Published: July 26, 2004
Mike Tyson arrived in Louisville last night predicting a quick knockout defeat for Londoner Danny Williams.
Tyson arrived in the home city of Muhammad Ali by private jet and said he was “ecstatic” to be on the brink of another comeback fight.
The former world champion did not elaborate on his “knockout” prediction before being whisked off to put the finishing touches to his big fight preparations.
Williams has been in Louisville since Sunday night and his former opponent Julius Francis has warned him there is no room for complacency.
Francis has been in with both men and believes his fellow Londoner has a chance of beating the fading former world champion.
But he said Williams had to first rid himself of the laid-back attitude which has hampered his career so far.
Referring to Williams’ three-knockdown defeat to Sinan Samil Sam for the European title last year, Francis said: “There is no doubt Danny was complacent against Sam because so many people saw him as just a big, fat champion.
“Danny was also complacent against me because I was older than him and he thought I had not really done anything with my career.”
Francis beat Williams on points for the British title in 1999 before subsequently losing a rematch.
But Francis added: “He is not going to be complacent against Tyson. He will have a game plan and if he can take the centre of the ring it could be interesting.”
Francis suffered contrasting fortunes against Tyson when they met in a high-profile comeback bout in Manchester in 2000.
The British veteran was decked five times in four minutes but still came out of the contest with his dignity intact.
Despite his own torrid night feeling the full force of Tyson’s fists, Francis insisted Williams had a great chance of pulling off a once-in-a-lifetime win.
He said: “I believe Danny can go out there and cause an upset because he has absolutely nothing to lose.
“As much as I like and admire Tyson I think he is five or six years past his best.
“The years are catching up on Tyson and wear and tear is inevitable. And I believe Danny can rise to the occasion.”