Mykquan Williams: “I Don’t Say ‘No’ To Any Opponent”
By: Sean Crose
“Training camp went well,” undefeated super lightweight Mykquan Williams tells me just days before his match this Saturday against Matt Doherty at Connecticut’s Foxwoods Resort. Williams states that, right now, he’s in “chill mode.” In other words, he’s “not doing too much.” Riding a red hot streak since turning pro, with a record of 11-0, Williams admits that Doherty is “a real tough opponent.” According to Williams, the Massachusetts native “is like a machine.” Still, Williams remains cooly confident. Sure enough, the fighter is looking forward to weighing on on Friday because he “can’t wait to go eat.”
Not that Connecticut’s Williams has a blasé attitude. To the contrary. Indeed, the man is happy to once again be fighting in his home state. “It’s always a good feeling,” he told me, adding that the local crowd is a great thing to have behind him. Yet Williams isn’t going to try to look explosive at the risk of taking an L. “If it comes, I’ll take it,” he says of a potential knockout. “You don’t want to get too reckless.”
Playing it smart is important to Williams. Later this week, the man will leave the Hartford area, where he lives and head to Connecticut casino country down by the state shoreline. “I leave early Friday,” he says. “All my stuff (will be) packed Thursday night.” Once he’s at Foxwoods’ Resort, he’ll just “stay in (the) hotel room hanging.” In order to keep busy, Williams may “scroll through social media.” At no point does he intend to obsess over Doherty and the battle ahead. “I don’t really think about the fight,” he says.
Even after the fight, Williams aims to keep things low-key. He’ll make an appearance for those closest to him, of course, (“Everybody’s going to be waiting for me to come out”), but afterwards, he’s apt to head out “to eat with my manager and girlfriend.” Williams, in short, is a man focused on the future, both in and out of the ring. “I’m off for the summer,” he says of his college career. “I’ll go back shortly.” Not that boxing, the sport he’s so far excelled in, is on the back burner. “I don’t say ‘no’ to any opponent,” he says. What’s more, this weekend represents something new. “It’s my first time headlining,” he says. “(I’m) working my way up.”
And what about a potential title shot? “Probably a year and a half,” he claims. To rush things needlessly wouldn’t be playing it smart.
Mykquan Williams Takes Next Step in Career
By: Bryant Romero
Super lightweight prospect Mykquan Williams takes the next step in his young professional career as the 20-year-old sets his sights on capturing his first regional title when he takes on Orlando Felix (12-1-1, 4 KOs) of Puerto Rico for the WBC USNBC silver title at the Foxwoods resort in Mashantucket on May 5. This is considered a step-up bout for Mykquan (10-0, 6 KOs) as the winner of this fight will be rewarded with a ranking in the WBC’s top 40. But the young prospect from East Hartford doesn’t seem to be fazed at all with the established record his opponent brings and admits he doesn’t know too much about him.
“I’ve seen a little footage of him,” Mykquan told me. “On youtube I watched a little bit, but I don’t watch too much. I’ll usually watch a round or something, but I don’t do too much studying.”
Mykquan has been boxing for 12 years and had 58 fights in the unpaid ranks, but how would he describe his style to the fans that have yet to see him?
“I would say I’m more of a counter puncher, very fast, and just smart overall. I can be aggressive, but I’m not overall,” he said.
Mykquan was only 7 years old when he was first influenced by his aunt who was also professional fighter to start training as a boxer. His aunt would later introduce him to his now trainer Paul Cichon that would eventually begin his journey to becoming a professional prize fighter.
“I went to go see one of my aunt’s professional fights at the Convention Center in Hartford and then after that fight I told her to take me to her gym.
“At the time she was training with Paul, so then a little after that she took me to the gym and she introduce me to the Paul and I’ve been with him ever since,” Mykquan said.
Mykquan admits that it took him awhile to fall in love with the sport and to figure out if this was something he wanted to pursue as a career.
“I knew I liked it (boxing) but it took awhile. I was young, I was only 7 going on 8 years old and kids that age they don’t know what they want to do and they don’t know what they really like as far as sports go, so I just liked the sport and kept going back every day to the gym.
“But it took me a little awhile to actually to start to love the sport and figure out whether that’s what I’m going to be doing as a career,” he said.
Growing up in East Hartford, there were temptations that could’ve swayed him away from his path but the young East Hartford native credits his family and his coach for keeping him on his path and pushing him to keep working hard, to stay in the gym and stay out of trouble. He would eventually meet Jackie Kallen, who would eventually sign on as his manager and is currently guiding his professional career.
“I first met Jackie years ago. My trainer flew her in for her to be a special guest at one of his big amateur dinner shows he threw.
“And I was fighting on the card and he (Paul) wanted her to see me fight because he knew I was going to go pro. He introduced me to her when I was probably like 13 or 14.
“She’s a great manager, she does her job good, and she’s a great lady. Definitely somebody that’s good to have in your corner. She’s been around boxing for so long and knows so many people,” Mykquan said.
The 20-year-old now has a strong supporting cast with the services Jackie Kallen as his manager and with Lou Dibella as his promoter that will help guide him to the promise land, which is his ultimate goal of becoming a world champion. But the young prospect from Hartford is only focused at the task at hand and taking it one fight at a time and is not even thinking about the killers at the top of the talented rich super-lightweight division.
“They’ve been doing a good job of moving me,” Mykquan explained. “They’re keeping me active and I’m still young, I’m only 20 there’s no rush into jumping into something I’m not ready for.”
“We’re taking it one fight at a time. We don’t want to rush nothing; we just want to focus on the task in front of us.
“I don’t worry too much that’s in the future. I try to take it one step at a time, but there’s a lot of good talent at 140,” he said.
Mykquan has came a long way since he first started boxing and is still continuing to learn and getting a better understanding of the boxing business. He’s looking forward to his next fight and doesn’t have a prediction of what will happen, but he does plan on winning.
“I just want to go out there and dominate and be victorious,” Mykquan told me. “I don’t care if I get the knockout, it’s a decision or whatever, I just want to look good and come out with the victory.
“To everybody out there that supports me, just continue to support me. I fight for you guys and I appreciate it,” he said.
Junior Welterweight Mykquan Williams Makes His Presence Felt
By: Sean Crose
“I’m taking it one step at a time,” 10-0 junior welterweight Mykquan Williams tells me, “but the ultimate goal is obviously to be world champion.” Williams recently decimated Preston Wilson in the first round of their scheduled six round affair in a performance that has been drawing attention to the Hartford native. “That was my first time fighting in New York as a professional and I enjoyed it,” he says, making it clear he appreciated “the environment and the atmosphere that was there.” Was he planning on making such quick work of Wilson? “It wasn’t my intention,” he states in his soft spoken voice, “but that’s just the way it happened.”
Coming from a challenging background in Hartford, Williams has made a conscious decision to take a better path than some of this peers. “Where I come from,” he says, “the Hartford area, some parts aren’t too great. A lot of kids are sidetracked and they start being into the streets and they start selling drugs, doing drugs, who knows what. I’m a perfect example of taking the right path and making something out of something that wasn’t so great at one point.”
Williams also wants to leave an impact on those younger than him, to “give them some type of hope and see what I’ve been through and what can come out of that instead of turning and going down a wrong path.” Williams has certainly been through a lot, losing both a father (via gun violence) and a home (via a fire) as a young child. Such challenges, however, seem to motivate the man. “How many seven or eight year olds do you know who are really dedicated to the sport?” he asks in reference to his early days in the sweet science.
Williams is well aware of the fact that the road less taken can be an uphill one, at least for a while. “It’s not what a regular teenager is used to,” he says of his routine of training and attending college (where he studies Marketing). “I’m willing to make those sacrifices, though, that a lot of people aren’t.” Being a boxer, after all, requires intense discipline. “For instance,” he says, “training every day doesn’t allow me to sometimes be a kid and go out and hang with friends and things like that. I have to make the sacrifice of going to the gym and training instead of going to a basketball game or going out to eat with friends.”
Williams credits others for helping him stay on the right track. “I would say it’s probably the people around me,” he asserts when asked what led him to the life he now leads. “They want to see me succeed and do better and make something good out of something that wasn’t always so great. They want to see better things for me.” He has particularly kind words for his trainer, Paul Cichon. “Paul has been my only trainer and I’ve been with him for about 11 years,” he says. “My aunt used to fight for him back in the day and she brought me to him, and since then we’ve always stuck together, we’ve traveled to several different gyms together. I’ve never left his side.”
“I had fifty eight amateur fights,” he states of those early days “I wracked up quite a few amateur titles.” And now Cichon, the man who has led him through the amateurs is leading him through the pros. “He’s always been there for me,” states Williams. “I always looked at him as a father figure.” Another person Williams admires is famed manager Jackie Kallen, who he’s chosen to guide his career. “Paul introduced me to Jackie years ago,” he claims. “I was still amateur at the time and Paul actually flew her out her to watch me fight.” Kallen kept in touch over time. “We always kept her in mind for when I went pro, so she could manage me.”
“She’s a good person,” he adds, “a good lady.”
And as for the future? “I am taking it one step at a time,” says Williams, “but the ultimate goal is obviously to be world champion…also, to inspire the youth, as well.”