Published: July 28, 2004

Danny Williams’ reward for shocking Mike Tyson in Louisville on Friday night will be a prize he can live off for the rest of his life.

Williams will be transformed from a decent domestic heavyweight into a worldwide star if he becomes the fourth man to beat the former undisputed champion.

And he will join an exclusive band of British fighters whose fortunes changed after pulling off sensational victories a long way from home.

Fellow Londoner John H Stracey’s name will be forever linked with his famous world title win over future Hall of Famer Jose Napoles in Mexico City in 1975.

Likewise Lloyd Honeyghan exploded out of mediocrity to snatch the world title from the seemingly invincible American Donald Curry in Atlantic City in 1986.

Stracey now runs a successful after-dinning speaking business and believes Williams would always be in high demand if he comes home with a Tyson victory under his belt.

Stracey told the Press Association: “Danny would always be known as the man who beat Mike Tyson.

“He would be well recognised and would get as many after-dinner and other engagements as he wanted.

“He’s been given a chance he’s never going to get again and he’s got to go in there with no fear. If he can drag Tyson into the later rounds he could get a win which will change his life.”

Stracey accomplished exactly that after being handed his daunting chance against Cuban-born champion Napoles.

Napoles had held his title for three years and was expected to have far too much for European champion Stracey, particularly as the fight was taking place at altitude.

Napoles seemed to proved the pundits right when he decked Stracey in the first round – but the Londoner hit back and went on cut up the champion so severely that the contest was called off in the sixth round.

Stracey added: “I knew it was my one and only chance and absolutely nothing was going to deter me.

“I was still not deterred when Napoles put me down in the first and I knew I just had to keep focusing.

“That is what Danny has got to do. He has got to be prepared to go through the really hard stuff. If he knows deep down that he’s prepared properly and he’s very fit, then he’s got a chance.”

Napoles never fought again and Stracey – now 53 – believes the same fate will befall Tyson if he loses to Williams at the Freedom Hall.

Stracey said: “You can never tell with Tyson but surely there is still pride at stake for him.

“Even if he wins unimpressively that might not be enough to convince him that he still has a future. If he loses then it will be over.

“But the last thing a heavywejight loses is his punching power so although I think Williams has a chance, I would still have to pick Tyson to win the fight inside three or four rounds.”

By Mark Staniforth, PA Sport

Source: sportinglife.com