Five months following his triumphant Twin River Casino debut, New Haven, Conn., welterweight Jimmy Williams returns to Rhode Island on Friday, May 13th, 2016 in his toughest test to date. The undefeated Williams (10-0-1, 5 KOs) puts his record on the line in a six-round bout against St. Petersburg, Fla., veteran Manny Woods (15-4-1, 5 KOs), who enters on a two-fight win streak and has won five of his last six bouts dating back to 2013.
The Williams-Woods showdown, which will be fought at a catch weight of 150 pounds, is part of CES Boxing’s stacked fight card at Twin River Casino, headlined by the highly anticipated main event showdown between Providence, R.I., standouts Peter Manfredo Jr. and Angel Camacho Jr.
The 29-year-old Williams, a former standout football player at Southern Connecticut State University, has won six consecutive bouts since the lone blemish on his record, a majority draw in 2013 against scrappy New Jersey vet Greg Jackson. He knocked out fellow Connecticut fighter Christian Lao in 2014 to win the state super welterweight title during his brief stint in the 154-pound division and later stopped hard-hitting Massachusetts vet Eddie Caminero in the fourth round of a scheduled six-round bout in February of 2015, earning himself the No. 7 spot that night on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays of the Day.
A hand injury kept Williams on the shelf for nearly 10 months last year, but he returned triumphantly in December, shaking off the ring rust in a six-round unanimous decision win over Chris Gray.
Woods, also 29, began his pro career in 2009 with six consecutive wins, three of them knockouts. He faced fellow Floridian Inka Laleye twice in seven months, fighting to a majority draw and then stepping back into the ring with Laleye to compete for the vacant Florida State Super Welterweight Title. Woods rebounded from a loss to middleweight title contender Travis Scott in 2013 with three consecutive wins, including a knockout over 41-fight vet Tyrone Dowdy.
Nicknamed “Shake ‘Em Up,” the 5-foot-7 Woods is 2-0 in 2016 and recently earned his 15th win as a pro earlier this month by unanimous decision over tough Mexican challenger Elias Espadas.
The May 13th card is stacked with the top regional talent, including Camacho (15-0, 5 KOs), who steps up for the fight of his life against the Rhode Island icon Manfredo (40-7, 21 KOs), back for the first time since 2013 when he stopped Rich Gingras in what was supposed to be the final fight of his career.
Coincidentally, Manfredo and Camacho both appeared on the first boxing event held at Twin River back in 2007, nearly nine years to the date of their anticipated May 13th showdown; Manfredo starred in the main event, knocking out Ted Muller, while Camacho, 5-0, at the time, stopped Donnie Dukes in just under a minute and a half.