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Mykquan Williams, hot prospect and chili chef, ready for his toughest test

Mykquan Williams and his trainer Paul Cichon tell Derek Bonnett they are fully prepared for Yeis Gabriel Solano

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Throughout their careers, boxers will endure numerous challenges in and out of the ring. Contractual disputes, ring injuries and, of course, defeat are some of the most common and frustrating for a career fighter.

On January 20, “Marvellous” Mykquan Williams will take on Yeis Gabriel Solano at Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut. On top of Solano, Williams will be facing at least three other challenges by the time he steps foot in the ring. For starters, Williams will be climbing through the ropes for the first time in 15 months, due largely to the Covid pandemic’s impact on all sports. Next, he’ll be headlining the biggest show of his career on ShoBox. Lastly, it’s his subsequent fight since failing to win for the first time.

In October 2019, Williams stepped up to meet the experienced Tre’Sean Wiggins in his fourth outing outside of Connecticut. Wiggins owns a first-round KO over future world champion Jason Sosa. To no surprise, he presented challenges, but ringside accounts saw Williams adapting as the rounds passed. Williams also appeared to have stunned Wiggins several times throughout. The anticipation of receiving a hard-fought victory was instead met with a disappointing eight-round draw verdict.

“I’m not too concerned about the layoff because Solano has been off as well, even longer actually,” Williams’ head trainer, Paul Cichon stated. “Our work has been very good [and] I expect Mykey to be focused and look sharp.”

Cichon has guided Williams throughout his entire ring career, amateur and professional. He knows his fighters through and through. Jackie Kallen has become a part of the team in recent years in a managerial capacity. Lou DiBella has been connected to Team Williams as a promoter. All three have expressed the utmost support for the now 22-year-old professional.

“The draw I got with Wiggins doesn’t faze me at all,” Williams affirmed. “I’ve gotten over that shortly after the fight. We just got to keep moving forward, working on the things that I need to improve on, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

One of the things Williams has improved upon during the lengthy layoff is his chili. The fighter turned chef has marketed his own brand which offered his local supporters a prepared meal to help take one less thing off their minds during the shutdowns.

“Yes, I’ve been doing my own chili; it’s great too!” Williams exclaimed.

One thing I have observed in the ring from Williams is a “chilly” approach toward his opponents. The kind-hearted gentleman, who has overcome plenty in life, saves his mean streak for the ring. Since the only ring available to him of late has been in the gym, that’s where he’s been letting it all hang out. Williams is ready to leap out of the gate.

“During Covid-19 we’ve been in the gym trying to stay in decent shape just in case a fight came up,” Williams offered. “As far as rust goes, we’ve just been sparring and making sure we don’t run into any issue when it comes to that. Of course sparring and fighting are two different things, but we’ve been doing our part in the gym to limit the amount of rust if any.”

Cichon is confident in his charge, who looks most comfortable when standing his ground and fighting in the pocket. But how will that look against Solano, a fighter who moves more and likes to counter quickly off the ropes from the opposite stance.

“I know Solano is a good fighter,” said Cichon. “I’m expecting a great fight. Mykey was made for this type of fight. We’ve been hoping for an opportunity like this. As far as fighting a southpaw, Mykey does well with them. He’s faced them in the amateurs, and faced several in the pros.”

Solano is six years older and unbeaten, 15-0, as a professional since 2015. He has 10 KOs, but has only stopped one opponent with a winning record. Solano ventured outside of his native Colombia for the first time in 2018. Since then, he won a pair of bouts by stoppage in Mexico and, most recently, a split decision in the USA. He’s fought eight or nine rounds (South American standards) fully on three occasions.

“As far as the fight goes, I’m going to go in and be smart, use my speed and definitely put on a performance so that the judges see it one way,” Williams stated.

Williams, 15-0-1 (7), has arguably been in deeper and has gone the distance in his last five outings, including one 10-rounder.

The two figure to be matched evenly on paper and face common external struggles. Fight footage also doesn’t reveal a glaring disparity in their development as professionals. However, come January 20, the two will meet to illustrate one for fans tuning in to Showtime.

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