Undefeated light heavyweight prospect Thomas “Top Dog” Williams Jr. (15-0, 10 KOs) takes on Cornelius “Da Beast” White (21-2, 16 KOs) in the ten-round main event of this week’s edition of Friday Night Fights, presented by ESPN2. Former junior featherweight world titlist Rico “Suavecito” Ramos (22-3, 12 KOs) will go up against Jonathan “Thunder” Arellano (14-2-2, 3 KOs) in the televised co-feature. The fights will be shown live from the Little Creek Casino in Shelton, Washington starting at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT.
Williams will be making his second start in a ten-round contest, after three eight rounders in 2013. Williams’ wins in 2013 came against Jason Smith and journeymen Kevin Engel and Otis Griffin. In his last fight, Williams scored a ten-round unanimous decision victory over former super middleweight and light heavyweight world title challenger Yusaf Mack.
Over the course of his seven-year career, White has lost both times he’s stepped up his level of opposition. His first career loss, a knockout in the first round, came against Don George in February of 2011. He rebounded with a win over club fighter Dhafir Smith before stringing together four more wins, one of which came against the aforementioned Otis Griffin, before losing in three rounds to Sergey Kovalev in an IBF light heavyweight title eliminator bout.
For Williams, a victory means another step up and towards a title shot, while a loss would prove to be a big setback this early in his career. A win for White won’t likely have as much of a positive impact, but a loss would solidify his standing as a gatekeeper for young, up and coming light heavyweights.
Rico Ramos comes into Friday night’s co-feature on the heels of a knockout win over unbeaten Puerto Rican prospect Carlos Velasquez. Ramos overcame a knockdown in the fifth round to win with less than half of the final round left in the fight. Prior to his win over Velasquez, Ramos dropped two decisions in a row, to Ronny Rios and Oscar Gonzalez. He sandwiched a decision win over Efrain Esquivias in between his first career loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux and the two-fight losing streak.
Arellano is a natural junior featherweight who is making his featherweight debut on Friday. His two losses came in 2012 to fellow prospects Roman Morales and Jessie Magdaleno. He followed up the two losses with a majority draw against Juan Reyes last August. In his last fight, Arellano scored a majority decision win over Charles Huerta on the undercard of Andre Ward’s win over Edwin Rodriguez.