2012-02-24 / Sports

Williams Takes On Final Olympic Challenge

By Elio Velez


Mack Williams (left) lands a left handed blow to the head of Mark Sinatra in a championship win last year at the Golden Gloves.. Photo by William Thomas. Mack Williams (left) lands a left handed blow to the head of Mark Sinatra in a championship win last year at the Golden Gloves.. Photo by William Thomas. The number one amateur heavyweight boxer in the United States is departing on Saturday to take on his greatest challenge.

Joseph “Mack” Williams, the two-time Daily News Golden Gloves champion, will try once again this week to earn a spot with the USA Boxing National team in Colorado Springs.

The week-long USA Boxing National Championships, which starts on February 27 and concludes on March 3, will crown a winner in seven different weight classes and represent the country in the 2012 Olympics held this summer in London, England.

He is also currently competing in the Daily News Golden Gloves to win his third heavyweight title. A win over Earl Newman on February 16 placed him in the semifinals, and he is two wins away from tying the family record, which is held by his cousin and director of the tournament, Brian Adams.

Williams is very confident and doesn’t back down from any challenges that comes his way. But his enthusiasm has been a bit tempered this time around to compete once again for a USA boxing heavyweight spot.

“I am just going to fight. Before I used to be enthusiastic to fight in the Gloves or whatever,” Williams said. “I used to be hyped. But I’m going. I’m going to fight and I’m going to give it to all. But I’m not looking forward to it.”

He is frustrated at the laborious process it has taken to become an Olympic boxer. Williams, who fights out of the Rockaway Ropes Boxing Club on 57-20 Beach Channel Drive, was defeated by Michael Hunter in the heavyweight finals at the U.S. trials held in August of 2011. But Hunter was told by USA Boxing a few days after the fight that he had tested positive for marijuana and would have to relinquish his first place medal. He also had to take a three-month suspension according to an October published report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Williams then took Hunter’s spot to compete the 2011 AIBA Men’s World Championships last October. The Rockaway Ropes boxer was eliminated early in the competition, and did not secure a top six finish, which meant he didn’t secure his place in the 2012 Olympics.

Now Williams has to face another week-long set of opponents and isn’t pleased that Hunter is allowed to compete again. Williams isn’t going to get too stressed or worry about if the outcome at Olympics does happen to go his way or it doesn’t. His outlook is whatever happens in the next two weeks, won’t stop him from taking the next step in his career.

“My ambitions are to turn pro. I’m tired of the amateurs, the politics. I just want to turn pro,” Williams said.

The goal now is to finish up strong in the amateur ranks and start drawing up plans for turning pro either this summer or in the fall.

The goal also is to drop down in weight class. Williams, who is 5-10, and weighs 200-pounds, feels he is better suited to fighting as a light-heavyweight,

“That’s what I’m training for. When I was fighting in the superheavyweight or heavyweight, I was stopping a few people, but I couldn’t knock them all down. If I go down to 178 pounds, I have a better shot to show my talents and fight guys my size.”

Williams has received plenty of praise within the boxing community for his achievements. What he has learned is how to take care of business in and outside of the ring in the amateur ranks.

“I got what I got out of the amateurs. It’s time to turn pro,” said Williams. “I want to do great things.”

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