2010-04-02 / Sports

Bujaj Ends Williams’ Golden Gloves Title Bid

By Elio Velez

Joseph Williams (left) lands a left-handed punch on Stivens Bujaj. Photo by William Thomas Joseph Williams (left) lands a left-handed punch on Stivens Bujaj. Photo by William Thomas When the final bell was rung to signal the end of the three-round 201-pound open class championship at Madison Square Garden, Joseph “Mack” Williams had a feeling he would be on the losing end.

Williams was right as the referee raise Stivens Bujaj’s hand in victory on March 26 to win the Daily News Golden Gloves 201-pound open title in a three round decision. Bujaj had previously lost to Williams last November in the USA Boxing Metro heavyweight championship.

After winning the super heavyweight novice championship last year in the Golden Gloves, Williams’ plan for a second straight boxing title was altered in the middle of the first round. Williams immediately knew something was wrong when he attempted to throw a punch at the midway point of the opening round. He intended to land a right hand to the body of Stivens Bujaj. Williams though missed and collided with the right elbow of Bujaj and hurt his hand.

“I felt a bit tender in my hand and it got sore. I hurt my knuckle in training. He hit it and it got sore and tender so I stopped throwing my jab and he started throwing his [jab],” Williams said.

Bujaj took advantage and began to throw more punches while Williams couldn’t muster enough of his own to impress the judges scoring at ringside. Williams doesn’t look at his injury as a total excuse on why he lost the fight. But he knew the injury was one of the factors that gave him an inkling it wasn’t going to be his night.

“He landed more shots. I didn’t get hurt or anything. I got out of my gameplan when I hurt my hand,” Williams said.

It was the first loss in 13 amateur fights for Williams, a promising heavyweight who represents the Rockaway Ropes Boxing Club in Arverne. But he won’t let this loss dissuade him from returning to the ring.

“I’m not discouraged at all. You got people who didn’t make it this far. I took the silver. I did my thing. My hand got hurt and I still fought. I didn’t quit,” Williams said. “I’ll feel better by the next fight”

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