“The Tank” preparing IBF Women’s Featherweight Champion for history

PREPARATION – Pictured at left is Bahamian Sherman “The Tank” Williams and at second left is Sarah Mahfoud, who became the Interim International Boxing Federation World Female Featherweight title this past February under the tutelage of Williams.

Grand Bahamian Sherman “The Tank” Williams’ résumé in the realm of boxing could include something extraordinary this coming December. 

Sarah Mahfoud, who became the Interim International Boxing Federation World Female Featherweight title this past February under the tutelage of Williams, is lined up to make history.

At 10-0-0 (win, loss, draw) Mahfoud, a native of Denmark, will go toe-to-toe with veteran boxer, Puerto Rico’s very own Amanda Serrano (38-1-1) on December 11, in Las Vegas. Serrano is the holder of the Interim World Boxing Council Featherweight Title; the World Boxing Organization Featherweight Crown; the World Boxing Organization Super Flyweight Championship; World Boxing Organization Super Lightweight Title; World Boxing Organization Super Bantamweight Title; and the World Boxing Organization Bantamweight Title.

In Mahfoud’s previous bout, she defeated Brenda Carabajal (16-4-10) via unanimous decision. Now, Serrano is expected to present the Scandinavian (Mahfoud) with her latest challenge but Williams feels Mahfoud is up for the task.

Both Williams and Mahfoud are currently in Denmark as they prepare for December’s bout. During his time in the country Williams has worked and coached a number of Danish fighters.  Williams and Mahfoud’s got together in December 2019, eventually leading to her current title reign. 

Drawing from his knowledge of the craft, Williams took a “from the ground up" approach with Mahfoud. That included film work, which he disclosed she had never done before, teaching her to use her jab, and footwork. After eight weeks of training and getting Mahfoud to learn the science behind boxing, she was able to step in the ring with Carabajal and win every round.

“I used my philosophy of establishing a jab, and getting on the inside, and working from the inside out. I was able to teach her the same skills and basics that I’ve used over the years. Put everything behind the jab, the overhand right and left hook.

“What I hope to see from her now is greatness.”

This will be Mahfoud’s second title fight for the year. Both the IBF World Female Featherweight title and WBC’s Featherweight Title will be on the line. 

Williams called it a rare opportunity for female fighters.

“To get a unification bout in your second world title fight is very rare for a female fighter. But , it’s a great opportunity. If she (Mahfoud) continues to follow the training routine, we can actually go into Las Vegas and make history.

“Serrano is a veteran in the game, she’s even had a few UFC (Ultimate Fight Championship) fights. She’s the real deal. Pound for pound I think she’s rated number one in female boxing.

“She’s also a southpaw (left-handed fighter) and Sarah’s orthodox. So I’m trying to get her used to moving to her left and throwing her right hand more. I think if we can make the adjustments needed to Serrano’s style of fighting, we can go and make history on December 11.”

The Bahamian boxing ambassador is elated about the opportunity to expand his profile, as not just only a boxer and promoter, but also a trainer as well. He sees a bright future for Sarah, and win or lose, he will continue to push her to reach the greatest heights, he said.

Williams is used to being an underdog, something Mahfoud is considered to be heading into December’s bout, because of his height. William was able to win multiple titles nonetheless. 

The upcoming fight for Mahfoud also reminded him of the time he defeated Chauncy Welliver in their unification bout for the interim World Boxing Organisation Asia Pacific Heavy Title and World Boxing Organisation China National Heavy Title

Williams has also shown Mahfoud a video of that very fight and shared that Welliver had the same fighting style as Serrano. Using the overhand right and left hook for most of the fight brought him success in that 2012 bout. He’s confident it can bring the same success for Mahfoud.

Overall, he is proud of the growth Sarah has shown, and given her balanced background, he is confident that her career will bring much success.

“I’m sometimes surprised about it, that I was able to be put in this position. It’s a blessing that it was able to turnover and manifest itself into something. I want to use this momentum to push forward. 

“I always tell Sarah that sky’s the limit. We use a regular routine during training, where I put on a lot of reggae and Bahamian music to get the legs and rhythm going. She has natural talent and she’s a natural athlete - she’s been fighting amateur since she was 16.

“Most importantly she’s courageous and not afraid. So I’m just going to continue to push “The Tank” philosophy on her - those same basics I learned growing up at the YMCA.

“I was fortunate to work with a lot of good coaches and trainers as I came up and it was all about establishing the basics. Sarah has a good head on her shoulders. She’s a model, a spokesperson for a clothing company. 

“Spiritually, she’s grounded. So, I think sky’s the limit and I have a good feeling about this fight going into Las Vegas as the underdog,” he concluded. 

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