Boxing


Klitschko vs Williams: The Honeymoon Is Over

10.07.04 - By Vaughn M. Featherstone: When I decided to do the article on this fight, I asked myself, "How did Danny Williams get in position for a title shot?" True, he defeated Mike Tyson but is that enough to get a crack of at one of the big three of the "alphabet soup" of Boxing? But that's another story for another time. Lets talk about the fight.

When Danny Williams (32-3 27KO) steps into the ring with Vitali Klitschko on December 11, 2004, he won't be facing a faded fighter looking for a paycheck. When he steps in with WBC Champion Vitali
Klitschko (34-2 33KO), he will be facing a fighter who has proven that he can take on the best that the division has to offer.

Many questioned Klitschko heart and passion for the game following his 2000 loss to current IBF Champion (and former WBO Heavyweight Champion) Chris Byrd (Klitschko was forced to retire on his stool because of an injury later learned to be a rotator cuff tear at the end of round nine). But he has proven the critics wrong by doing what all Champions should do: Fight whoever wants to fight.

As for Danny Williams, with losses to Michael Sprott (L12 for British Heavyweight Title Commonwealth (British Empire)), Sanil Samil Sam (TKO6), his upset win over Mike Tyson (KO4) doesn't warrant a title shot. Williams wasn't that spectacular although he did show great determination and recovering skills during Mike Tyson's first round assault. Throughout the fight he was able to sustain Tyson's heavy bombs while using his body size to muscle Tyson around the ring. But will that be enough against Klitschko? I doubt it. Vitali is much taller than Tyson and punches with punishing power from long range. Fighters like Kirk Johnson (KO2) and Corrie Sanders(KO8) weren't able to stand up to him even though their skills exceed Williams. True, you cannot base an opinion about one fighter by comparing him to others. However, experience is the best teacher and these two experienced fighters (Johnson and Sanders) saw their demise quite quickly and brutaly.

The Strategy: Danny Williams

Williams may go into the ring on a high. His andrenaline will be pumping and will still be confident from his upset win over Mike Tyson. When fighting a bigger opponent, confidence is surely needed but skills are needed just as much. He'll know inside that a victory against Klitschko will bring him fame and fortune and perhaps he will rival Lennox Lewis in his England homeland. Williams will have to keep his hands up, use lateral movement and use the jab. Don't "pose" after shooting the jab. Meaning, pump the jab and keep moving. Getting into a slugfest with klitschko could prove disasterous as others have found out. When Vitali gets close, tying him up may be his only alternative. Unlike Tyson, Klitschko is very tall and can throw a wicked body shot if given the leverage.

The Strategy: Vitali Klitschko

Vitali isn't the most mobile fighter and with his size and strength, changing strategy in midstream may not be the best thing. Klitschko goes forward and delivers hard rights over stiff jabs and he shouldn't sway from it. He'll need to cut the ring off and be "Intimidating". Meaning, he needs to show no emotion and allow Williams to see his eyes. Vitali, when in attack mode, is a menace when looking into his eyes. He'll need to deliver that power hook to the body to take Williams' legs away. The jab followed by powerful right over the top of it will make Williams open up the body a bit. When he exposes his body, the hook should dig right in. Two or three rounds of this will slow any fighter down. Williams will clinch so the hook should be there free of charge.

The Outlook:

The last time Mike Tyson was a victim of a major upset was against James "Buster" Douglass in 1991. We all know what happened to Douglass in his first defense of the title, right? Look for the same to happen in this one as well. A confident Williams will be confident that he will receive a big paycheck after the fight. He'll dance and jab to make it look good but deep down inside he'll be asking himself, "Which round would be the best round to go down?" Vitali will come right at him just as he does every other fighter. Williams' power is enough to make Vitali think twice about coming forward. Although this is a fight that shouldn't have been made, it was made anyway so don't go to the fridge or the bathroom. Buy your refreshments, go to the bathroom and make sure you put that $100 that you had in your sock on the fight. You'll be able to buy your girlfriend that dress and matching shoes that she has been begging for!

Klitschko by by 3rd round knockout

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Article posted on 07.10.2004



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