By: Jim Amato
He lost fifteen of forty professional fights but his record reads like a Who’ Who of the middleweight and super middleweight divisions at that time. Make no mistake about it, Cleveland’s Sanderline Williams was a world class boxer.
Williams turned pro in 1982 and won fourteen of his first fifteen fights. He then suffered consecutive losses to Dwight Walker, Lindell Holmes and Herol Graham. Sanderline got back on the winning track with eight straight victories including a big win over dangerous Dwight Davison.
In 1988 he would drop decisions to Iran Barkley and Frank Tate. Win or lose he was holding his own among fast company. He lost a thirteen round split decision ( yes, you read that right ) to Ronnie Essett. The fight was judged a draw after twelve rounds and they boxed another round to determine a winner. This was for the NABF Super Middleweight title. The NABF refused to recognize the added round and declared that the title was still vacant. In his next bout Sanderline met Don Lee for the vacant NABF crown and lost a decision.
Sanderline would fight nine times after the loss to Lee going 1-7-1 but that is a very deceiving statistic. Those losses were to Merqui Sosa, Nigel Benn and Reggie Johnson. He then fought a draw with James Toney but followed with losses to Gerald McClellan, Toney in a rematch, Lonnie Beasley and Joe Lipsey.
Williams ended his respectable career with a 24-15-1 record. He scored fourteen knockouts and he was stopped only once by Lindell Holmes. He met seven world champions in Holmes, Barkley, Tate, Benn, Johnson, Toney and McClellan. He also met tough contenders like Graham, Davison, Essett, Sosa, Beasley, Lipsey and Don Lee.
It goes to show that you can not always judge a boxer by his record. Sanderline Williams was a fine fighter.