Profile Bio

By
TysonTalk

Published: July 17, 2004

Boxing is simple – get in the ring and beat the other guy. It should be easy, but then being human gets in the way.

“I used to get so nervous before a fight, I would hardly be able to eat,” Danny Williams said. “Sometimes, I would burst into tears because of the pressure. Once, I was at some traffic lights and I could not stop the tears. I had to pretend something was in my eye as people walked passed me.

“It is because of my own expectations of myself. Since I was a boy, I have been told I am going to be heavyweight champion of the world. I want it so badly that when I think something is messing it up, I get so upset that I have smashed stuff up at home thinking about it.”

It is Williams’ courage and determination that have led him to the WBU, the British and the British Commonwealth heavyweight titles.

The signature fight of Williams’ 10-year pro career came on Oct. 21, 2000, in Wembley, England.

A convert to the Islamic faith, Williams was in a frenzied brawl against Mark Potter with the vacant British heavyweight and Williams’ own British Commonwealth belts on the line. The London native missed with a right cross and his arm popped out of its socket. While world champions such as Vitali Klitschko have justifiably retired from fights with similar injuries, Williams persisted and continued with the use of just his left arm.

While the referee allowed the bout to continue, many ringsiders begged Williams to quit. Despite the searing pain, Williams began working his jab.

By the sixth round, Williams could not lift his right glove above his waist. Still, he marched on and hoped to pull out a points victory. Potter, egged on by his North London fans, sensed the moment. Like a shark attacking an injured swimmer, the healthy fighter relentlessly pressed the action until a left-hand smash left Potter semi-conscious on the canvas. “I could not believe it when Potter went down after I hit him with that left,” Williams said. “I have watched the fight on tape and you can actually see my eyebrows lift up as he hit the canvas. I was totally shocked. I never thought I would knock him out with my right arm like it was.”
Before Williams captured a heavyweight title with one arm, he enjoyed an impressive amateur career in which he compiled a 29-6 record. The young fighter captured gold medals in Italy and Greece (both in 1991), as well as at the ’94 Liverpool Multinational tournament. He also won bronze medals in Finland (’93) and at the ’93 European Championships.

On Oct. 21, 1995, Williams, then 22 years old, successfully made the transition to the pro level by registering a second-round TKO in his debut over Vance Idiens in Bethnal Green, England.

Williams completed a successful rookie campaign by making short work of Joey Paladino in London less than two months later on Dec. 9, 1995. To the delight of the hometown fans, the local boy shot out of the gate and stopped his opponent in the opening round.

After defeating his initial 14 opponents (12 by knockout), Williams closed out his fourth pro season on Oct. 10, 1998, by winning his first pro title.

Despite the fact that he had never gone past four rounds in any of his previous contests, Williams displayed no signs of fatigue as he captured the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) International heavyweight crown with a 12-round decision over Antoine Palatis (22-4-2 going in) at Bethnal Green.

Less than six months later on April 3, 1999, Williams went the distance for the second consecutive time, but ended up on the wrong end of a 12-round decision against Julius Francis (19-7 going in). The loss cost the hard-hitting Londoner the British Commonwealth heavyweight title and put an end to his 15-bout winning streak.

After rebounding with an opening-round destruction over Ferenc Deak in October 1999, Williams received another shot at the British Commonwealth crown when he faced Harry Senior on Dec. 18, 1999, in Southwark, England. After grueling 12 rounds, Williams emerged victorious and left the ring with his second pro title.

Following five consecutive knockouts in 2000, including the miraculous comeback over Potter, Williams opened 2001 on June 9 by successfully defending his British Commonwealth title for the second time with a 32-second knockout over previously undefeated Kali Meehan (23-0 going in) in Bethnal Green.

The late Tupac Shakur once rapped that “revenge is the sweetest joy.” On July 28, 2001, Williams looked to avenge his only professional defeat when he stepped into the ring for a rematch against Francis.

In front of a packed house in Wembley, England, Williams removed all suspense from the contest when he knocked out Francis in the fourth round and successfully defended his British Commonwealth title for a third time.

After closing out 2001 with a second-round TKO over Shawn Robinson in a non-title affair on Dec.15, Williams returned less than two months later to fight his first of three matches against Michael Sprott (16-4 going in) on Feb. 12, 2002. The two warriors tangled for six rounds before Williams launched a sustained assault at the start of the seventh round that produced a stoppage just 26 seconds into the session.

Williams, who defended his British Commonwealth crown for the fourth time, blamed his lackluster start on a lack of sparring partners.

“I was very disappointed,” Williams said. “Sprott exposed my rust.”

Next on the agenda for Williams was a Sept. 17, 2002, bout against Keith Long (7-1-1 going in) from Bethnal Green. Following 12 rounds, the British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion won a points decision by the score 117-113. Williams flew out of his corner in the first round and landed a barrage of blows. The second round started in similar fashion as Long desperately defended himself from another series of heavy firepower. Content to survive the bout, the underdog was fortunate to remain upright when rocked by a heavy right hand in the 11th round.

Less than five months later on Feb. 8, 2003, Williams challenged defending European heavyweight champion Sinan Samilsam (16-0 going in) in Berlin, Germany.

After watching Williams hit the canvas four times, his corner threw in the towel in the sixth round when he was been pinned on the ropes by a series of heavy punches. The referee officially halted matters at 2:46. Williams blamed the defeat on a bout of shingles that had kept him bedridden in the build up to the showdown.

Samilsam had put the Londoner down twice in the fourth and at the end of the fifth when Williams received a standing count to end the round. Williams looked fresh in the sixth until Samilsam unleashed a flurry of heavy punches that dropped the British Commonwealth champ for a fourth time.

“I have watched Samilsam three times and did not think he was that good,” Williams said. “But, I take my hat off to him. He is very strong, and his punches have tremendous power.

“I just could not get my shots off. I really should have beaten him, but I am just going to regroup and come back. Samilsam seemed to raise his game to fight me. He fought very well.”

More than two months later on April 26, 2003, Williams rebounded to score a fourth-round TKO over Bob Mirovic and retain his British Commonwealth title for a sixth time.

Mirovic started fast and staggered Williams in the third round, but soon tired. The Australian heavyweight champion went down in the fourth after a low blow, but managed to get up despite the pain. Soon after, Williams rocked his opponent with a series of punches and prompted the referee to stop the carnage at 2:33.

Five months after defeating Mirovic, Williams fought a rematch against Sprott on Sept. 26, 2003. The fight made headlines because Williams appeared to land a number of low blows on his way to a fifth-round stoppage.

The challenger outworked Williams en route to winning the initial four rounds, while the British Commonwealth champion received a number of warning for low blows. In the fifth round, when Sprott dropped his hands to complain about additional low blows, Williams scored a knockdown with a left hook to the chin. The referee then stopped the bout without a count at 0:19 of the round.

Following the controversial ending, the British Boxing Board ordered an immediate rematch. Sprott labeled Williams desperate and dirty.

“I was fired up by Sprott’s comments calling me a “desperate and dirty Dan,” Williams said. “The fact of the matter is he had his shorts high up by his stomach, and therefore the waistband was high. The punches I landed were just on his waistband. His privates were not up there.”

Nearly four months later on Jan. 24, 2004, in Wembley, England, the two fighters squared off for a third time. Prior to the fight, Williams made it clear that he was not a fan of Sprott’s.

“This is the last time I want to see Sprott in a ring with me,” Williams said. “When I beat him this time, I should be entitled to take him home and put him in my trophy cabinet.”

However, the fight did not go as planned when Williams dropped a close 12-round decision and surrendered his British Commonwealth title.

The referee warned Williams early in the contest after he began to turn his back on Sprott. The newly crowned champion bloodied Williams’ nose in the fifth and knocked him back at the end of round seven before tiring at the end of the bout. By the 11th round, Sprott’s left eye swelled shut from the relentless pounding administered by his opponent. At the conclusion of 12 rounds, the referee scored the seesaw battle 115-114 for Sprott. The decision was met with a mixed reaction from the raucous crowd.

“The decision was disgraceful,” Williams said. “However, at the end of the day, I believe justice was done. Sprott deserved the win. I went in there, did not take it seriously and did not fight like a champion. Even though I feel I won the fight, he was the one who deserved to win the belt.”

Two months later on April 1, 2004, Williams made Ratko Draskovic (27-5-2 going in) look like a fool by registering a first-round TKO (his seventh in 33 bouts).

“I set out to do exactly what I did – knock him out in one round,” Williams said after the fight. In his most recent outing, Williams locked gloves with Augustine N’Gou (21-1 going in) for the vacant World Boxing Union (WBU) International heavyweight title on May 13, 2004. Claiming he had a torn bicep, N’Gou quit at the end of round three. However, Williams was not convinced.

After bloodying Williams’ nose in the second round, N’Gou became visibly tired. Williams stalked his opponent and caught him with a jab and a handful of left hooks.

“The third round is the only one I had,” Williams said. “I half-won that round and N’Gou bottled it. He won the first couple of rounds. As soon as I got on top, he bottled it. He has no heart. He is a bottle job.”

Williams, who jabs beautifully, says he will kill the myth of the horizontal British heavyweight when he steps into the ring against former undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson on July 30.

“I am sharper than ever, and in the best shape of my life,” Williams said. “I feel the time has come to really make a move. I am happy with the role as an underdog. I am fighting the greatest heavyweight in the world. This is the time to raise my game. This is definitely the toughest fight of my career. Mike Tyson is a tremendous fighter. To get to the top, I have to fight fighters like him. I have been training hard. I am going to get this victory.”

Currently managed and promoted by Frank Warren, Williams spend his time away from the ring with his two young daughters (Nubiah and Maliajh). He hopes to duplicate the success of his idol, Muhammad Ali, by winning the heavyweight title.


Thigh:28.0

Biceps:17.25

Height:73.0

Chest Expanded:45.0

Wrist:7.5

Forearm:11.5

Fist:12.5

Neck:17.0

Calf:17.0

Source: sho.com