Ask Humberto Savigne who the biggest threat in the 175-pound division is, and he laughs his gravel-in-a-blender laugh.
“El Don,” he said.
That’s Humberto “El Don” Savigne, for the kids in the back of the class.
Savigne will look to rebound from just the second loss of his career—and first in the 175-pound division—when he takes on Thomas Williams Jr. (18-1, 12 KOs) on Friday night at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi (Spike TV, 9 p.m. ET/PT).
The 36-year-old Savigne (12-2, 9 KOs) was stopped in the second round his last time out against then-unbeaten Craig Baker, but his only other defeat came in 2010 when he was competing in the 200-pound division.
At Thursday's weigh-in, Savigne initially hit the scale at 175.8, but was 175 on his second attempt. Williams weighed in 174.6.
A latecomer to the professional ranks after more than 400 amateur bouts—Savigne was 30 when he turned pro—the Cuban émigré has a bit of lost time for which to make up. And Williams, he hopes, will be another rung on the climb up the ladder of a highly competitive division.
“I know Thomas Williams is coming to fight, coming to win, but I’m coming to win also,” Savigne said. “If it goes the distance, I’m going to win. If it’s a knockout, the knockout is going to be mine.”
It’s not a bad time for Savigne to showcase his talents, coming as the fight does on a card with a pair of top 175-pounders in Edwin Rodriguez and Michael Seals.
With Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev sitting atop the division, and a crop of talented contenders such as Andrzej Fonfara, Artur Beterbiev, Jean Pascal and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in the title hunt, Savigne has plenty of potential opponents to test himself against in the future. And he’s not shy about looking for those fights.
“I want everybody,” Savigne said. “After I beat Thomas Williams, I want to fight everybody one by one.”
Like Savigne, Williams has a recent loss hanging in his rearview mirror. Gabriel Campillo stopped him in the fifth round in August 2014, but Williams has since bounced back with a decision over Michael Gbenga in December. The decision was unusual for Williams, as his two wins prior to the Campillo fight were over in the third and first rounds. Similarly, Savigne’s last two wins were both second-round stoppages.
Clearly, there’s plenty of pop to go around between the two fighters. And this time, Savigne wants to dedicate his firepower to the U.S. after a rocky relationship with his homeland.
“This time I’m not going to leave anything on the line,” Savigne said. “I’m fighting for my family and I’m fighting for the United States, not for Cuba. I’m the only Cuban who doesn’t wear the Cuban flag in the ring.”
For full coverage of Williams vs Savigne, make sure to check out our fight page.