It’s never nice to see a tasty fight postponed. Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams against Connor Coyle had all the ingredients for an intriguing showdown. The American is pulling up trees as he looks to go from prospect to champion in the middleweight division. Meanwhile, Coyle was the popular Derry ‘Kid’ who had fought his way to the United States, where his 20-0 record had turned some heads. This WBA eliminator was finely-poised and a fine aperitif to the Conor Benn vs Peter Dobson main event.
But sadly things don’t work out like we’d hoped. Coyle had to withdraw from this intriguing bout with an injury. At short notice, he has been replaced by 10-0 Armel Mbumba-Yassa. ‘Kingenforme’ has only fought once outside his residence of Germany and his last fight was a six-round decision win over 19-26-3 Ramiro Blanco. If you were to look up “late replacement” in the dictionary, Mbumba-Yassa’s picture would be right there on the page.
But you have to credit the DR Congo-born middleweight for taking this on. ‘Ammo’ has made a name for himself with his exciting rise through the ranks. British fans got a close look at Williams when he knocked out Coventry’s River Wilson-Bent in eight rounds at the O2 Arena in April 2023. Williams has been out once more since then, beating former middleweight title challenger Steve Rolls.
That was a good test for ‘Ammo’. Rolls had lost just twice going in, to future Hall of Famer Gennady Golovkin and highly-ranked contender Edgar Berlanga. Williams took the step up in class in his stride, fortifying his own world title ambitions with a unanimous decision win.
By its very nature, this fight is a step back from that. But the importance of not wasting a training camp and getting some activity in the bank takes precedence. ‘Ammo’ can’t afford to overlook this one, as he faces a man who doesn’t know what it’s like to lose. The gap in class is huge, but facing a fellow unbeaten fighter is always a challenge. A man who has never lost doesn’t know when they’re beaten. It’s a different dynamic to a lot of the other fights Williams has had.
‘Ammo’ is equal to the challenge, though. There’s nothing on the Mbumba-Yassa CV that suggests he’s sticking around for long here. His ten victories have come against a parade of journeymen and novices. You never know the limit of an unbeaten fighter’s capabilities, which can make picking a result difficult. But the fact is, those manoeuvring Mbumba-Yassa would surely have moved him up in class by now if they thought him capable of handling it.
This is a roundabout way of saying that Saturday should be an easy night’s work for ‘Ammo’. The Wisconsin-born puncher is no stranger to an early stoppage, with six of his ten knockouts coming before the third round. Therefore, I’m tempted to go for Williams to wrap things up in rounds 1-3, an outcome you can back at 13/8. Here’s hoping that after this one, ‘Ammo’ can rearrange that intriguing date with Connor Coyle.
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