photo credit: Steven Limentani
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, West Virginia – Tonight’s title fight between World Boxing Federation Heavyweight Champion Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield and challenger Sherman “Tank” Williams abruptly ended after three rounds due to a cut over Holyfield’s left eye that happened in the second round suffered in the second round. Holyfield was unable to continue after three and the fight was declared a no contest because the cut was caused by an accidental head butt and the fight didn’t go four rounds.
“I’m cut,” Holyfield said after the fight. “He head-butted me. He came down on me with his head. I don’t know about my next fight (March 5 vs. Brian Nielson in Denmark). I’m cut, I’m cut. I’ll give Sherman a rematch.”
“I’m back,” said Williams who staggered Holyfield at the end of the third round with an overhand right. “This fight was circus: on again, off again. But I stayed focused. I hurt him with an overhand punch. Let’s bring this fight to Atlantis – Holyfield-Williams II. I’ll take his place in Denmark and fight Nielson.”
Holyfield-Williams headlined the “Redemption In America” pay-per-view card, viewed by boxing fans in 17 different countries worldwide, live in front of a black-tie crowd from America’s resort — The Greenbrier’s Colonial Hall — in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
“Redemption In America: The Journey Begins Now” pay-per-view event, presented by ARK Promotions in association with The Greenbrier, was distributed in North America by Integrated Sports Media.
“Redemption” fused world-class boxing and entertainment; showcasing a production that included high-energy music presented by Broadway performers, along with dancers and aerial artists. World-renowned saxophone player Clarence Clemons also headlined a live band between fights throughout the night.
In the co-feature, WBC #16 heavyweight Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson (24-1-1, 10 KOs) dropped a much taller Julius “Towering Inferno” Long (15-15, 13 KOs) twice in the final round en route to a convincing win by 8-round unanimous decision. Johnson, a former world title challenger, won seven rounds on all three judges’ scorecards.
Former world heavyweight title challenger Monte Barrett (34-9-1) and veteran Charles “Showboat” Davis fought to an 8-round majority draw.
In the PPV opening bout, unbeaten Detroit middleweight Willie Fortune (10-0, 5 KOs) won an 8-round split decision against Lithuania-native Donatas Bondoravas (10-2-1, 3 KOs) in a spirited bout.
In one of three off-PPV fights, Detroit middleweight Domonique Dolton (10-0, 6 KOs) kept his undefeated record intact, pitching a complete shutout (80-72 three times) versus veteran Marcos “The Terminator” Primera for an 8-round unanimous decision.
NABA Heavyweight Champion Cedric “The Bos” Boswell (33-1, 26 KOs) successfully defended his title, knocking out Dominique “Diamond” Alexander (19-10, 9 KOs) in the second round via the three-knockdown rule.
Cleveland junior welterweight Miguel “Silky Smooth” Gonzalez (13-2, 12 KOs), 2008 U.S. National AAU champion, dropped Ramon Che” Guevara three times in the sixth round for an automatic knockout victory.
Special guests at ringside included former world heavyweight champions Lennox Lewis and Larry Holmes, as well as 4-time world heavyweight title challenger Jameel McCline.
Holyfield-Williams Post Fight Quotes
Evander Holyfield: “I’m very disappointed. He fought the way he should have. He understood he would have his head low when he threw the overhand right. If I didn’t move back, we’d clash heads. It was to his advantage to get lower because he’s short. Being that short he had to fight that fight. He didn’t have to, he chose to.”
“Stuff like this happens and I’ll shake it off. Hopefully, I’ll get this stitched up and it won’t be a problem. Life goes on, it’s part of boxing.”
Sherman Williams: “I’ve had my own personal setbacks. To get over what I did was a miracle. I trained hard for this fight. I was fighting a legend and I can’t take anything away from him. I feel like I should have won by TKO. I cut him with an overhand right, but I respect him.”
“I root for him. He’s almost 50 and still training and performing. I admire what he’s done but it’s time to let younger guys fight and older guys do television commentary. He’s not as good looking as I am. You’ve made sacrifices, won 4 world championships and fought in the Olympics. But this is a new time, a new era. Mr. Holyfield shouldn’t be taking punches from younger guys. That’s how I feel. It’s time for him to move on but, if he wants, we can do it again.”
“After the first round he was falling into my trap. When he felt I was in retreat…bang with the overhand right, and that’s when I saw blood.”