The climb toward contendership for light heavyweight Thomas Williams Jr. goes to the next level when he takes on former titleholder Gabriel Campillo.
Promoter Dan Goossen announced this week that the 12-round bout will headline the Aug. 1 edition of "Friday Night Fights" (ESPN2/ESPN Deportes, 9 p.m. ET) from the Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, Washington.
"These are the type of fights that make or break a young up-and-coming fighter like Williams," Goossen said. "Three of Campillo's losses have been more than controversial, they have been outright travesties, and with a potential world title opportunity at stake, he knows this is his chance to right all the wrongs. This is why our matchmaker Tom Brown believes this is a terrific matchup for the fans and ESPN viewers and why it will tell us everything we need to know about Williams."
Williams (17-0, 12 KOs), 26, of Fort Washington, Maryland, has been on the rise for the past couple of years. Last year he easily outpointed former title challenger Yusaf Mack, and so far this year he has notched knockout wins against Cornelius White (TKO1) in a wild January fight (in which Williams was knocked down) and Enrique Ornelas (KO3) in April.
Campillo (23-6-1, 10 KOs), 35, of Spain, won a world title in 2009 by outpointing Beibut Shumenov but lost the belt by a heavily disputed split decision in the 2010 rematch. He challenged then-titleholder Tavoris Cloud in 2012 and lost another highly controversial split decision.
In 2013, Campillo was knocked out in the third round by Sergey Kovalev, who later won a world title. Since then, Campillo is 2-1.
"Thomas Williams Jr. has been impressive on 'Friday Night Fights' this season, and Gabriel Campillo was part of what may have been our best card last year [a loss to Andrzej Fonfara] at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, so we are expecting a dogfight," said Brian Kweder, ESPN's boxing programmer.