Verno Phillips Confident of a Win over Paul Williams
Posted by Ramon Aranda on 11.24.2008
Vacates the IBF title to take the fight.
Former two-time IBF and WBO jr. middleweight world champion Verno Phillips is confident of a win in his upcoming fight against former two-time WBO welterweight world champion Paul Williams. The scheduled 12-round bout for the WBO interim jr. middleweight world title will take place Saturday, November 29, at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California, and be televised live on HBO beginning at 10 P.M. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
Phillips, now 42-11-1 with 21 knockouts, of Denver, Colorado, will celebrate his 39th birthday on November 29, as well. Williams, of Aiken, South Carolina, is in his prime at 27 and has a professional record of 35-1 with 26 knockouts.
Boxing has seen many intriguing matchups over the years that pitted "Youth vs. Experience," and 2008 has seen several examples of the "old masters" triumphing over the "young lions": in March, 36 year-old Nate Cambell won a 12-round decision against 24 year-old Juan Diaz, and 36 year-old Joel Casamayor won by tenth-round TKO against 27 year-old Michael Katsidis. In October, 43 year-old Bernard Hopkins won a 12-round decision against 26 year-old Kelly Pavlik. Verno has already made one contribution to that list, as well - in March, at the age of 38, he won a 12 round decision against 30 year-old Cory Spinks. He plans to make his second contribution against Williams.
Verno said, "This fight's a good birthday present. They're probably thinking that I'm done or whatever – that I'm just another win for Paul Williams. But that's what Cory Spinks thought, too, and I'm still here. I feel good. I feel strong. It's going to be a bad night for Paul Williams."
Verno has held the IBF jr. middleweight world title on two occasions and is very proud of his association with the organization. Unfortunately, he was not able to take this fight against Williams and continue to hold the title.
In a letter to IBF President Marian Muhammad and IBF Championships Chairman Lindsey Tucker dated November 19, Verno's promoter, Art Pelullo, wrote, in part: "This letter is to confirm that Verno Phillips will relinquish the IBF jr. middleweight world title.... In doing so, he will open up the opportunity for two younger fighters to fight for the IBF world title and hopefully have the same success that Verno has had with the IBF.
"The IBF title that Verno was able to win versus Cory Spinks in St. Louis has been very instumental in putting Verno in a position to make a very significant payday for him and his family at this late stage of his career. You have helped him earn the opportunity....
"Verno Phillips and his family would like to thank you and the entire IBF family for giving him the opportunity to win the IBF title not once, but twice."