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Austin "Ammo" Williams is the TSS 2020 Prospect of the Year

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  • Austin "Ammo" Williams is the TSS 2020 Prospect of the Year

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    By Kelsey McCarson

    Winning the TSS 2020 Prospect of the Year award is only the beginning for middleweight prospect Austin "Ammo" Williams. The 24-year-old is unlike any other fighter I've personally ever met, and I believe he's on his way to becoming one of the most recognizable faces in the sport.

    Not bad for a dude who didn't even start plying the trade until age 19, and one who decided to turn professional after just 47 amateur bouts.

    With any other fighter, that would be a recipe for disaster, but for "Ammo" the mold fits so nice he's able to strut around in it.

    Williams continued his pace at becoming one of boxing's next big things during 2020. He picked up three wins to run his overall record to 7-0 with 6 KOs.

    Williams stopped Donald Sanchez in four rounds back in January, then notched the two most important wins of his career to date after the global pandemic briefly placed the boxing world on pause. First, Williams traveled to Mexico in October to knock out veteran trial horse Esau Herrera in five rounds, then the brash American cut down Isiah Jones in just one round in December to become the first fighter to stop him in 13 tries.

    Accomplishing all those things can only mean even more important fights are on the way next year.

    When I first met Williams about a year and a half ago, a few things struck me. First, he's the type of fighter who practically oozes athletic talent. In fact, one gets a strong sense that the sport of boxing is better off as a whole for having Williams pick it over other the various athletic pursuits in which he probably could have enjoyed just as much potential.

    Second, he's an intelligent, affable and unique individual. Those things aren't nearly as important as being able to fight once the bell rings, but they become amazing assets once one achieves a certain level of notoriety.

    Most importantly, though, Williams loves boxing.

    You can see it written on the tattoo located at the bottom of the southpaw’s left arm. The date (8/25/2015) is the exact date Wiliams remembers falling in love with the sport, and that same amount of love can be seen in just about every action he takes at his boxing gym in Houston.

    Williams is trained by former world title challenger Dwight Pratchett at Main Street Boxing & Muay Thai gym. Pratchett was the first fighter to go the distance with Mexican boxing great Julio Cesar Chavez in a world title fight in 1985, and he's since become a mainstay as a trainer on the Houston boxing scene.

    Pratchett is a kind, patient, and serious man. He knows the sport inside and out, and he instructs his fighters down to the most minute details.

    Additionally, Williams has some legit money behind him. He's promoted by Matchroom Boxing's Eddie Hearn, one of boxing's most powerful promoters, and managed by Churchill's savvy tandem of Peter Berg and Sam Katkovski.

    All those components indicate quite clearly what some of the smartest people in the boxing world already believed about Williams before he became our Prospect of the Year for 2020.

    Now? The sky's the limit for the fast-handed, powerful southpaw with a million-dollar smile.

    Last year's winner Edgar Berlanga has gone on to become one of the brightest young stars in the sport. Don't be surprised to see Williams do the same thing.

    Finally, a note on the PR crises Williams suffered this year, too.

    Back in May, Williams posted old sparring footage of himself at the gym that dated back to before he turned professional. In that footage, the talented Williams pummeled the other amateur fighters at his gym with the ease of a fighter about to turn pro.

    That didn't sit well with critics on social media, who blasted Williams over releasing the footage of what essentially boiled down to be a way better boxer beating up people who will never set foot inside a professional boxing ring.

    But even here Williams passes some tests.

    First, the fighter learned a valuable lesson about the expectations the boxing world places on the best fighters in the sport. Not only do we expect great fighters, but we also expect great human beings.

    Second, Williams discovered that not every single person who follows his career on social media and otherwise is doing so in support. Truthfully, that might be the most valuable lesson of all.

    Finally, perhaps the third lesson was for all of us to see.

    Remember his love of the sport? The love Williams has in his heart for boxing that will help guide him into whatever he ultimately becomes?

    That Williams had fallen so in love with those images of himself doing the thing he loves most at the expense of others shouldn't be that much cause for concern.

    If anything, that kind of self-fascination for what is unfolding from within him is exactly what could someday separate him from the pack.

    Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel