Sherman “The Tank” Williams and current International Boxing Federation World Female Featherweight champion Sarah Moufoud (10-0-0) had their eyes set on making history next month.
But with a spike in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the United States, including Nevada, Moufoud’s unification bout with Puerto Rico’s Amanda Serrano (38-1-1) was cancelled this past weekend by the Nevada Athletic Commission. That fight, along with the other bouts, also scratched, were set to take place in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 11.
“To get the news that the Nevada Athletic Commission decided to cancel, immediately, this boxing match and all further UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and other boxing matches for the year, was definitely devastating,” Williams expressed.
He provided some details.
“Especially after the fact that last week we signed our contracts, registered for my credentials and signed an agreement regarding the rules of “the bubble,” which were under the UFC’s COVID-19 rules.
“Upon arrival in Las Vegas we would have had to take a test, head straight to the hotel for a second test. Then we would have to quarantine until we got the test results back the next day, and every day after for the seven days in quarantine there would be a test as well as not being allowed to go out to restaurants or casinos, and we’d only have access to one designated gym in the bubble.
“We had already signed our rights to be in the bubble, because we just wanted to get the fight done. So, when we got the word the event was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, high cases in Nevada, it was disappointing and still shocking.”
The trainer/fighter pair are equally distraught about the recent decision, but understand the climate of the medical situation at hand. The COVID-19 pandemic has been ongoing since March 2020 and cases were projected to spike around this time of year.
It has not only been a blow to many around the world mentally, emotionally, and socially, but it has also presented an economic hurdle for societies to clear.
“I don’t think there is no place on this earth or anybody that hasn’t been affected physically, mentally, socially and definitely economically. This is definitely an economic blow as well; an not just for the fighters who were looking forward to winning a championship and having pay days, `but also for the promoters. So, seven days of training camps need to be paid for, and, the planning for these events, airline tickets and the whole cost.
“We have to press forward now and look to knock COVID-19 out. So, hopefully country leaders, health ministers can come up with a solution to knock COVID-19 out.”
Moufoud had worked hard, according to and Williams. He noted that this past week Moufoud put her orthodox technique to the test against a southpaw (left-handed fighter) sparring partner, Carly Skelly from Liverpool England.
Serrano is described as a southpaw so sparring with Skelly was a sound testing ground.
She was the perfect sparring partner Williams pointed out.
“Last week, the last two sparring sessions were perfect. Sarah was getting her jab off, moved to her left and successfully doubled up on her straight right-hand punch, right cross and right uppercut.
“She knocked her sparring partner down twice in the last session, I really felt good about it. After six weeks I could see the progress, and her weight was down. She was down to 59 kilograms (130 pounds) and she needed to be at 57kg (125 pounds) for the fight - coming down from 60kg (132 pounds). So, she had two kgs to go being four weeks away from the fight.
“The progress was good; the sparring was good and we did a lot of good technical work going through ring generalship.”
In the end Williams was confident that he and Moufoud were on the cusp of making Bahamian and Danish history by unifying the IBF World Female Featherweight title and Serrano’s World Boxing Council Featherweight Title. With boxing finished for the rest of the year, their hopes are now turned to 2021.
“We have to wait and believe in faith knowing a delay is not denial. That’s what I continuously tell Sarah. Everything is for a reason and a purpose. God willing, next year when an opportunity comes up, we’re going to be that much better and sharper and take advantage of it.
“Sarah’s going to stay in the gym, stay in shape. We just have to wait and see. At this point we’ll be maintaining for the rest of the year and God willing January/February, will bring something new,” concluded Williams.