I have published again on Boxing News 24, I will post 2 excerpts but please check out my article.
Grading Ford: Ford is obviously a talented fighter with gifts in the speed and reflexes departments. His amateur pedigree is there to be seen in his counter punching and clean boxing style. He has a good gas tank as he made the eight round distance without any difficulty and looked like he could have went another six minutes to go ten rounds. He was very relaxed in the ring from his ring walk to his demeanor in the ring he looks comfortable in there. Ford, despite the background and the DAZN push is very much a work in progress. What he needs to work on is getting more consistent with his jab, getting more physical inside, and staying off the ropes and out of the corners. He made this fight a lot harder on himself by giving Perez a lot of moments especially later in several rounds where the judges were most likely swayed. He is only twenty-two and he is obviously going to get stronger which will likely solve the issues he had inside and when we can see him clinch and physically push opponents around we will see how far he can go. I think this was a good learning experience for him.
Grading Williams: Williams is only twenty-four years of age and began fighting at nineteen, he is a very inexperienced fighter. To take on Douglin in his eighth fight is very impressive. Williams came onto my radar back in January of 2020 when I wrote about win over Donald Sanchez on the undercard of JoJo Diaz against Tevin Farmer in Miami, Florida. It was good to see him against an experienced professional who was capable of surviving his power and taking him rounds. Williams is nicknamed “Ammo” due to his wide arsenal of punches and that punch variety was on display with his straight left, his right hooks and his left uppercuts. I really like that he looks to attack the body frequently. When he scored a combination to the head he often finished to the body or started his next attack to the body. His power remained effective against a tough veteran fighter. Sure he did not knock him out like Charlo did but Charlo is a proven world class puncher and Groves and Benavidez are larger than Williams. Williams did stagger Douglin badly in the sixth and the seventh rounds. I do think going the distance was a much more valuable experience that knocking out Denis Douglin, he only had seventeen total rounds heading into this fight so it was vital that he faced someone who could drag him the distance. Williams also proved his ability to take a punch in addition to understanding when to back off a hurt but still dangerous opponent. My criticisms are only in two areas where I have previously raised concerns and that is with his jab and his gas tank. Like Ford, Austin has an effective jab; the problem is he doesn’t use it. As he continues to climb the ladder and face more aggressive fighters or fighters less deterred by his power he will need to keep them at bay. He will also need the jab to mask his power punches as he steps up in class as well. I am not going as far as saying he has a stamina problem but his mouth was open as early as round five. Now Williams did get inside and physical with Douglin which would affect stamina but he did slow down in the final round and maybe he would have forced a stoppage if he was fresher in round seven. Finally, I liked Williams’ composure as Douglin did rabbit punch and hit on the break, Williams never let the fouls take him out of his game and he remained focused.