Austin Williams nearly knocked out the most experienced opponent he has faced, but a determined Denis Douglin took Williams eight rounds Saturday night for the first time as a pro.

Williams, who hurt Douglin in the sixth and seventh rounds, won their super middleweight match by unanimous decision. Judges Don Griffin (79-73), Javier Martinez (79-73) and Michael Mitchell (77-75) all scored their fight for Williams on the Juan Francisco Estrada-Roman Gonzalez undercard at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Milwaukee’s Williams improved to 8-0.

The 32-year-old Douglin (22-8, 14 KOs), of North Las Vegas, Nevada, became just the second opponent to take Williams the distance in Williams’ two-year pro career. David Benavidez, George Groves and Jermell Charlo are among the opponents who’ve defeated Douglin by knockout or technical knockout, but Douglin withstood Williams’ power for all eight rounds.

Douglin hadn’t boxed in nearly 16 months before facing Williams. He lost an eight-round split decision to Mike Guy in his previous fight, which took place in November 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Williams appeared tired during the eighth round. By then, however, he had built a large lead on the scorecards.

Williams hurt Douglin in a second straight round when his right uppercut staggered Douglin, who was knocked off balance and into the ropes with 1:16 to go in the seventh round. Williams tried to finish Douglin, but seemingly smothered his punches and allowed Douglin to hold him long enough to recover.

Williams lunged and buzzed Douglin with right hook that made Douglin stumble backward 35 seconds into the sixth round. Douglin held to prevent Williams from capitalizing on landing that punishing punch.

Young sternly warned Douglin for hitting Williams behind his head with just over 40 seconds to go in the sixth round.

Douglin drilled Williams with a straight left 37 seconds into the fifth round. Another straight left by Douglin snapped back Williams’ head with 1:20 to go in the fifth round.

That shot made Williams fire back at Douglin to show that he wasn’t hurt by it.

Williams’ right hook landed with just over a minute to go in what was a more competitive fourth round.

A right-left combination to the body by Williams forced Douglin to hold his side and move back toward the ropes with about 1:15 to go in the third round. Douglin held, recovered and made it to the end of the third round.

An overhand left by Douglin landed just before the halfway point of the second round. A straight left by Williams connected with just under a minute remaining in the second round.

Williams blasted Douglin with another straight left late in the second round that dislodged Douglin’s mouthpiece.

Douglin nailed Williams with a right hook with 1:37 to go in the first round. With about 15 seconds to go in the opening round, Young warned Douglin for hitting Williams with a right hand after Young called for a break.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.