The Fistic Mystic is fortunate to have had opportunities to visit with both of the co-headliners of the August 29 Undefeated event at Grand Casino Hinckley. Their comments are excerpted below:
Caleb Truax (defeated Bobby Kliewer by 3rd-round KO)
You know how Kliewer fights: he’s all awkward and throws a lot of wild punches – he started off, first round I didn’t get off to the start I wanted; I waited too much instead of going right after him, and he might have – the first round was pretty even and if anything, he probably won it. Second round I started to get his timing down, and third round I caught him with a left hook and splattered him all over the canvas (laughs). I nailed him and he went down and he was out cold. He came in and threw a wild shot and I kind of stepped back and hit him with a right hand to the chest and then a left hook to the chin.
What’s next? I think Tony [Grygelko] might have a show in October and I think I might be going out to California again at the end of September, not sure about that.
Phil Williams (lost to Marcus Oliveira by 7th-round KO)
I feel good today, I wasn’t feeling so good yesterday. I was just working the phone to see how soon I can get back into the ring.
I learned a good lesson. I’ve been getting away with a lot of stuff lately, working mostly just enough to stay in shape. This was my first eight-rounder, and I just got worn down throwing a lot of punches and got hit. I’m really glad I took the fight, and hopefully I can get a rematch in the next four or five fights. It was a real good experience, man, and I wouldn’t trade it for nothing. I’ll be back and I’ll be a much better fighter for it. The only [worry] is that [Oliveira] might not want to give a rematch to a guy who knocked him down twice…but we did talk about a rematch afterwards.
Even when I win I critique myself, and I always knew I was getting away with some bad stuff, like holding my hands out of position and stuff like that.
The first round I was jabbing him and walking him down, then his coach gave him some good advice, then he started jabbing me and walking me down, backing me up. The first round went my way but after that he was pressuring me and I was waiting to counter him – and waiting too much. He was able to jab me from a distance and me thinking I was a hard-head, I was going to outlast him. The thing that got to me was getting worn down, I couldn’t breathe. The way he was coming I was forced to throw a lot of punches to see if I could catch him with a counter. I dropped him twice that way, but he got back up. And I didn’t have the energy to finish him off, so I went back to what I had been doing; walking backwards and trying to counter. He did something smart. I was talking to him, telling him he couldn’t hurt me, trying to goad him into opening up on me because I’m a stronger puncher than he was and I was looking for an opportunity to counter him, but he was smart. He was playing like Winky Wright, and what I should have done was went to the body. I think I landed one good body blow, and that’s something I’m going to work on now.
It was tough for me, fighting a pressure guy who’s been in longer fights before, and it was my first eight-rounder. I’m glad I got this lesson out of the way now and not in my eighteenth or twentieth fight, or in my first TV fight. I don’t have a perfect record to protect anymore, so I won’t feel like I have to win by a one-punch knockout; I’m free to fight an ugly fight in order to win. I already can’t wait to get back in the gym and work on the flaws that have been exposed, because next time out I’m gonna pack the house again, but the crowd is going to see a new, more polished Phil Williams.