Forgotten Legends: Ricardo Williams

By: Steve Gallegos

Cincinnati, Ohio has produced its share of world champions such as Aaron Pryor, Tim Austin and most Recently Adrien Broner; however there was another fighter from Cincinnati that didn’t make it to the mountaintop. That fighter was Ricardo “Slick Ricky” Williams.

Williams was a member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic team that spawned future world champions such as Jermain Taylor, Jeff Lacy, and Brian Viloria. Williams would win a silver medal in Sydney and along with four of his fellow teammates would sign with Dibella Entertainment upon turning pro.

He made his pro debut on January 27, 2001 at Madison Square Garden. He would make his pro debut alongside fellow teammates Jermain Taylor, Jose Navarro, Clarence Vinson and Michael Bennett. The bouts were nationally televised on HBO and Williams was impressive in scoring a 4 th round TKO.

He had a good boxing/puncher style in which he put together combinations beautifully to the body and head. Over the next two years, he was very impressive as he went 8-0-1 including a victory over former world champion Terron Millett; however his conditioning and dedication were starting to come into question.

In February 2003, Williams co-headlined an HBO Boxing After Dark card alongside fellow Cincinnati native Tim Austin. Williams took on unheralded Juan Valenzuela and would lose a lopsided unanimous decision in which he looked underconditioned and uninterested. The night would not go so well for Cincinnati as Tim Austin suffered a TKO loss to Rafael Marquez in the main event.

Williams seemed to drop out of the spotlight after the Valenzuela fight. He would fight three more times over the next two years, dropping a split decision to Manning Galloway in which Williams fought 11 pounds heavier than his normal weight of 140 lbs. Things would only get worse for Williams outside the ring.

In 2005, Williams was charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and was sentenced to 3 years in prison. After serving 2 ½ years of his sentence, he was released and made a comeback. He has gone 11-1 from 2008-2012.

Why am I writing this piece? If you ever had the pleasure of seeing Ricardo Williams fight, you saw flashes of a world champion and possible superstar. He’s one of those stories of what could have been. He hasn’t fought since December, 2012 and should he choose to continue fighting, we definitely wish him the best and hope he can finally reach that mountaintop.


Speak Your Mind