William started boxing at the age of 12, he started training with the legendary Olympic Bronze Medalist David Torosyan. He started to box professional in 1998. He is an NABO Pro-Boxing Champion. William was a WBO # 1 ranked contender, and he was named fighter of the year in 2005. William is now retierd from the sport of boxing.
Born in Armenia, William the Conqueror, as he calls himself, moved to California with his parents when a youngster and has fought his way through the ranks with some tough fights against tough opponents, including bouts taken at short notice.
He has a record of 24 wins, six losses and a draw (12 opponents halted) but in effect learned on the job after a brief amateur career.
By the age of 25, he matured into a classy, speedy boxer-puncher with southpaw moves not dissimilar to those of Naseem Hamed. Not surprising, as he says he was a fan of Hamed when the Prince was blasting out opponents. “I saw about 20 of his fights [on TV or video] back in the day,” he said over the phone from Las Vegas, where he now lives. “I hoped to fight him one day. But no more. I call him Princess now.”
“I’m a full-time boxer and I take it serious, no hobbies, nothing but boxing,” he said in his heavily accented English. “I get up at four in the morning to run. I train three times a day. In the gym I don’t talk to no one, just do my business. My friends and family love me but when I’m training I just stay home, I don’t see no one, I don’t let no one come bother me. After the fight I can go see my family and friends and celebrate.”
Although Abelyan seems to be the proverbial man of few words, his strong-mindedness comes across.
“When I was a kid I liked to fight, fighting outside [the ring] with people, you know — too long a story,” he said. “But now it’s different. The ring is my house.
“I was a kid when I came to America, about nine. I did, like, 20 amateur fights, but I wanted to box pro”
His last defeat came when he suffered a one-round loss to Victor Polo, the much more experienced Colombian who has boxed for two world titles. He said: “I was sick, I had stomach problems. He didn’t hurt me at all but my stomach was killing me. I stopped fighting because I couldn’t take it any longer. But that was with different management, different trainer. Different story.”
Abelyan’s breakthrough fight was probably his eighth-round win over Shamir Reyes, an unbeaten New York-based Puerto Rican southpaw who was being promoted by Don King at the time, in August 2000.
I was at ringside that night at the Paris hotel and casino in Las Vegas and Abelyan surprised me in a fight that was made for Reyes to win. He floored Reyes twice. Normally a fast, flashy fighter, Reyes was never given the chance to use his slick moves. “When I fight I don’t care if it’s a left-hander, a right-hander, it’s all the same to me,” Abelyan said of that fight. “When I walk inside the ring, I’m the boss. I just do my thing. I do my business and I knock them out.
“My main strengths are combinations and timing. I’ve got the punch but I never go for the knockout. The knockout comes when you do your stuff.”
His unanimous decision over former featherweight champ Guty Espadas in August 2001 at the Plaza casino hotel in downtown Las Vegas confirmed that Abelyan belongs in world class. A late substitute, he floored Espadas twice and comprehensively outboxed him despite suffering a cut over the left eye.
“I took that fight on three days’ notice,” he said. “I knew he was a puncher — like a bully, you know? — but I did my stuff, movement and boxing. When I got cut it was from his elbow. But if I get cut, I get cut. It doesn’t bother me. I love blood. You have to have a weapon to hurt me inside the ring.
“I’ve taken a fight at 10 days’ notice, three days’ notice. They’re all tough. Orlando Soto [a veteran two-time world title challenger from Panama] was a good fighter, good chin. My eye was swollen from a quick head butt, but I knocked him out [in the 10th round].”
“William’s very easy to work with. He does what you tell him. Champions are built in the gym — fight night’s the easy part. I watched Scott Harrison against Wayne McCullough and, believe me, Scott’s very ordinary. He’s a basic boxer, and he’ll be right in front of you all night. William’s very elusive, hard to catch up to, so it will be a chess-match type of fight. They say Scott’s big, but he still has to make 126 pounds. Weight’s not a problem for us; William could box at 122 pounds [super bantam].
“Once you get to the level where William is right now, he knows what he needs to do in the ring. Our job is to tweak things here, improve things there, clean things up [regarding technique].
“I’m a fighter. I don’t fight only for myself, I like to make happy my fans. All the fans.”
Filed Under: Hall Of Fame