Terrel “Tyger” Williams fights Thursday, September 29, at Hollywood Park Casino. Photo by Jason Lewis
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor
Los Angeles native Terrel “Tyger” Williams is working hard to live the dream. He goes to work at 6 a.m. in Hawthorne and drives a forklift all day, and then he drives out to Reseda six days a week to punch the speed bag, to punch the punching bag, and to punch other people as he trains to become the next big thing in boxing.
Standing at 6-feet tall, Williams is considered a tall welterweight, and he has heard comparisons to Tommy Hearns. Both fighters are tall, and both fighters pack a punch.
Williams is only three fights into his professional career, and he has knocked out two of his opponents and he won a decision in the other bout.
Being tall and rangy gives Williams an advantage over many fighters in his weight class.
“I can pretty much pick apart any fighter that I fight because they have to try to get inside of me,” Williams said. “But if I’m using my jab and keeping them at bay, then it is going to be 10 times harder for them to get inside because I’m so tall. They have to throw the long looping shots, and those shots take longer to connect on a taller fighter.”
Williams has been training with Shadeed Sulki for the past five years, and his dedication has impressed his trainer.
“He works very hard,” Sulki said. “Here’s a man that works a 9-to-5 and he still comes out to the valley to train with me.”
Williams maintains his tough schedule for a simple reason.
“I’m not a big time fighter,” Williams said. “I have bills, I have a family, so I have to do what I have to do to maintain everyday.”
Williams has a hunger and a drive to make it to the top, even though it takes a toll on his body.
“I have to be at work at six in the morning,” Williams said. “I get off at 3:00 and then I go straight to the gym and I’m in by 4:00, and I’m there until about 6:30. It puts pressure on me, but boxing is my first love. I don’t know what I’d do without boxing, so I have to make time for it.”
Williams started boxing because his older brother got into the sport. Dwain “Tyger” Williams, who is six years older, fought as a junior middleweight and had a record of 25-5.
Williams said that what ever his older brother did, he did, so he knew that he wanted to box at an early age. Both of them were trained by Andy “The Hawk” Price before training with Sulki.
One of the most appealing aspects of boxing that draws Williams to it is that it is an individual sport.
“I can depend on myself,” Williams said. “I do not have to rely on anybody else. If I was doing great in a basketball game, but other players weren’t playing well, we could still lose. But in boxing it is all on me. I knew that if I put in that hard work and tried as hard as I could, then I could be victorious. I wouldn’t have to worry about anybody else getting the victory for me.”
When Williams wins he feels like he accomplished something great for himself, but he does point out that even though he’s competing as one man, it takes a strong team to develop his skills.
“My coach, who is instructing me, he gives me a blueprint, and I have to go out and follow that blueprint,” Williams said.
There is one other person that is important to his team. His fiancé Ashley Russell supports his goals to be a successful boxer.
“She prepares all my meals,” Williams said. “She knows what boxing takes for me to be successful. She’s very understanding. She’s an all out great woman. I’m very grateful that she’s very supportive of the sport that I do.”
Williams may have been able to land a good woman because, as Sulki puts it, he’s a gentleman.
“He’s a well respected young man,” Sulki said. “The way he carries himself. He comes from a very good family. His mother and father and siblings, you can tell he comes from a good stock. But in the ring, when it’s time to work, he turns on. He’s a beast in the ring.”
Being a beast in the ring could lead Williams all the way to the top of his profession.
“I’m not in boxing just to be a club fighter,” Williams said. “I want to be known world wide, pound for pound, and I believe that I have the ability to do that.”
Williams next fight is Thursday, September 29, at Hollywood Park Casino, which he lives five minutes from. That is a great venue for him because his family, friends, and co-workers show up to support him.
Williams looks to stay as active as possible so he can reach his dreams.
“I’m a young fighter,” Williams said. “I’m not making the type of money to take breaks. I can’t be satisfied with one victory. I have to continue to build my resume in boxing. So I can’t take six, seven, eight months or a year off. I have to get right back in the gym and train.”
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