Thursday, February 8, 2007

Former boxer comes back from KO to try new sport

Jeremy Williams was ready to be boxing's next great heavyweight champion.

Sporting a 41-4 record with 35 knockouts, Williams strutted into the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in December 2004 to fight undefeated Samuel Peter for the vacant NABF heavyweight title.

He was confident and cocky. He said he didn't deserve to fight in a boxing ring again if he couldn't beat the Nigerian.

Twenty seconds into the second round, a left hook knocked him out cold. He lost consciousness and can't remember the punch after being out on the canvas for more than 3 minutes. If the violence of the hit didn't cause the concussion he suffered, his head bouncing off the canvas like a basketball did.

For most people that'd be it. Williams hasn't competed in a boxing ring since, but certainly not because he can't take a punch. He simply traded in his boxing gloves for the fingerless weapons favored by mixed-martial artists.

The man nicknamed "Half-man, half-amazing" will take part in his second professional MMA fight tomorrow night, when he faces Derek Thornton on the main card of the Icon Sport: All In event at the Blaisdell Arena.

"I fought over 400 fights and only lost nine times," Williams said. "Being knocked out once or twice isn't anything to me if you play the numbers game."

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