Austin Williams was back in action south of the border Friday night on DAZN supporting the Estrada vs Cuadras card. He was in with a tough Mexican fighter Esau Herrera with 30 professional bouts. Ammo predicted a statement knockout win and got plenty of work in prior to the stoppage. Austin looked good given the 9 month layoff and facing an opponent with so much experience.
Herrera led with his head all night and looked to clinch and nullify Williams’s assets. Austin never got discouraged and continued to jab, target the body and move effectively. Herrera’s other trick was to claim foul on good body shots and often the referee would intervene despite being quiet on at least 3 head clashes that seemed intentional. Herrera in the 2nd round turned from a body shot and tried to complain when Williams tagged him with a right hook. Herrera later in that round tired to complain at Williams in the closing seconds but the young fighter looked unfazed. The third saw Williams continue to work the body and try to find the fight ending punch upstairs. Herrera began to drop his elbows in an exaggerated low guard to protect his body but the headshots began to flow. Just as Herrera looked to wilt he scored his best punch of the fight. Williams began to let himself stay in too close and appeared to let his guard down a little. Not sure if it was a mental lapse or if he became too comfortable. Either way he needs to avoid that mistake because a better fighter or even a harder puncher can exploit that.
Herrera put forth a heart filled 4th as Ammo came out firing he nailed Herrera with a hard left to the head. He unloaded but Herrera hung in there. Austin’s jaw began to slump as he began to breathe heavily and throw less punches. Herrera moved in on Williams and tried to make it another ugly mauling round where he could negate Williams’s advantages in hand speed, reach, and punch variety. Herrera landed a good overhand right, not a damaging one but a clean shot none the less. Herrera came out in the 5th ringing punches and scored back to back right hooks around the guard. A left uppercut to the head buckled Herrera but he did not go down. Williams landed a counter left during Herrera’s survival combination and the referee jumped in.
I think this was a step in the right direction for Williams and his development as a professional fighter. He got taken to the 5th round and was forced to work in there. His jab was effective much like it was last January but I feel it is an underused weapon for him and that he may have stopped Herrera sooner if he got it out there more. Ammo’s reflexes and anticipation were impressive as well with pull counters in the same vein as Floyd Mayweather as he would lean back and fire a left hand down the middle. His movement was good as well as he moved effectively and dictated range without wasted movement. The only real cause for concern was the loading up and tiring a little in the 4th and some lapses that led to some hooks getting in. In his next fight I’ll be watching for the jab to set up his punches and tightening up his finishing and defense.