By Francisco Salazar

Austin Williams answered many questions about the pro game and about himself in his pro debut five weeks ago.

The former amateur standout and middleweight prospect is not one to doubt his ability, especially while training alongside one of the best fighters in boxing today.

Williams steps back inside the ring Saturday night when he faces Quadeer Jenkins in a four-round bout at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The fight is a swing-bout that could air on DAZN, beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET/ 5:30 p.m. in the lead-up to the heavyweight fight between unified world titleholder Anthony Joshua and challenger Andy Ruiz.

The 23-year-old Williams made his pro debut on Apr 26 in Inglewood, California, dropping Joel Guevara before the fight was stopped with about a minute left in the opening round.

Like most fighters making their pro debuts, the southpaw Williams had a lot of emotions going through his body. Rather than during the fight, Williams felt at ease after the weigh-in the day before.

“The nerves went down significantly after the weigh-in,” said Williams, who is a middleweight prospect. “I was a bit anxious and nervous before then. I reassured myself before the fight about what I was capable of. I’ve seen him fighters like him so many times that I thought to myself not to overthink what I had to do in the ring.”

“I started off with my jab. I saw he couldn’t get away from my straight shots. I didn’t give him a chance to close the gap. I pressed him with my jab and strength. My game-plan was to keep him at bay with one’s and two’s. I wanted to take him out more gruesome than I did. I found some soft spots to his body. His hard was hard, but I found it was more effective to go to body.”

Williams demonstrated his punches do have an impact albeit against a limited fighter in Guevara. From a defensive standpoint, Williams now has an understanding as to how he can take punches from an opponent.

“I did want to get hit so I know what it feels like. It wasn’t as bad as I thought, especially with smaller gloves and no headgear. I know how that feels.”

Williams resides in Houston and now trains in the Los Angeles area. Regis Prograis, who will fight Josh Taylor in the final of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS), also is from Houston and has recently moved to Los Angeles.

Williams trains alongside Prograis and believes the sky is the limit after conditioning and sparring a few times with Prograis.

“We’ll talk each other up. He believes he is the best just like I believe in the best. Sparring sessions are tough. That’s my guy. I know he can win the tournament.”

Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing