Boxing


'Danny & Goliath' - The True Story Behind Klitschko/Williams

10.15.04 - By Lee Hayes: On December 11th, 2004, Vitali Klitschko will be putting his WBC and Ring Magazine heavyweight belts on the line against recent Mike Tyson Conqueror, Danny Williams. By almost all expert accounts, Vitali will be a big favorite to walk through Williams, most likely in the early rounds. This could be a case of David vs. Goliath, because although Danny is not a small man, he is facing a giant of a man that knows how to use his size properly. It is also noteworthy that Williams over all body strength and power are not in the same league as Klitschko. It is obvious when looking at the two men side-by-side that the size difference is substantial, as it was recently reported to me that the reaction has been jaw dropping, once people actually see what 6'1 looks like against 6'7-6'8.

Still, I have long awaited to see an opponent rush Vitali right after the first bell, and try to put pressure on him. I want to see someone try and land some serious early shots on the big Ukrainian, in an attempt to truly test his chin. Only Lennox Lewis has landed enough leather to get a serious test of the big mans beard, and if that fight is any indication, I think there may be a small chance to make something happen if the right fighter lands enough leather on his jaw. The big question that will be answered in New York on December 11th will be, “is Williams that man?”. Personally, I don’t believe so. In fact, I’m not sure that man is currently on the heavyweight horizon, and so, I truly believe that Klitschko/Williams will play out exactly as the script is laid out. Williams will most likely come across the ring, but will be nailed with harder shots, as Klitschko holds a definite edge in punching power, both with his left and right hands. And Vitali also has the ability to avoid most of the dangerous punches that will come near his target zones.

If there are any real pluses for Williams going into this fight, they would be whatever courage and self confidence his victory over Tyson has given him (as well as the big fight experience it offered), and that his reach is incredibly only 1 inch shorter than Vitali’s. That could make some difference in this fight. Another possibility, is that Klitschko’s notoriously easy-to-cut flesh around his facial areas, could make all of the chin/power debate moot. If the fight goes past six rounds, I believe that Vitali is at risk of losing on cuts. I believe that this problem will probably plague his career, but his under rated defense, should allow him to be successful in most of his fights. Still, even that will not be enough. Williams can punch a little, but not nearly as well as Lewis, or Corrie Sanders, or for what it’s worth, as hard as Kirk Johnson or even a Herbie Hide. In fact, I believe that Vitali holds such a big advantage in the punching department that the questions we should be asking, surrounding this fight, shouldn’t really be about Williams punch, or Vitali’s chin. Williams can punch a little, but Vitali can take a very good heavyweight shot. That shouldn’t be the main issue. The deciding factor is that Vitali can punch a lot, and Williams, by his own record and actions in the ring, does not take a heavyweight punch with the best of them.

It was a great boost for Williams to win his bout against Tyson. He seems like a nice chap and he is dedicated to his sport. It was the biggest win of his life, against one of the most famous heavyweights of any generation. He fought bravely and won. Still, anybody that denies the severity of the injury to Mike Tyson’s thigh, is simply being disingenuous or way too partisan to give an honest opinion. I have personally seen the fight more than once, and have seen close up views of when the injury occurred. I also paid very close attention to all of Tyson’s actions after the injury, and it was quite obvious that he could not put his full weight on that leg, and he lost agility, balance and leverage after it. It was a testament to Tyson’s bravery and courage that he fought on. I suffered a tear in my quadriceps when I power lifted/body built approximately 10 years ago, and it was one of the worst injuries of my life. I was unable to participate in any athletics for nearly eight months. It took extensive rehabilitation, and even though I was a “work out freak,” or “a gym rat” -if you will- at the time, I cannot even imagine continuing a heavyweight contest, with a puncher, with that type of injury. The pain must have been horrendous (as even the surgeon that worked on Tyson attested to).

The fact is, even a washed-up Mike Tyson, would have/should have/could have knocked Danny Williams out -as even though Williams is a serviceable fighter, in his own right- he is no more talented or destined for greatness than a Bed Sullivan, Larry Donald or a Corrie Sanders. These are the gate keepers of the division. They are the guys the real challengers fight to test themselves against. And they all inevitably end up in the bottom portion of the top forty heavyweight’s, with double digit losses on their records. Do not mistake my brutal honesty for disrespect. I’ve liked watching the careers of Sullivan, Donald and Sanders very much and appreciate what they can bring to a fight. Equally, I appreciate Williams for what he has to offer, but he is not championship caliber material, and he never will be. What he can be, is a test for Vitali and others, and an exciting boxer to watch in a division that doesn’t have all that many exciting fighters. What’s wrong with that? Nothing, I say.

I could go on and on about the losses that Williams suffered against the likes of Julius Francis (L -Unanimous Decision), or even worse yet, Sinan Samil Sam (L -TKO - Williams down 3 times), but I am not interested in doing that, because 1. It’s been over done on several other articles. And 2. Because I am willing to give Williams the benefit of the doubt that he has changed things around, since he avenged his loss to Francis (W - TKO 4) and since he has taken Tyson’s leather, which even at this stage, is much more formidable than anything Sinan will ever muster.

I undoubtably will hear some harshly directed comments from Williams fans, and I am okay with that. There is nothing wrong with supporting your favorite fighter passionately. So to them, I’d like to offer the following idea, in hopes that they will understand where I am coming from:

In a sense Williams reminds me ever so slightly of another British heavyweight . . . Henry Cooper. His numerous battles for Common Wealth/Lonsdale and European title’s. The losses and the recapturing of the titles, and the penchant for always ending up the bridesmaid, and never the bride. Still, Cooper was a terrific little fighter that I enjoyed watching greatly, whether it was against Clay/Ali, Bugner, Patterson or London or Folley. Sir Henry was always a pleasure to fight, and thus why Brits cheered him on whether in victory or loss, because they always knew their ‘Enry gave it his all. I get the sense that win lose or draw, we can expect the same from Williams throughout his career. There is no shame in that. I’m sure we’d all be open to another Cooper in town. I know I would.

Still, the fact is, he is going to lose this fight against Klitschko, because there are simply too many intangibles working against him.

This authors personal pick is Klitschko by KO or TKO somewhere between Rounds 2 & 4.

I welcome any comments or suggestions, either on this thread or via email, at leezraven@yahoo.com - This author would also like to take a moment to thank the fans and admin. of East Side Boxing for their continued support.

Article posted on 15.10.2004



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