Tramaine Williams’ journey to becoming a contender has not been an easy one.
A promising young prospect from New Haven, Connecticut, Williams (18-0, 6 KO, 1 NC) has had multiple periods of inactivity, mostly due to stints in jail for a multitude of reasons, including 2014 when he was arrested for drugs and weapons possession days before he was scheduled to fight at Madison Square Garden. His most reason trip to jail cut his 2018 short (he fought just once that year) and at one point, Williams believed he wouldn’t get another chance.
Now fighting under the Roc Nation Sports banner, Williams understands that he can no longer afford to make another mistake, not when he is still looking to make up for lost time. Now 26 years old, Williams has perhaps his toughest test yet on July 27 when he takes on Yenifel Vicente on the undercard of a DAZN card from Arlington, Texas.
When speaking to Fightful during fight week, Williams knows he's on thin ice because another costly mistake could mean the end of his current promotional run with Roc Nation but also his career. More than anything, Williams views himself as a more mature person and someone who has learned from his past mistakes.
"Do I still feel like there's zero margin of error? Absolutely, even more so now [than back in February when Fightful last spoke with Williams]," the unbeaten prospect said.
While he loves fighting and isn't getting hit hard in recent fights, part of his goal this year wasn't to just put himself in a spot to fight for a world title, but to also be active. With this upcoming bout being his fourth since February, Williams is certainly keeping himself ready should that phone call for a big fight ever comes up.
Since he returned to the ring earlier this year, Williams has fought several times, often taking less than two months between fights. In his most recent fight, Williams scored a notable win over Filipino fighter Neil John Tabanao, who has shared the ring with the likes of top prospect Angelo Leo and even former world champion Isaac Dogboe.
Add in the fact that a couple of regional titles (the USBA and WBO-NABO super bantamweight titles) and Vicente being ranked No. 6 by the WBO, this fight is perhaps the biggest of Williams’ career. In Williams’ eyes, a win, especially a dominant one, can get him even bigger fights down the road and potentially a world title opportunity. Even though Williams is technically ranked in the top 15 by the IBF at featherweight, his true weight is at 122 pounds, where the likes of Daniel Roman, Rey Vargas and Emanuel Navarrete reign supreme as the division’s champions.
"Hopefully, this fight will catapult me into a world title fight before the end of the year. Maybe one more after this, but that's how I see this fight. I think it should put me right up there for a world title shot soon. I'm still undefeated and I want to fight top guys. I think I should dominate Vicente, I would rather dominate in this fight," Williams said.
Although Williams is competing on the same card as IBF super featherweight champion Tevin Farmer and its being headlined by Maurice Hooker vs. Jose Ramirez in one of the most intriguing fights of the summer, he believes he has what it takes to have the most exciting win of the night when its all said and done.
"Hooker and Ramirez will have a big fight, but that might go to the scorecards. Tevin Farmer is not the biggest puncher in the world. It might be me. I might have the biggest knockout of the night," Williams says with a slight chuckle.
Williams’ fight against Vicente for the USBA and WBO-NABO super bantamweight titles will take place on the undercard of the July 27 Matchroom Boxing USA on DAZN card from Arlington, Texas. The main event will feature Hooker and Ramirez unifying the WBO and WBC junior welterweight titles.