The boxing ring is often the epicenter of truth. On tonight’s ESPN Friday Night Fights Thomas Williams Jr., 17-1-0-(12 Ko’s), found that out the hard way when he all but quit after suffering a cut against the veteran Gabriel Campillo.
Williams, who has been steadily climbing the light heavyweight rankings, came out with authority against the 35-year-old Campillo and probably swept the first two rounds. Campillo, however, is a notoriously slow starter and after taking a good look at the young Williams he began to find his rhythm in the third round, using his unorthodox style to noticeably confound the youngster.
The fight was halted after round five due to a cut over the left eye of Williams. Campillo will now be ranked number two by the IBF. Campillo, 24-6-1-(11 ko’s), usually comes up short against the very best, as he did against Kovalev and Fonfara, but is a nightmare against the unproven. Williams, unfortunately, proved that he is part of the latter category.
In the co-main event Andre Dirrell, inactive for the better part of two-years, announced his arrival back into boxing by thrashing the limited Vladine “Mr. Providence” Biosse, 15-5-2,-(7 Kos), by fifth round KO. Biosse was coming off a vicious beating at the hands of British prospect Callum Smith and it showed against the vastly more talented Dirrell. After sweeping the first four rounds Dirrell found his range and a flurry of punches caused the referee to halt the action.
In the most entertaining bout of the evening young super middleweight prospect Immanuwel Aleem (10-0, 6 KOs) got all he could handle in a controversial sixth round stoppage over Juan Carlos Rojas (6-7-1, 4 KOs). Aleem staggered Rojas badly in the first round but Rojas fought on even terms with Aleem for the rest of the bout by applying near constant pressure. The end came when Aleem landed a booming counter right hand that caused Rojas’ legs to splay—causing the referee to halt the bout.