by David P. Greisman

Thomas Williams Jr. is quite familiar with his next opponent — he used to be friends with light heavyweight prospect Marcus Browne, dating back to their days in the amateurs.

“He was a friend of mine. That’s over now,” Williams told “I don’t really have anything against him. It’s just business at the end of the day. There’s no beef.”

There’s no beef, but there is a fight — Feb. 18 on the televised undercard to Adrien Broner vs. Adrian Granados on Showtime.

Williams, 20-2 with 14 KOs, is coming off a competitive knockout loss to 175-pound champ Adonis Stevenson. Browne, 18-0 with 13 KOs, is coming off a highly controversial split decision over Radivoje Kalajdzic.

Williams feels they’ve come up in two different manners.

“If you go to my record and go to his, he’s fought eight or nine of my opponents that I fought first, and then he fought them after me,” Williams said. “They kind of showcased him. “They always put him on, like Showtime Extreme. I think he fought on NBC one time.”

Indeed, there are six common opponents.

Williams outpointed Kentrell Claiborne in 2012; Browne won a decision over Claiborne in 2014. Williams stopped Ricardo Campillo in 2012; Browne stopped Campillo in 2013. Williams stopped Kevin Engel in early 2013; Browne stopped Engel in late 2013. Williams outpointed Otis Griffin in 2013; Browne did the same in 2014.

In addition, Williams stopped Cornelius White in 2014; Browne outpointed White in 2015. Williams lost a technical knockout to Gabriel Campillo in 2014; Browne made quick work of him in 2015.

To Williams, Browne is essentially the same fighter he’s long known.

“I haven’t seen anything really different from when I knew him in the amateurs,” he said.

Nor was he impressed with the most recent version of Browne, the one who many feel benefited from a robbery victory over Kalajdzic.

“He lost, flat out,” Williams said. “There’s no way he won. Anyone who watched that fight know he lost. I don’t know what else to say. He got outpunched. He got out-dogged. He just got outed. I thought Hot Rod did everything right except get the decision. It’s not the first time I thought Marcus Browne lost in the pros.”

Williams cited Browne’s fight with Lamont Williams, a unanimous decision with two wide scorecards and one closer tally back in 2013.

“He definitely lost that fight,” Williams said. “I remember watching that fight distinctly.”

But despite all his degradation of Browne, Williams said he cannot rely on that. Rather, he must rely on himself.

“I don’t really judge people on their previous fights, because you can go looking for one thing and they won’t show it to you the whole fight,” he said. “I have the mentality, if Thomas Williams does everything right, does his roadwork, does his studying — I’m talking just on fights period, different athletes, different boxers, different bangers — if I prepare myself well, then I give myself the best chance to win.”

Williams did let on one way to win, however.

“With someone with the same skillsets as Marcus or a little bit more, he always gets rattled. If you don’t have any break in you, you pretty much can rattle Marcus’ cage. When you rattle his cage, his game plan goes out the window. He goes into survival mode.”

Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at or internationally at Send questions/comments via email at