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Light Heavyweight Thomas Top Dog Williams Interview: Stevenson Will Take a Vicious Beating!

By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent

 

In a Real Combat Media international interview exclusive, number one ranked southpaw light heavyweight contender Thomas ‘Top Dog’ Williams Jr., fresh from his knockout win over Edwin Rodriguez in Las Vegas, and ready for this Friday’s World Boxing Council world title challenge against fellow southpaw Adonis Stevenson at Centre Videotron in Quebec City, Canada, talked about what he would do to Stevenson, who at 38 is ten years older than Williams, who he believes is ripe for defeat. Williams, 20-1 with 14 knockouts, Fort Washington, Maryland, and Stevenson, 27-1 with 22 knockouts, Blainville, Canada.

 

Robert Brizel: “Top ranked light heavyweight contender Thomas Williams Jr. First of all, congratulations on the electric win over Edwin Rodriguez. Well deserved!”

 

Top Dog: “Thank you, thank you! Appreciate it. Good short fight! I basically always want the good short fight. We don’t get paid for overtime!”

 

Robert Brizel: “That was an outdoor fight on the Berto-Ortiz undercard.  In fact, that fight came right after you. How did you feel about most of the other fights, since all of them were indoors?”

 

Top Dog: “Correct. It was my first fight outdoors. I was kind of wondering how it was going to play out. When I walked through the arena (the StubHub Center in Carson, California) there was no wind, (and it was) not too hot, not too cold. It was a little sunny. It was a great atmosphere.”

 

Robert Brizel: “When Muhammad Ali fought Larry Holmes in Las Vegas, it was 100 degrees in the outdoor ring at Caesars Palace. What was the temperature like when you fought Edwin Rodriguez?”

 

Top Dog: “No canopy. It was 80 degrees. It (the air) was dry. I’m used to humidity. Whenever I can get away from the humidity it,s great. I go can go (box) through.”

 

Robert Brizel: “Do you think you made the adjustment (to the temperature and lack of humidity) better than Rodriguez, or you don’t think it affected the fight?”

 

Top Dog: “I really don’t think it affected the fight. I really don’t, but who knows? It might have affected the fight, we just didn’t know about it. “

 

Robert Brizel: “Do you think Rodriguez walked in (to the ring) with the attitude I’m just going to go in and knock him out, and move onto Stevenson? Do you think he looked past you?”

 

Top Dog: “He most definitely looked past me. You can go back to the interviews he did before me. He was talking about the Stevenson fight like he had already beat me.”

 

Robert Brizel: “In the first and the second round, you got rocked off the ropes, but it didn’t affect you.”

 

Top Dog: “That was the second round. It didn’t affect me.  I’ve been cut, I’ve been dropped. I’ve received the things that creates an elite fighter.”

 

Robert Brizel: “Rodriguez was in the process of nailing you at the same time you nailed him! Do you think it surprised him that you stood up much like Daniel Geale nailed GGG, and GGG nailed Geale at the same time. You nailed him! When you saw Rodriguez go down, did you know pretty much the bout was over at that point?”

 

Top Dog: “Oh man! I knew if he got up he would be in bad shape! You know I’m kind of surprised he got up. He was on unsteady legs but he got up. I was kind of surprised. I thought he was out cold.”

 

Robert Brizel: “Do you think the referee should have given Rodriguez another chance, or do you thin he was done?”

 

Top Dog: “I’m going to stick to boxing.”

 

Robert Brizel: “The light heavyweight division is electric, as you know. We have Andre Ward moving up in weight class to fight Sergey Kovalev. What are your thoughts about that bout? How did you think that fight will emerge, and how will it affect the future of the 175 pound weight class?”

 

Top Dog: “That fight is a toss up. Andre Ward has superior boxing skills.”

 

Robert Brizel: Ward has not been beaten as an amateur or professional in like 20 years (amateur record 115-5, professional record 29-0, fighting Alexander Brand on August 6).”

 

Top Dog: “Ward hasn’t been beaten since he was 13 years old, but he has never fought a (fighter at the level of) Kovalev. We’ll see. Kovalev has power. I don’t know if he can make the intangibles of ring generalship. With Andre Ward, hopefully Kovalev can land a big punch and can hurt him.”

 

Robert Brizel: “When Chad Dawson tried to step down in weight class 1o 168 pounds and fight Andre Ward, that didn’t work. Now Andre Ward is stepping up in weight class to 175 pounds to fight Kovalev. Do you think the weight class differential of seven pounds is really significant in the case of Andre Ward? There is great differences in the weight classes. How do you feel about the weight differential (between weight classes)? DO you think ti might affect Ward?”

 

Top Dog: “It might affect Ward, because Kovalev walks around very big. We will see on fight now. Seven pounds could play a big part. We will have to see on fight night.”

 

Robert Brizel: “As you know, boxing is getting exciting nw. GGG (middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin) just signed to fight welterweight champion Kell Brook, who is unbeaten, and thinks he is going to step up and wipe out the middleweights. If you read one preview of GGG versus Brook online today, I talk about welterweight champion Jose Napoles trying to step up in weight class and fight middleweight champion Carlos Monzon. Most boxers of you class are also great historians like Mike Tyson is, so you have seen a lot of fight footage of the past and present. Do you think Kell Brook really stands a chance moving up in weight class against GGG?”

 

Top Dog: “Man! I like Kell Brook. It’s hard to go against him. I only saw him fight once, against Shawn Porter. He’s the truth. I don’t know about going up to 160 pounds. That proves the great champions can move up in weight class, take on all challengers, and overcome obstacles.”

 

Robert Brizel: “And also, in particular, nobody wants to fight GGG.  Danny Jacobs, Chris Eubank, Billy Jo Saunders, all these pretenders seem to be avoiding him. Did Shawn Porter beat Keith Thuman? Did you see that fight?”

 

Top Dog: “I thought Keith Thurman edged it out. I was with Shawn Porter. I thought he might have lost 115-113.”

 

Robert Brizel: It didn’t seem like he (Porter) was very aggressive during the last four rounds. Keith told me Shawn was relaxing the last four rounds, he lost his aggression, so Keith was relaxing too.”

 

Top Dog: “I agree with that. I think Shawn thought he was up (ahead) by a few rounds, so he coasted on out.”

 

Robert Brizel: “let’s go back to the 175 pound division now that we’ve warmed up a little bit. Irish Joe Smith, whom I’m family with in New York, went to Chicago, took on the challenge of Andrzej Fonfara, who Stevenson couldn’t get out (in their 12 round title fight), who he dropped a couple of times, a tough customer. Then Smith, rising power hitter trained by the great Tommy Gallagher, takes out Fonfara in the first round. Is Smith now a factor in the 175 pound division?”

 

Top Dog: “I think that remains to be seen. He beat Fonfara, but let’s see what he does (in) his next fight. Let’s not jump the gun. He did knock out Fonfara, who was a top rated light heavyweight, so you have to give Smith credit for that.”

 

Robert Brizel: “Do you think Fonfara’s Chicago training camp with trainer Sam Colonna was ready for that fight? It looked like they got caught sleeping?”

 

Top Dog: “I think they were thinking about fighting Adonis Stevenson again, and not thinking about fighting Joe Smith. Same think Edwin Rodriguez did with me. He was looking ahead. Fonfara was not prepared for Joe Smith.”

 

Robert Brizel: “Another veteran you might have seen from New York, WBC Continental Americas Light Heavyweight champion Seanie Monaghan. Are you familiar with him?”

 

Top Dog: “I’m not. He’s a top ranked fighter, and he doesn’t fight on TV not yet) so I’m not familiar with him. If I was in New York, I might be more familiar with him.”

 

Robert Brizel: “In New York we also have seen light heavyweight contender Sam Clarkson, who has beaten Cedric Agnew and Jerry Odom. He’s only the way up.”

 

Top Dog: “I’ve seen him fight one time, and that’s when he knocked out Jerry Odom. He seemed like an aggressive kid.”

 

Robert Brizel: “Odom is at 168, and took that bout a good ten pounds higher. He shouldn’t have. That was a mistake matchup, I think.”

 

Top Dog: “Yeah, definitely. I don’t know too much about Samuel Clarkson, but he did what he had to do against Jerry Odom.”

 

Robert Brizel: “Now, let’s discuss your match coming up with Adonis Stevenson.”

 

Top Dog: July 29, 2016, in Quebec City at Center Videotron.”

 

Robert Brizel: “You have never fought in Canada before. Bernard Hopkins has won there. Other fighters have definitely fought there. Your thoughts about going to Canada to fight Stevenson. He’s 38 years old. He’s getting up in age. Do you think that age is a factor, or do you think he simply matured as a fighter late?”

 

Top Dog: “I think inactivity will be a factor for him. I have been active, he’s been sitting around. He’s been partying, he’s been in the clubs, and not in the gym.  So we’ll see! I’m bring it to him July 29.”

 

Robert Brizel: “Do you think Stevenson will wage a technical fight with you, rather than a power (shot) fight?”

 

Top Dog: “I think Adonis Stevenson is going to come out and box, (and) try to get me late maybe. I don’t think he’s going to stand there and go toe-to-toe with me.”

 

Robert Brizel: “Stevenson did take Chad Dawson out early (in the first round) back when he was more active. You think Stevenson has slipped in his training regimen (discipline)? Are you looking to catch him (off guard)?”

 

Top Dog: I think Stevenson has slipped. I think he has slipped as champion. He’s knocking out these guys that are ‘B’ and ‘C’ level fighters. Not to talk about other people, but the only person of caliber he’s fought of recent is Andrzej Fonfara in the past two years.”

 

Robert Brizel: “Give me a prediction. Do you think you will knock Adonis Stevenson out in the first six rounds? Do you think Stevenson will run into your power, or do you think the bout will go into the later rounds before you win?”

 

Top Dog: “You are a mind reader! I definitely will knock him out before six rounds. If not, then he will just take a vicious beating from me for 12 rounds.”

 

Robert Brizel: “Do you think it will go the distance before you win?”

 

Top Dog: “Definitely not! I never think my fights will go the distance (where I am in my career right now).”

 

Robert Brizel: “How difficult was it for you to get the Edwin Rodriguez fight? Obviously you needed that fight, and that win, to get the shot at Stevenson’s WBC light heavyweight title. Rodriguez said he didn’t have any problems fighting you, he would take the bout. But how easy was it for you to get that fight?”

 

Top Dog: It was easy. They matched us up on a previous card. He fought the main event, I fought the co-main event. They matched us up (afterwards). He signed. I signed.”

 

Robert Brizel: “The Rodriguez fight was the electric fight on that card. Andre Berto fought Victor Ortiz and won the rematch. Maybe the winner of Berto versus Danny Garcia will get the winner Keith Thurman versus Floyd.

 

Top Dog: “Gerald Washington.”

 

Robert Brizel: “Eddie look like he was sleepwalking in a sparring session, not doing anything. Your fight with Edwin Rodriguez was the electric Showtime fight on the night. When you go back and you watch the fight footage, did you and your family cry? Did that win really have meaning to you deep inside?”

 

Top Dog: “That fight had so much meaning. A lot of people predicted me to lose.”

 

Robert Brizel: A lot of people had stars in their eyes for Edwin Rodriguez. He’s a fine fighter, but I think he overestimated his power abilities.”

 

Top Dog: “I thought he would be a little stronger. Once I knew he couldn’t hurt me back, it was off to the races (I knew I would take him out, it was just a matter of when).”

 

Robert Brizel: “Now I’m not referring to you, because I don’t think it’s a good idea to look past any fighter. Obviously the winner of your fight with Stevenson would be a candidate to fight the winner of Kovalev versus Ward. Correct?”

 

Top Dog: “I would suppose.”

 

Robert Brizel: There’s also a great light heavyweight fighter in Europe, WBA regular World Light Heavyweight champion Juergen Brahmer, who has fought in 11 world title bouts.”

 

Top Dog: “He’s in Germany.”

 

Robert Brizel: “He’s the WBA regular champion, there a super champion. What would you think about doing a unification bout with him (if you beat Stevenson)?”

 

Top Dog: “I would love it. He doesn’t leave (fight) out of Europe though.”

 

Robert Brizel: “Much like former super middleweight champion Sven Ottke of Germany (who never fought outside of Germany).”

 

Reader’s Note: Juergen Brahmer has fought once outside of Germany in his 50 bout professional career, a ten round decision win over Aleksy Kuziemski in Hungary in 2009.

 

Top Dog: “He (Brahmer) would definitely have to come here.”

 

Robert Brizel: “If enough money was put on the table you would go to Europe to fight Brahmer for his WBA title?”

 

Top Dog: “I would definitely go! I’ve got three daughters. Of Course!”

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Robert Brizel - Head Boxing Correspondent
Robert Brizel - Head Boxing Correspondent
Robert is the Head Boxing Correspondent for Real Combat Media Boxing since 2013. Robert is also a photographer and ringside reporter for the RCM Tri State region which includes NJ, NY and PA. Robert conducts exclusive interviews, provides historical boxing articles and provides editorial ringside coverage of major boxing events. You can contact or follow Robert on Facebook and by email at robertbrizel@realcombatmedia.com.