Williams Destroys Purlette
By Chet Mills: Undefeated cruiserweight prospect Aaron Williams (17-0-1, 12 KOs) recorded another sensational stoppage on Friday night as he TKO’d former heavyweight knockout artist Andre Purlette (40-3, 35 KOs) in the second round at the Twin River Event Center, in Lincoln, Rhode Island. Williams, 21, was under heavy fire from the hard-punching Purlette in the second round, when he suddenly erupted with three powerful short right hand shots that first hurt and then dropped Purlette to the canvas.
Purlette made it up off the canvas, and the fight resumed with Williams tearing into an almost defenseless Purlette with a flurry of shots. Finally, after missing several of them, Williams finished off Purlette with a perfect left hook to the head, staggering him badly and prompting for referee Dick Flaherty to step in and stop the fight at 2:50 of the 2nd round.
Williams, a former nine-time U.S. amateur champion, looked superb in the first round as he jabbed Purlette constantly and moved around the ring to prevent him from landing his own harder shots. Occasionally, Williams would stop and fire off a quick combination thrown with perfect form, tagging Purlette as he was coming in. Everything Williams did in the 1st round was essentially perfect, throwing double and triple jabs rather than single jabs, like most fighters do.
He also showed excellent upper body and head movement, making it difficult for Purlette to get a bead on him in order to land his own powerful shots. Indeed, Purlette soon enough quite trying to land to the head at all, as he opted instead to focus on landing to the body of Williams. With this at least Purlette was fairly successful as he landed a decent number of hard body shots in the first round.
The problem for him, though, was that his punches were much slower than William’s own shots, which left him in a situation of him having to eat 5-6 punches before he could get in one body shot. By the time he got in his one shot, however, Williams would move away not letting him add to his to punch count.
In the 2nd round, Purlette came out much more committed to going to the body, as he stalked Williams around the ring, cutting him off repeatedly and landing big body shots. Williams spent better part of the round trying to get away from Purlette, who was finding it rather easy to corner Williams. Some of that is Williams’ own fault, for he seems to like to trade shots, and doesn’t seem to go in much for avoiding contact with his opponents.
Near the end of the round, Purlette trapped Williams against the ropes and began landing heavy artillery to both his body and head, hitting him with seven shots that would make most heavyweights’ look weak in comparison. This seemed to anger Williams, who leaned forward and landed three short right hands one after another, hurting Purlette and sending him to the canvas.
Purlette was concentrating on landing his own shots and forgot completely about covering up while in close, perhaps figuring that Williams wouldn’t be able to get much power on his own shots at such a close range. However, Williams showed that he can punch with power from all angles before this, and Purlette should have been ready for it. He wasn’t, however, and found himself on the canvas badly hurt.
After he made it to his feet, I figured it would take nothing short of a miracle for him to survive the round. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t have any such miracles handy as Williams immediately ripped into his with a blinding storm of punches, many of them missing badly in his eagerness to score a knockout. Finally, Williams connected with a big left hook that shook Purlette, staggering him on his feet, and causing the referee to call a stop to the bout at 2:50 of the 2nd round.
Needless to say, it was a very impressive win for Williams, who showed that he can punch with a fighter of Purlette’s power. At this point, Williams needs to consider moving up in quality in terms of better opponents because he needs to fight cruiserweights that he can increase his reputation so as to move up the ranks.
At this stage, I’d say he’s better already than Steve Cunningham, the IBF cruiserweight champion, and a lot better than top cruiserweights like BJ Flores, Jonathan Banks and Matt Godfrey. Those are the fighters that Williams needs to be calling out. Judging from Flores’ comments on Friday night, he said that he’s willing to fight anyone. Well, I think that would be the perfect fighter for Williams to call out. I doubt, however, that Flores would be very interested in fighting Williams, perhaps knowing how tough he’d be and not wanting to risk his unbeaten record on the talented prospect.