'The Tank' to become an interim world champ?
By Andrew Coakley
FN Acting News Editor
Sherman "The Tank" Williams could become the interim World Boxing Federation Heavyweight champion.
That interim title would be in effect until Evander Holyfield chooses to either defend in a rematch or if he chooses to vacate the title.
"We feel confident that the WBF will do the right thing," said Williams.
"We got a letter from the president who encouraged me not to worry about anything, because they are determined to not let my efforts go un-awarded," said Williams.
Following his fight last Saturday night against Evander Holyfield, which was ruled a "no contest," after Holyfield claimed that a cut over his eye was bleeding and he could not see.
That following Monday Williams and his manager filed a protest to the World Boxing Federation (WBF) stating that Holyfield did not have the authority to stop his own fight.
"A ringside doctor, who is certified was supposed to have checked his cut and he would have been the one to make the determination as to whether or not the fight could have gone on," Williams said last week, following the filing of the protest.
On Thursday afternoon, in an interview with "Tank," the Bahamian pro boxer noted that since he did his last interview and since the protest had been filed, the referee from last Saturday's fight has been suspended indefinitely by the World Boxing Federation.
According to "Tank" the referee made some mistakes that went outside of the rules. "Tank" said that the referee did not follow the proper procedure for the fight, which was to have Holyfield's wound checked out by a doctor before calling the fight a no contest.
Reading from the rules, "Tank" noted that: "We fought under the ABC rules as well as the Unified rules of boxing, for a world title, which states that in the event of an accidental cut within three rounds, the ring-side physician must make a determination on whether or not the athlete can continue with the fight.
"If it is determined by the ring-side physician that the athlete cannot continue, then it is a draw. Then the rule further states, that if this happens in or after the fourth round, and the fighter cannot continue, then the judges must go to the score-cards.
"If we had to go to the score- cards, then based on the points I accumulated in the first two rounds, he would have lost the fight."
"Tank" said that the referee did not follow the rules at all.
In addition, "Tank" and his manager sent a copy of the fight to the WBF, which shows that during the last 10 seconds of the second round, "Tank" catching Holyfield with a upper over hand punch to the left side of his face.
That blow actually rocked Holyfield, causing him to stumble backwards.
"After he stumbled, he touch-ed his eye," noted 'Tank.'
"Normally when you get a cut, it doesn't bleed right away. The first thing it does is sting or burn. So, when he touched his face, there was no blood.
"When he came back in the third round, I began to go after him again with some more over-hand blows. That's when the cut opened up some more and it started to bleed.
"Him being a wise fighter, tried to use his head to create an illusion of head butting."
Further, "Tank" said that the video and audio of the fight will show that the referee held a "discussion" with Holyfield in his corner before the start of the fourth round.
According to "Tank" the conversation, which was over-heard, indicated that the referee told Holyfield that if he went out in the fourth round, it was going to be a TKO, because of the hard blow he took in the third round.
"He told Holyfield and his corner, that seeing that it was just the third round, if he sat down and relaxed, he would call it a draw, and it would be ruled a no contest," said 'Tank.'
"You could hear Holyfield saying in the corner, 'I'm not going back out there, this guy is throwing wild punches and I don't want to take any chances.
"When the referee called 'time out,' which was an indication to start the fourth round, I stood up in my corner, ready to go; Holyfield did not stand up.
"In his corner, you could hear his coach saying 'tell him your eyes are burning...tell him there's water in your eyes...tell him you can't see. That's where they came up with the plan to say he couldn't see because blood was in his eyes."
"Tank" noted that anybody who recorded the fight would be able to go back and listen to the conversation the referee had in the corner with Holy-ield.
Williams said that it will take another few days for the WBF to meet and then make its final decision on the matter.
What are the possible outcomes?
According to "Tank" if he is declared the interim champion, Holyfield will have 60 days to defend that title again or vacate it. If Holyfield does not defend the title, "Tank" would have to fight someone else who was next in line for the top spot.
"All titles have an interim champion, which is a champion in waiting," said Holyfield.
"In a sense, he will be forced to defend his title. In the meantime, I will have an interim title, which they will present to me in an official setting."
Williams said that he is confident that he has a good case and is standing by his position. He's confident that he won the fight based on points.
"I want to thank all the Bahamian people who've supported me and who've called me and texted me to encourage me and to tell me that they're with me," said 'Tank.'
© 2011 The Freeport News