Sanji Williams won’t lose sight of boxing dream
SANTIAGO, Chile – Amateur boxer Sanji Williams is still fully focused on achieving his dream of becoming a professional, in spite of his recent setback at the Pan American Games on Sunday.
Williams lost in the first round to Mexico’s Miguel Angel Martinez Rodriguez when the referee stopped the bout after he received three standing eight counts.
He recalls the incident saying although he was stretchered out to a waiting ambulance at the venue, then taken to a local medical facility for observation, the situation was not as bad as it appeared to those who witnessed it. He recalls losing balance and vision during the fight.
“I started out well, executing the plan that the coach gave me in the first round and I got caught with a punch behind my ear and my foot wobbled so the referee stepped in and gave me an eight count,” he said. “After getting that eight count, I didn’t recover from that punch. I was still feeling dizzy and the guy realised that I got hurt, so he kept coming at me. He caught me with another punch and my head went back, so the referee stepped in and gave me another eight count. The fight continued and I was playing hero and fighting back while I was still hurt and feeling dizzy.”
From there, he received another standing eight count and the fight was stopped. Williams says his vision was still affected after the match.
“I wasn’t annoyed that the fight got stopped because I realised, I was hurt,” he said. “I was dizzy even when I walked out the ring and went to see the doctor and she shined the light in my eyes. My vision was blurry. They were asking me some questions and I couldn’t respond to them correctly. That meant that shot really hurt me, so they said they had to do a brain scan to make sure I’m okay and I don’t have any bleeding inside my head. I went and got checked and I came out alright and I’m fine now.”
But Williams, a 27-year-old mason by trade, says although his campaign ended prematurely, he cannot give up on his dream of becoming a professional.
He still has plans of making it to the Olympic Games in Paris next year and like Jaden Eccleston, another Jamaican boxer at the Pan Am Games, he is now considering a qualifying tournament in Busto Arsizio, Italy, in February.
If Williams gets to the Olympic Games, he wants to use it as a platform to become a professional like Ricardo “Big 12” Brown did after competing for Jamaica at the Paris Games over two years ago.
“I’m motivated that if I move over to the pro scene, I’d have a better record going there,” he said. “It would change my life because I can start earning from the sport to take care of my family.”
But Williams, unlike others before him who migrated to gain those opportunities, says he can have a successful professional career while living in Jamaica. He would continue working with Sakima “Mr Smooth” Mullings, who has trained him since former Bruising Gym owner Carl Grant migrated.
“Things have been different because Sakima is a more technical coach,” Williams said. “He gave me the sharpening up that I needed so he’s a good coach, but Carl Grant was also a good coach to me as well.”