Joe Rein Writings


Short Jabs

Jeremy WilliamsI've watched Jeremy Williams since he was a middleweight - a sure-fire prospect. He's bigger, but still fights like a '60-pounder - an athlete - a point guard with attitude -- not a lumbering heavyweight - except for his punch, which is heavyweight: He carries anvils in both hands.

On any given night, he can topple a building. Over the past few years, he's suffered that fate himself, and whether it's constitution or attitude, the early promise has faded. But after his recent TV demolition of Angelo Dundee's undefeated protégé, Attila Levin, Williams announced he's back, in no uncertain terms

We spoke to Williams about the Levin bout and his future:


You made a real statement with the Levin fight. Why haven't you been fighting like that?

JW: I've not given myself the opportunity to expand on my career. I took a three-four-five-year hiatus. Even though I was boxing, I was not putting in the work I needed to do. And if you put the work in the gym, you know what the outcome's gonna be, whether you're fighting King Kong or you're fighting this guy (Levin).


When you were interviewed before the Levin fight, you not only talked the talk, you walked the walk. You said, basically, Levin didn't belong in there with you. And that's exactly what you demonstrated?

JW: Attila Levin was totally outclassed and way out of his league...and I made sure he remembered that every second of the fight.


Was it just confidence in yourself, or something you saw in Attila that made you know you would dominant him?

JW: It wasn't about this guy; it was about me, and knowing what I could do...Because, I haven't really fought...I got so much more fight in me yet to put out. You're going to see in the next few years what I'm really made out of. I will be heavyweight champion of the world.


Did you go in with a particular plan, or did you feel with foot pressure you could make him fight the kind of fight you wanted him to?

JW: My trainer, John Bray, who, I think, is one of the premier trainers of the next generation of fighters; we had a really tight and secure game plan. From Dec. 18 all the way through to the fight - four months - constant pressure, constant work...getting in there with the biggest guys, sparring Lance Whittaker three days a week - imposing my will, even though I'm the smaller guy, but being the bigger guy in the ring.


I've spoken to Michael Moorer and he believes there should be two different classes: heavyweight and super heavyweight. Do you concur? Or is it just all about ability, being able to compete with sky scrappers like Klitschko and McCline?

JW: Half in and half out. I used to be one of those avid members of the people that said anybody that weigh over 240-250 pounds; they should be in another division. It doesn't seem fair. I'm 225 pounds, to fight a guy 250 pounds, when every other weight class is only a four to six-pound difference...There's a huge difference between a '22-pounder and a'26-pounder. I'd like to see it, but who'd want to see two big old slugs. 250-260-pound guys don't really make for good fights. I'd like to see it, but it's probably not going to happen, and if it did happen, I'd be in the smaller of the two divisions.


You fight like an intimidator. If you don't knock somebody out in 20 seconds...

JW: If I don't knock'em out in 20 seconds, I'll beat'em up all night.


Everything you seem to throw has bad intentions.

JW: Bad intentions, yeah, but, no, I use the word scientific very loosely. These are all strategic moves and punches, not just balls to the wall -- throw'n punches for the heck of it. As you know, I didn't go to the head very much at all. I went to the body. This guy -- 6'4"-6'5" -- by the time the fight ended, he was like 5'11", because he didn't want me to hit him in the body no more. I hit him in the body so much he came down to my height so I could punch him in the face...and, once that started happening, the fight was over.


Does your mind-set change when they tell you they have a high profile fight for you with some monster - somebody with real credentials?

JW: I would like to fight Jameel. I'd fight David Tua - two extremes, it doesn't matter. I'll fight'em all. It just doesn't matter at this point. I want to be the heavyweight champion in the next year and a half. What do I have to do? Put the guy in front of me that I have to fight and I'll fight'em. Win, lose or draw, you're gonna get everything I can give you.


Between you and John Bray what do you have to do to make the package where you think it should be?

JW: I fought good, but I need a couple more fights to really get sharp. John is really such an expert on this sport. He's been doing it for so long, as an athlete and now as a trainer. He's got a real good eye for talent and strategy for a fight. I'm gonna be his first world champion.


What would you tell the people at Fightworld they can expect from you?

JW: Hands up, chin down, and ass kick'n.


Boxing and show business make strange bedfellows.

Promoters threaten each other's lives and livelihoods; serve each other with papers while doing deals and making nice. The last time Freddie Roach teamed with Mike Tyson, he got punched in the face, when Tyson accidentally missed a mitt, after puking, and Freddie insisted he continue working.

"Everything began to go dark, Roach said. "Where you afraid you were going out? I asked

"I was afraid I was gonna die."

So, when I learned Roach was set to train Tyson again, I asked him: "Recollecting that story of how Tyson tagged you, Freddie, are you going to work the mitts differently?"

FR: No, I always get hit at least once, because I catch kinda tight. It was an accident, I'm sure...


And when things go dark?

FR: That's not good. I'll work very closely with Mike again. In combinations, I believe in accuracy. I hold the mitts tight...It's liable to happen...I'm not planning on it...things happen..."


What gym in Vegas will you be working at?

FR: It looks like we're gonna train in Arizona for the fight. I don't know the details yet Shelly Finkle's gonna back to me.


Was it a surprise to get the call?

FR: No, me and Mike had a real good relationship. In the last fight, we worked well together. We had one bad week when he a problem with Showtime. He was pissed off with them so he got a tattoo to prove that he was pissed off with them... The end of the day, he needed the fight, so he ended up fighting, anyway.


How long will you be away from Wild card? And, what other headliners are you going to take with you?

FR: Manny will be finished on the 8th, and I have Virgil Hill in South Africa on the 22nd; the next day I start working with it looks like I'll be gone six weeks...8 weeks, total, because of Pacquiao's fight and Virgil's fight, but I'm bringing Brian Viloria with me when I go to Arizona. He's fight'n in Arizona on June fourth. Everyone else is gonna be quiet, so it works out quite well.


As you taper down with Manny, what do you look to hone?

FR: Just work on the game plane pretty much -- just constant reminders of what he needs to do to win the fight.


What made Garcia quit as a sparring partner - he's a welterweight -- was he just getting hit too hard?

FR: Possibly, Manny is a tough guy to deal with...he's very explosive in there and he's tough on sparring partners.


Is it on your instruction that even when he's punishing these guys, he doesn't look like he's fighting flat out?

FR: It's my instruction, 'cause I don't want him killing the sparring partners. The sparring partners he had, he was just overwhelming them and I needed to save the sparring partners, so I had him just work on the game plane, not punch 100% -- pull back a little bit


Bernard DunneWhen I last spoke with Bernard Dunne, he told me he was going to be talking to his management about his future plans.


So, fill me in, Bernard?

BD: We're talking possibly about early to mid June.



BD: We're gonna confirm the dates now...very, very soon, we hope.


Will it be a step up in rounds?

BD: It'll be another eight-rounder, I gather...Probably have one more eight round - two at max -- and then up to ten, 12-round fights. It won't be too long before I'm fighting ten-rounders.


To the guys that want to put you in with the best fighters in the world right now, what do you say to them?

BD: It ain't as easy as it looks. Any kid that gets in to fight - no matter who they're fight'n -- gets in to win. Nobody gets in there to lose. Records can be very deceiv'n. Just two men against each other. One shot can end the matter how bad an opponent is...It's a learn'n experience. You can't expect fighters like myself, who are up-'n- com'n - to be step'n in with world champions. You gotta learn to crawl before you can walk. I'm definitely at the walk'n stage now, and I'm break'n into a light trot, I think. Maybe I'll be running very soon.


Will you ever get as fast as your racing greyhounds?

BD: I don't think so. My greyhounds aren't doing too bad at the moment...but they're definitely faster than I am. We're stepp'n up with every fight. We're gett'n a lot of experience here in the gym...and I'm just happy with the progress I'm make'n.You can gradually see the improvement in my technique and ability. I'm definitely improv'n as a fighter.


As I watch you spar and fight, you don't jump in as quick for the KO?

BD: Yeah, I'm focused on that now. That's one of me main goals: to control me self, to control me temperament. I box opponents - break them down...and then... kill them...rather than go in and kill them.


Macka FoleyMacka Foley, one of the Wild Card's crew of trainers, had over 50 pro fights in the late 60's and was stopped 13 times. His motto was: "I'll fight anybody, anyplace for $1000 -- that's Old School...and that's his point-of-view on the recent Vitali Klitschko-Corrie Sanders Heavyweight Championship fight.

MF:     Joe, it wasn't a great fight, but what I like about the whole thing...two guys walked to the ring - no fuck'n music - no danc'n - no shake'n like an awards show. These two fuckers went in the ring, stood there, and beat each other's fuck'n brains in - just like the fuck'n old days, man! They fought hard. They weren't the most talented guys, but they put a good show on. That's it.

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