have lacked going into the ring, and from then on, Williams was the aggressor. He was stopped for an eight-count at one point, but insisted after the fight he was not hurt by the blow.
In amateur boxing, especially in the heavyweights, and this early in the careers of both fighters, the referees are instructed to be very careful with new fighters to the ring and always lean towards fighter safety.
Coming back after the eight-count Williams turned it on and took the second and third round while fighting off McKinley. There was no doubt about the unanimous decision in William’s favour.
“Once I got my jab working, I could see it was tiring him in the second round,” said Williams. The sight of blood funning from the nose of McKinley in the second round pumped Williams up even more.
With the first fight and his first win under his belt, Williams is already looking forward to another one. “He hit me with a few good shots and I said, ‘damn it. How did that happen’? Man, that’s fun,” he said standing beside his 12-year-old daughter Lola who is also a fighter with the Bell City Boxing Club.
“She was supposed to be on the card tonight but they couldn’t find an opponent for her,” he said.
According to dad and her coach, Lola is going to do very well in the ring. “She is very strong for a 12-year-old girl,” says dad..
For his part, Brody Williams was also pleased with his first showing and can’t wait to get back to training for another one.
Bell City Boxing Club’s Bill Williams, no relation to either Skyler or Brody or Bell City’s woman boxer Jennifer Williams, who was also on the card , was very happy with the performances of all of his boxers but was especially proud of Brody Williams.
I am so proud of Brody,” said Williams. “You don’t know how hard he worked and trained to get ready for this fight and the sacrifices along the way.”
BCBC’s Jenn Williams, was on the card fighting Rebecca Domm of the Durham Boxing Club, and won by referee stopping the fight in the first round for a very impressive BCBC win.
The Main Event of the evening featured Bell City’s Devon Renwick who won his bout against Steel Town Boxing Club’s Tyler Devchenzo in a unanimous decision. The two had met previously and Renwick had won that decision as well.