2011-08-19 / Sports

Williams Remains Confident Despite Falling In Olympic Final

By Elio Velez

Joseph “Mack” Williams (left) lands a right hand to the head of Jordan Schimmell at the Olympic trials. Joseph “Mack” Williams (left) lands a right hand to the head of Jordan Schimmell at the Olympic trials. Joseph “Mack” Williams got off to a slow start in the finals of the U.S. Olympic 201-pound heavyweight against 6-2 opponent Michael Hunter on August 5.

By the time the second round of the scheduled three-round bout began, Williams was down 17-3 on the judges’ scorecard in Mobile, Alabama. And while eventually Williams would see his 2012 Olympic dream fall short by losing 28-17, the Rockaway Ropes fighter was encouraged by how well he fought throughout the tournament.

“I went in there with confidence because I did so well in the U.S. Championships. So I had the talent to do it,” Williams said. “I took every fight one at a time. Every fight I got more comfortable. I went up, got in there and fought. Went to sleep and got ready to fight.”

The trials had started well for the 5-10 Williams, who handily defeated Charles Blackwell 22-8 on the first day of the double-elimination tournament on July 31. But Williams found himself in the loser’s bracket portion of the tournament when he lost a close 12-10 decision to Jordan Schimmel.

“I respected the decision. I wasn’t going to say I beat him clear enough to call it a robbery. I wasn’t going to be a sore loser. I just let it go and went on fighting the next day,” Williams said.

Williams did not let the effects of the loss hinder him on August 2 against Andrew Tabiti.

“Mack” overcame two previous losses to the Las Vegas fighter by beating Tabiti 26-14 in which the Edgemere boxer believes was his best overall performance of the tournament.

“I told my coach that the next time. I would get him. I pressed him. I lost by two points (Golden Gloves Nationals), the first time and the next time (U.S. Championships) he won by a tiebreaker. I said to myself next time I would get him. I stepped on him early and didn’t let him fight,” Williams said.

Williams won his next two fights, beating Steve Geffrard, 19-15, and a 12- 10 win over Schimmell on August 4.

Williams believed Schimmell was showing a little too much confidence at the start of their rematch. The plan was to press Schimmell early, which worked to such good effect against his opponent.

With Schimmell becoming more of a brawler as the fight progressed, Williams took advantage and was able to land his jab effectively.

The sixth fight in six days took place against Hunter, a 6-2 opponent who was four inches taller than Williams. Hunter also came out stronger and faster to record a 17-3 first round in which he knocked down Williams down to the mat for the first time in his career.

“I was like damn man, but a part of me was saying its over he got it. The other part was like forget all that, I’m from Edgemere and Im going to get it. I got up and I told him I’m still there.”

Though Williams did not become the victor, there is still hope for his Olympic dreams. The Rockaway Ropes fighter is now an Olympic alternate and will travel with the U.S. Boxing team to any tournament or sparring sessions in the next few months.

Hunter has to still qualify for his spot in late September at the AIBA World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. If he does not finish within the top six, then Williams and other heavyweight hopefuls will then compete in another series of qualification bouts to become the Olympic representative.

“He went for it and he gave his everything, said Rockaway Ropes trainer Anthony Santiago. “I’m proud of Mack”.

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