Sherman Williams & Marcus Upshaw Coming Up In Crossroads Fights

Sherman Williams & Marcus Upshaw
Back in action this month
MIAMI (August 9, 2015) – A pair of respected gatekeepers and noted road warriors, heavyweight Sherman “Tank” Williams and super middleweight Marcus “Arillius” Upshaw, will both be in crossroads fights this month, according to their manager, Si Stern, of SHS Boxing Management.
Williams (37-14-2, 20 KOs), fighting out of Nassau, Bahamas, travels to Romania to take on Christian Hammer (17-4, 10 KOs), August 28, in the 10-round main event in Galati’s hometown of Galati.
Upshaw(17-4-4, 8 KOs), 35, will fight in his home state for the first time in 2 ½ years on August 15, when he faces undefeated Turkish prospect Bugra Oener (9-0-0, 3 KOs) at Wynwood Stadium in Miami, in a 10-round fight for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) Interim Mediterranean super middleweight title.
“These two fights are very big for both fighters,” Stern remarked. “Sherman has a great opportunity to be back on top in the heavyweight division. He’s very smart and very experienced. Marcus can get back on the winning track where he should be.”  


Williams will be fighting in his eighth different country against Hammer, the former World Boxing Organization (WBO) European heavyweight champion. “I’m a Bahamian warrior,” Williams explained why he fights so many opponents in their backyard. “By nature, in the Caribbean, we are known as pirates. I’ve traveled all my life. We have no borders, only waters to cross. Wherever I fight, I feel like it’s my hometown of Nassau. This is the sixth different fight for me this year but the only one that’s really happening. The others fell apart for one reason or another. I’m going to take advantage of this opportunity. I’ll face adversity fighting in Romania for the first time but I’m going there with the intention of belting him from pillar to post. I’m going to take him out. I’m bringing my Conch punch (big overhand right), which is synonymous with the Bahamas, and people everywhere love it.”
Hammer, who has defeated familiar names such as Kevin Johnson and Danny Williams, is coming off a loss this past February to unbeaten Tyson Fury, in which Hammer retired after the eighth round in their WBO International title fight.
“Hammer is tough,” Williams said. “I have an advantage in my experience, who I’ve fought over the years. I’m going to be more explosive than in the past. I’m going inside, keep fighting him there, and then take him out. Guys like me and Fres Oquendo, who I train with in Florida, are the last of the Mohicans from our generation of fighters. I’m strong and healthy for this fight. I’m going to take this guy into deep waters and then drown him.”  


Upshaw’s most recent fight resulted in a disappointing loss, by way of a controversial eight-round decision, last June to hometown favorite Lanell Bellows (12-1-1) in Las Vegas. “I dominated that fight and still lost,” Upshaw commented. “I’m looking at boxing differently since my fight in Las Vegas. I was robbed but learned that I can’t let up until my opponent is knocked out. I can’t afford to go the distance in this fight (vs. Oener).”
Upshaw’s signature win came in 2010 when he traveled to Quebec City and upset 21-1-1 local hero Renan St. Juste by way of a 10-round decision, elevating Marcus in world middleweight rankings to IBF #6, WBO #9 and WBC #11. Upshaw has gone the distance, albeit in losses, with the likes of Mario Antonio Rubio, David Lemieux, Gilberto Ramirez Sanchez, Edwin Rodriguez, Patrick Majewski and Tarvis Simms.
Against Oener, Upshaw is on a seek-and-destroy mission, aiming to take the final outcome  out of the judges’ hands, despite  him fighting at home. “Oener is pretty fast but he has no power on his punches,” Upshaw noted. “He has a lot of speed, so I’ll go to his body early to take his legs away, and then stop him. He’s not lasting 10 rounds with me. I’m getting that belt and it’ll put me on the map.”
Upshaw is the nephew of the late, great Gene Upshaw, who was an NFL Hall of Fame offensive guard for the Oakland Raiders.
Twitter @MarcusUpshaw or @MarcusArilliusUpshaw

Marcus Upshaw Confident There’s Still Fight Left in Him

MIAMI (March 13, 2015) – During the course of his nine-year pro boxing career, veteran middleweight Marcus “Arillius” Upshaw (17-13-4, 1 NC, 8 KOs) has been called a spoiler, gatekeeper, professional opponent, journeyman and road warrior.
Upshaw has been all of the above, granted, but more than anything he’s been an honest fighter willing to take on anybody, anytime. He’s fought all comers from world champions to top contenders and promising prospects.
All he wants now, though, is a fight against a world-class opponent, hoping a victory could propel him into an often dreamed about world title fight.
If draws, split and/or close decision losses, especially if resulting from fights in an opponent’s backyard, are generally considered “wins” in boxing, Upshaw’s record could be a much different 27-8 today and the 34-year-old Floridian would have been fighting in major fights on major cable networks.
Upshaw’s official record is a direct result of him taking fights as a late replacement, on the road in hostile and biased markets, against protected fighters and sons of famous boxers, occasionally in a higher weight class than his natural 160-pound division.
His most recent fight last week in Dallas ended in typical fashion, as Upshaw fought to an eight-round draw (76-74, 74-76, 75-75) with hometown favorite Anthony Mack (12-1-1), in which Upshaw hurt his opponent several times, winning seven rounds according to his new head trainer, Orlando Cuellar, longtime manager Si Stern, and just about every person in attendance.
“The boxing world is crazy,” Upshaw said. “I’ve now had draws in back-to-back fights (the other against Aaron Pryor Jr.). I won’t let it get to me, though.. I guess it says a lot about me that I can go into a fighter’s backyard, after training hard, and come out with a draw in fights that really should have been wins. Now, I know I have to get knockouts to win and that was my intention going into the last fight because I fought a Texas guy in Texas. I wobbled him three different times and won every round but one.”
The height of Upshaw’s career was in 2010 when he traveled to Quebec City and shocked 21-1-1 local hero Renan St. Juste, winning a 10-round decision to elevate Upshaw in world middleweight rankings (IBF #6, WBO #9 and WBC #11). Prior to the St. Juste fight, Upshaw derailed the career of the then 19-1 James McGirt, son of famed world champion/elite trainer James “Buddy” McGirt, with a controversial 10-round majority draw. Two fights later, he stopped 10-0 prospect Ashandi Gibbs (10-0) in the fourth-round for the Florida State middleweight championship.
Upshaw has displayed his vast talents by going the complete distance in rounds, albeit in losses, with the likes of Mario Antonio Rubio, David Lemieux, Gilberto Ramirez Sanchez, Edwin Rodriguez, Patrick Majewski and Tarvis Simms. The latter opponent was another prime example of the injustice Upshaw has faced too many times. Simms was 24-0-1 in 2009 when he fought Upshaw at Mohegan Sun, which is a short drive from his home in nearby Norwalk. Simms won an eight-round split decision (77-74 X 2, 75-76).
Cuellar, best known for guiding the original road warrior, Glen Johnson, to a world title, added, “Marcus has always been in tough, he’s another road warrior, fighting more experienced, protected fighters including some who were super middleweights. He came close to putting this last guy away a few different times. He won seven of eight rounds and the ref even took a point away, without a warning, when Marcus’ poorly fitting mouthpiece fell out. It certainly didn’t happen because he was in trouble.
“We only had five weeks working together. We want Marcus to use his 6′ 3 ½” height to his advantage. He has to fight at a distance, using his reach from the outside. He can control a fight with a double jab, followed by a right, just like he did against Mack. I was impressed by the way he trained in the gym and even more now I’ve been with him in a fight. I think he can give anybody trouble if he fights on the outside. He gets in top shape, fights smart, and now we can plan a strategy in advance because we know each other. He has to knockout opponents to win. I train my fighters to drop and stop, which is what Marcus will be doing.”
Upshaw believes Cuellar is the missing link he’s needed to get back to the top. “I’ve already learned a lot from Orlando,” Upshaw explained, “but most of all I’ve learned that I can do anything in the ring. He doesn’t just tell a fighter to do this or that; Orlando gives a fighter the tools, the armor to go into battle, to be your best. He is like an old-school trainer. The hard part with him is training, not the fight. He’s put life into my career.
“I’ve been in with the best and also learned from those fights. My problem has not being focused the entire fight. I know I’m faster and stronger than my opponent, but I get bored sometimes and stop throwing punches. I don’t know why I do that but it’s been my mindset. Orlando has taught me that I need to stay focused and alert throughout an entire fight.”
With his size and rich athletic bloodlines – his uncle, the late Gene Upshaw, was an NFL Hall of Fame offensive guard for the Oakland Raiders – Upshaw clearly hasn’t reached his full potential, at least not yet.
“I am delighted Marcus is now training with Orlando,” manager Stern remarked. “Marcus is tall, strong and smart in the ring. I have great hope for him in the immediate future.”


Marcus Upshaw: “Aaron Pryor Jr. Won’t be Able to Handle Me Oct. 23”


MIAMI (Oct. 13, 2014) – Modern day road warrior Marcus “Arillius” Upshaw (17-13-2, 8 KOs) plans to jumpstart his career October 23 against fellow gatekeeper and upset specialist, Aaron Pryor Jr. (19-7, 12 KOs), in the 10-round main event on a private (no tickets sold or media coverage) Alarm Charity Boxing fundraiser event at Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C.
“I’ve fought everybody,” Upshaw said from training camp. “It seems like I’ve fought forever as a super middleweight but I’m a middleweight and this fight is going to help me get a fight against a top middleweight. My mind is right for this fight and I know what I need to do. I’m not going to leave fights in the hands of the judges anymore.
“I went the distance with some big dogs (David Lemieux, Marcos Antonio Rubio, Gilberto Ramirez Sanchez, Lamar Russ, Patrick Majewski, Tarvis Simms and Edwin Rodriguez). I didn’t get knocked out or quit in those fights and my mind is set now. You’re only as good as your camp and I’m having a great one, sparring with Jermain Taylor and some other good fighters for this fight.”


In 2008, Upshaw impressively derailed the rise to the top of the then 19-1 James McGirt with a controversial 10-round majority draw, in which, most fans felt Upshaw should have won. Two fights later, he upset 10-0 prospect Ashandi Gibbs (10-0) by way of a fourth-round technical knockout for the Florida State middleweight championship. Upshaw traveled to Quebec City in 2010 and registered his most significant victory to date, a stunning 10-round decision over 21-1-1 local hero Renan St. Juste in his opponent’s backyard, pushing Upshaw up in the world ratings (IBF #6, WBO #9, WBC #11).
“Announcers always say it’s really all about which Marcus Upshaw would be fighting,” Upshaw added. “It’s really all about my mind set. I went back to Ground Zero and I’m just going to be me from now on. I’m positive and have built myself back up from scratch. I want to get back to where I was at my peak, against St. Juste, and then get a rematch with Lemieux or Rubio, but not in Mexico again.”
Like Upshaw, Pryor has been in against the iron during his career, primarily fought in the shadows of his Hall-of-Fame father, Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor. The 36-year-old Pryor Jr., who went the distance in losing efforts against Rodriguez, Dyah Davis, Will Rosinsky and Thomas Oosthuizen, defeated three-time world title challenger Librado Andrade (DEC10) in 2011, and the only fighter to stop him is World Boxing Council (WBC) light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson.
“I’m not going into my opponent’s backyard for this fight,” Upshaw concluded. “Pryor is from Cincinnati. I don’t plan to leave this fight in the hands of the judges. He won’t be able to handle me. I’ve fought a lot tougher guys than him. If I don’t stop him it’s going to be a long ass-whipping I give him.”
Upshaw, like Pryor, also has rich athletic bloodlines. His uncle, the late Gene Upshaw, was an NFL Hall of Fame offensive guard for the Oakland Raiders.
“Marcus is a big, tough, strong middleweight who hasn’t always used his size advantage,” Upshaw’s longtime manager Si Stern remarked. “This is a very big fight for him. His problem has been not finishing off guys. He has a whole new attitude. Marcus was misused earlier in his career fighting guys much bigger than him. He’s really a 160-pound fighter and that’s weight class Marcus should be fighting at as he is in this fight. I’m confident that Marcus will put on a good show and, if he wins, his career will be a lot brighter.”
Damian Frias preparing for Ring return
Another one of Stern’s fighters, always dangerous welterweight Damian “Devo” Frias (19-8-1, 10 KOs), is ready to return to the ring before 2014 concludes. The Cuban southpaw, fighting out of Miami, has been hampered by hand injuries during the past few years.
Frias hasn’t been stopped in 28 fights, including losses to present International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior middleweight champion Carlos Molina (19-5-2), Mikael Zewski (19-0), Ionut Dan Ion (30-2), Vitaliy Demyanenko (21-0) and Freddy Hernandez (25-1). The highlight of the 38-year-old Frias’ career remains a ninth-round TKO of Henry Crawford.
“I injured my left hand in sparring for my last fight against Zewski,” Frias explained. “It was the biggest fight of my career, fighting for the first time on an HBO undercard, so I didn’t say anything and kept icing it. I felt I could stop him but I lost a decision and aggravated my hand injury. It hurt badly after that fight (June 15, 2013). I could have had surgery but we decided to rest it and have cortisone treatment. I hope to be back fighting in November, at least by the end of this year. My hand has held up in sparring and we’ll have to wait and see if it holds up in a real fight.
“I’ve had injuries with my hands. They’re real small for a guy my size and chronically swollen. I already had surgery on my right hand. It’s been real difficult and aggravating. My hands are wrapped good and I’ve blocked out the pain during fights once the blood gets flowing, but I was just throwing punches at a target instead of punching through ’em. I fought with damaged hands against Zewski, Ion, and Demyanenko but I’m optimistic now. I’m going for broke. This is my last run; I’m not a young buck anymore.”
Stern added, “Of all the fighters I’ve been around, nobody is tougher than Damian, who’s never been afraid of fighting anybody. In most of the fights he’s lost, Damian was strong in the early rounds, until his hand swelled and he couldn’t use his left hand.. His hand is stronger now after rest, medication and rehab. We’re all hoping his hands hold up in a fight.”