Tyson Will Beat Williams Convincingly Proving Nothing

29.07.04 - By Frank Lotierzo - - This Friday night former Heavyweight Champ Mike Tyson 50-4, (44) fights for the first time in 17 months. His opponent is British Heavyweight Danny Williams 31-3 (26). At 38, time is running out for Tyson if he hopes to ever again challenge for a piece of the title, something he hasn't held for nearly eight years. Since arriving in Louisville this week where the fight is being held, Tyson has said all the right things.

He's also been friendly and polite to everyone he's encountered. Former ESPN "Up Close" host Roy Firestone, currently of HDNETs "Face 2 Face", has interviewed just about every major Sporting star alive. Over the last 19 years, Firestone has reportedly devoted 17 hours to Tyson, which may be more than any one athlete over that time. After interviewing Tyson last week, he said "he's a cautious believer in New Mike."

I've read where some think Tyson's new demeanor may be a bad sign indicating that he has mellowed and lost the edge that made him so formidable in his prime. I'm not sure I agree with that. Tyson has been around Boxing since he was 13, he knows that regardless of what he says or how he acts, he still has to climb through the ropes and fight. He also probably realizes that the intimidation factor that used to accompany his presence before, doesn't exist to nearly the same degree it once did. It's a safe bet Tyson will look to reestablish it versus Williams.

Personally, I think Tyson will attack Williams in the same fashion he has all of his opponents. I just think with his current financial situation, he's being smart. Remember, Tyson was loved and cheered by all on the way up. Fans respected his demeanor and how he was respectful to most of his opponents after the fight. Tyson knows that it's to his benefit to be liked, and positive press will help him make more money. The more fans that root for Tyson, the bigger attraction he'll become. Thus resulting in bigger purses when he fights.

In this fight with Danny Williams, Tyson is going to have to set the tone for his comeback both as a fighter and a person. Tyson the fighter will try and get Williams out of there as fast as he can. Showing the Boxing public and fans that he's still capable of the sensational knockout will go along way in keeping them interested in him. He knows when he fights that the fans pay to see him score a knockout.

Regarding Tyson the man, he'll most likely want to convey that after all he's been through, finally he has learned and matured. I look for him to be quite cordial and soft spoken after the fight. Although we've haven't seen it much over the last seven or eight years, when Tyson wants to, he can be very warm and engaging.

Against Williams, Tyson is expected to win and look dominant in doing so. This time around Tyson has no hangers on and leeches distracting him. Word is that his training and preparation has been methodical. Unless Freddie Roach, Tyson's trainer is just towing the party line, which he may be, Tyson is in the best shape he's been in since he's been involved in training him. Then again that might not be saying a lot. According to Roach, Tyson has totally rededicated himself to fighting and has worked very hard with no distractions. We all know that's been the party line many times before, but this time it really may be the truth. If for no other reason than Tyson has no choice but to do it right this time.

Remember, Danny Williams was the fighter chosen to be Tyson's first opponent for more than a few reasons. It's no secret that Williams has never faced a fighter on Tyson's level, even a 38 year old rusty Tyson. If you listen closely to what's come out of the Tyson camp, it's obvious they have the book on Williams. Tyson has promised a quick knockout which is nothing new. However, the confidence in which he said it conveys that he is extremely confident. If that's not enough, how about Freddie Roach saying " he's unimpressed with the Londoner," he followed that up saying "Williams does not seem like he is the bravest guy in the World. British boxers do have a stand-up style so we are going out to attack him and put pressure on him right away."

I haven't a doubt that Williams is the perfect fighter for Tyson to face in his first fight back. Williams is big and not very fast. He provides Tyson a big target that he should have no trouble finding and landing some big shots on. Many of the British press have said, although Williams is a nice fighter, he comes undone by the pressure in the big spot. Well, Mike Tyson will put more pressure on him both mentally and physically than he's ever felt in the ring before.

This fight doesn't warrant being broken down and dissected. Danny Williams is basically a set up for Tyson, he's there because he can't win. Since he hasn't fought in 17 months, Tyson is allowed one set up to shake off the rust and jitters. What really matters is what Tyson does after this fight, that's when the test really begins.

In this fight look for Tyson to score a quick stoppage, showing that at least he can still punch. Other than proving that he still can punch, this fight will tell us absolutely nothing about Tyson. If you're looking for any kind of indicator as to what Tyson still has left or how far he can go, you won't get it Friday night. All the questions that linger about Tyson the fighter right now, will still be there on Saturday. The only thing we may possibly find out after this fight about Tyson the fighter, is if it took him too long to get it together and it's definitely over.

Article posted on 29.07.2004

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