The Fistic Mystic enjoyed a visit with local light heavyweight Phil Williams on Sunday evening. Here are some of the highlights of that conversation.
On the state of his career: “I’ve been getting away with being part-time until now but that just isn’t going to work. Up till now I work full-time and train after work, and I didn’t think I was cheating anyone – so the loss to Oliveira was really very lucky for me because it shows me how much I need to improve certain aspects of my game. I haven’t been as good as I could be. I thought my training was good enough to get me through, but there are things that just slip by. Even last night (against Jason Dietrich) I caught myself letting my hands down and (laughs) raising them back up to here!
On his continuing development: “If they (the fans) are excited now, they’re really going to be excited when they see everything else I can do. My hand speed, my shiftiness, my conditioning; see, my knockout power is only going to be a part of my game.”
Message to Zach Walters: You’re not fighting anyone, really, so don’t say that you’re up here (raises hand to eye level and looks at it) and I’m down here (rests hand on table)…he’s like so many Minnesota fighters, fighting the same recycled guys that everybody else does. That doesn’t stretch you or teach you anything. It doesn’t make you grow.”
Toward that end, The Drill fighting the best he can find. He predicts that “two or three fights down the road” he will fight someone of Oliveira’s caliber again. He would also like to fight outside of Minnesota soon, partly because the local fight crowd has certain expectations. “It gets into your head when the crowd is chanting for you to knock the guy out right from the start.”
Here’s the bad news: it is indeed true that Williams broke his right hand in the second round of the Dietrich fight (as initially reported by Jesse Kelly of www.minnesotaboxing.com, and when I met with him it was grotesquely swollen, featuring a subcutaneous lump roughly the size and shape of a raquetball. Williams says he plans to meet with a specialist in Edina in the next few days, and that surgery is certain to be recommended. Williams plans to be out for about three months while it heals.