CARL “THE TRUTH” WILLIAMS, one of the finest heavyweights of the 1980s, was born on November 11, 1959.
He’s perhaps best known for giving Larry Holmes hell in 1985, before losing a contentious verdict.
Williams turned professional in 1982 after winning two New York Golden Gloves championships, and within two-and-a-half years he had raced to16-0 and secured a shot at Holmes with a win over James Tillis.
The IBF champion was 47-0 and closing in on Rocky Marciano’s unbeaten record; Williams, then just 25, was thought to be too raw to test the accomplished king. Not so. His long jab was fast and accurate as it hacked at Larry and closed his left eye. But after 15 sessions, all three judges sided with the veteran.
A thrilling up-and-down 10th round stoppage of the undefeated Jesse Ferguson (the victory of which he was most proud) followed before frailties were exposed further by Mike Weaver, who halted Williams in two.
Thought by many to have a weak jaw, the New Yorker was written off as a force but rebounded well, notching five wins – including an upset over Bert Cooper and a one-sided decision over former titlist Trevor Berbick – to secure a 1989 shot at new king, Mike Tyson.
It was all over in 93 seconds (pictured above). Williams then morphed into a capable gatekeeper, losing to the likes of Tim Witherspoon, Frank Bruno, and Tommy Morrison in a thriller, before eventually leaving in 1997 with a record of 30-10 (21).
Retirement was cruel. Quarrels over his ring earnings left him broke, and he worked as a security guard. His 12-year-old daughter died from leukemia but Carl found the strength from his two surviving children to continue.
Then life hurled one final, nasty, blow that Williams could not withstand. He died too young, aged just 53, after a long battle with oesophagal cancer.
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