Friday night Minnesota’s favorite heavyweight will revisit his old Philadelphia stomping grounds to face tough journeyman Billy Willis (12-13 with 9 kayos) in a fight that marks the beginning of Abell’s upcoming busy season.
A win against Willis won’t add much to Abell’s resume except a “W,” but it appears that for the moment, that’s what Abell is after. Abell’s recent stretch of first-round knockout wins includes several tough veterans, but no one who resembles a contender. And that’s okay. Abell’s less recent dry spell (three losses in 2008) set his professional progress back by years. I’m going to argue now, as I did a year ago, that what Abell needs is not just wins, but rounds.
People talk about Abell’s confidence as though he were some fragile artifact, but he doesn’t need guaranteed wins to build his confidence. He needs time in the ring to build his experience. That’s what Willis brings to the table. In his thirteen career losses, Willis has only been kayoed once. Granted the quality of Willis’ competition hasn’t been stellar, but he does own a win against the infamous Andrew Greeley, has gone the distance in a loss to 21-1 Lee Gilbert, and has won his last three matches, the last two in first-round knockouts.
Considering Abell’s recent history the win can’t be considered guaranteed, but it seems like a reasonably sure thing. What it really signifies is the beginning of his latest run at a title shot. We can expect to see Abell fight as often as possible through the spring and summer, and that’s good news for Minnesota fight fans.
The Fistic Mystic says: If you can’t make it to the Legendary Blue Horizon™ on Friday night, you can watch the fight on your computer for $5 at gofightlive.tv.