To understand Mykquan Williams’ journey to his first fight of 2021, one must look back to the prior 15 months since he last stepped foot in the ring.
When Williams fought Tre’Sean Wiggins to a draw in October 2019, he had no idea that a global pandemic was fast approaching, leaving him without a fight for all of 2020. Williams had plans to make 2020 his breakout year, but it only left him and his team dealing with battles outside the ring and learning a lot about patience.
Back in April, Williams’ trainer Paul Cichon tested positive for COVID-19. The weeks that followed were not only tough on Cichon, but also for Williams. Cichon wasn’t just a trainer to Williams. Cichon had been with Williams for most of the young boxer’s life and Williams saw Cichon as a father figure.
“It was strange and scary. I would talk to him sometimes on the phone a couple of times and he would sound very tired and down. He lost like 30 pounds in two weeks. It hit him really hard. Thank God he got through it. It was strange. It hit really close to home. He is someone I come see five, six times a week, so it was difficult as far as him going through COVID. I’m just happy he made it through and glad to not have to worry about it,” Williams said.
Even after Cichon’s bout with COVID-19, there was no guarantee that Williams would see action during the pandemic. He almost did when he was set to fight in Cancun, Mexico in late 2020. However, that fight was canceled and it left Williams very frustrated. That frustration was soon replaced with hope as he would soon get a call to fight on January 20. It wouldn’t just be any fight. This next fight, against Yeis Gabriel Solano, would air on Showtime’s “ShoBox: The New Generation” series. This will be Williams’ first time fighting on a nationally televised platform.
Of course, not everything was all bad for Williams during the pandemic. Williams has a job outside of boxing to make ends meet and in his spare time, Williams even started making homemade chili.
Williams has been fighting professionally since 2016, but he is only 22 years old. Some fighters his age might get anxious over the possibility that the pandemic is robbing them of their best years. Williams exercised patience most of all during 2020, something he realized was something important to work on. The old phrase “patience is a virtue” may be more important than ever before for these fighters. As Williams learned, there is never a guarantee that his next fight will happen and is taking a more methodical approach when it comes to his fights.
“I feel like I’ve been very patient [and] it’s important especially since it’s been  months… We don’t know how long the COVID is going to keep going. So right now, the best thing to do is take things a fight at a time, be patient. It’s been 15 months since I’ve last been in the ring. Patience is definitely something that we worked on. I feel like if everything was normal, last year would have been a huge thing for me. We still have time. I’m still young and we’re going to be take it a fight at a time and make smart decisions,” Williams said.
A win over Solano has the potential to possibly elevate Williams to more fights on national television and against bigger names. Williams has been fighting for more than a decade and his reasons for fighting are simple: to be the best he can be and to provide for his family.
“It’s about becoming the best boxer I can be. Obviously, everyone wants to be the best, be a household name, but in all reality, I want to be the best I can be. I want to surround myself with great people, whether it be our team or friends. One of my main things is providing for my family. I want to be able to do that,” Williams said.
The journey Williams has been on wasn’t an easy one. It’s next chapter will be on Showtime on January 20 in the network’s first live boxing telecast of 2021. Solano is not to be overlooked, says Williams. His opponent may not be known to many in the United States, but it is never an easy time going up against an undefeated opponent.
Williams believes he can be the latest boxer to have fought on ShoBox who would go on to achieve great success in the sport. More than 75 world champions have fought on ShoBox in the series’ rich history. His first win of 2021 might just be the one that catapults him to that next level he’d been fighting and preparing for years.
“[Solano] is definitely a solid opponent. He’s a step up for us. I feel like this fight showcases a lot of my skills. With this victory, it pushes me up the ladder and opens a lot of eyes and doors,” Williams said.
Williams vs. Solano takes place on the January 20 edition of ShoBox: The New Generation airing on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET
Video Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fp4cGazh3Qw