Popular Bahamian heavyweight Sherman “The Tank” Williams has called-in his Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield-marker and demanded an immediate rematch that the future Hall of Famer verbally agreed to after their January 22nd fight in West Virginia ended in a highly controversial “no contest” due to Holyfield’s left eye suffering a cut from a ‘ruled’ unintentional clash of heads.
Williams (34-11-2, 19 KOs) patiently waited through three proposed fights against Holyfield that were cancelled before finally fighting January 22 on a Integrated Sports Media pay-per-view event live from The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs.
Williams was led on all three judges’ scorecards, by identical scores of 29-28, after three rounds when referee Dave Johnson surprisingly halted the match.
Holyfield returned to the ring last weekend in Denmark, stopping Brien Nielson in the 10th round.
“Holyfield said in the ring during a post fight interview with Benny Ricardo on the pay-per-view show that he would give me a rematch,” Williams said. “It was copied on DVD and posted on You Tube. The referee had no business making that decision or even officiating the fight. The World Boxing Federation could not overruled his bad decision to make it a no contest, but could have taken a stronger position to declare me the champion or demand a rematch.
"I took that fight very personal. It was originally supposed to happen November 6 and 11, again December 12, and finally did happen January 22. The delays cost me time and money but also gave me extra time to train with John David Jackson to prepare a game plan to beat Holyfield. A rematch with Holyfield not only would be big in the Bahamas, but having the living legend Evander Holyfield fight would be huge throughout the Caribbean. I’ve been waiting for a break my entire career but all I’ve been is continually victimized.
“I’m aggressive and Holyfield is a counter-aggressive fighter who has to bounce before he jumps in. I baited him in and hurt him with some big overhand rights. He’s a very intelligent fighter, a genius who cleverly and gets away with a lot in the ring. If you look a replay of our fight, early in the second round there was a clash of heads, but no blood at all. With 10 seconds left I hit him with a shot, another powerful overhand right, and he stumbled back wiping his eye with his glove. That’s when he started bleeding.
"He came out to fight in the third without a problem seeing, but I hurt him with a body shot that knocked him halfway across the ring and then I almost put him away at the end of the round with more overhand rights. Between rounds the referee went to Holyfield’s corner and gave him his options. That was unusual for a ref to do.
"The referee helped him to escape, which was ludicrous, and there clearly was no blood flowing when the referee called a halt to the bout. The pay-per-view announcers noted that during the broadcast. When I returned home to the Bahamas, some people who bought the pay-per-view asked me if they could get refunds. Holyfield quit and that certainly didn’t help his ‘Warrior’ reputation. I was robbed!
“Then at the post fight press conference he insinuated that I was a dirty fighter trying to hurt him. For his entire career he’s been one of the dirtiest fighters of all time. If a boxer doesn’t want to get hurt, he should play tennis. He hasn’t given me a rematch because he’s either afraid or just unwilling to get back in the ring with me. After a cheap win against Nielson he doesn’t deserve to be considered as a world title fight challenger against the Klitchkos (Wladimir and Vitali) or Haye (David), not without getting past me first.
"Our fight wasn’t redemption (name of the event) for him. He quit to save his fight in Denmark. Holyfield owes me a fight. I was prepared for victory last January and will be again if he gives me a rematch. I’m not mad at the guy but he should stick to his word. If that cut was so bad why didn’t he get suspended for 60 days? I’m asking the boxing world to support me by holding Holyfield to his word.”
Williams went on to say he came to the United States in 2007 to live the American Dream like so many world heavyweight champs he had idolized, only to have his opportunity for a major fight get derailed when Holyfield got away with quitting before Williams knocked out the future Hall of Famer.
“The public should demand that Holyfield fight Sherman again,” Williams’ manager Si Stern commented. “What happened that night (Jan. 22) was horrible. I spent a lot of time and money to get that fight done. My fighter trained for months, putting his heart and soul into it, only to get screwed. There’s no doubt about that. It was a terrible decision by the referee. Why didn’t he say anything about the cut coming from a head-butt until after the fight was over?
“It’s so sad. Holyfield said in the ring right after the fight, and once again in the post fight press conference, that he’d give us a rematch. Then he goes off to fight a guy who hadn’t fought in nine years. What a travesty! The only reason he won’t fight Sherman is that he’s afraid. The Bahamas would be a perfect spot for a rematch. Sherman’s promoter, David Johnson, has had discussions with officials in the Bahamas and they’ve shown interest. But there are other viable sites with WBF support for Holyfield-Williams II.
“This is a fact: The referee never indicated that there was a head-butt during the fight, only after he stopped the fight. There’s no doubt in my mind that Holyfield’s corner wasn’t going to send him out for the fourth round after the beating Sherman gave him in the third round. They would have stopped the fight if the referee hadn’t. Sherman is ready, winning and able to fight Holyfield again. We’re only a call, text or email away.”