News December 2014

Don’t Botha Danny! Williams loses again yet refuses to quit


By Michael J Jones

POOR Danny Williams just doesn’t seem to know when it’s time to call it a day. Some nineteen years from his professional debut and ten since he whipped the shadow of Mike Tyson, the 41 year old Brixton fighter was out again on December 29 in Budapest against a prospect named Zsolt Bogdan.

The former British and Commonwealth champion, who challenged Vitali Klitschko for the WBC belt a decade ago, once told this writer that he believed young fighters wanted to beat him as “the man who beat Mike Tyson” but there seems little any proud man could gain in beating Danny at this stage of his long career.

The former crowd pleaser is just 5-15 in the last five years with seven defeats occurring inside schedule. His only win in 2014 came against a fighter with a 1-31 record with one of his losses in a four-rounder to a boxer making his pro debut.

In Bogdan he faced a mature prospect of 35-years-old who raised his record to 8-0 (5) with a wide unanimous decision over the 6’3” Englishman. Danny looked in decent shape but his reflexes and timing are a thing of the past and he is an easy target for any half decent fighter as Bogdan is.

After his latest reverse, Williams tally now reads 46-25 (35) and it sadly appears he will continue his career into next year beginning with a showdown with Frans Botha on February 5.

The two badly-faded heavyweights meet in Bata, Equatorial Guinea over ten rounds. The South African “White Buffalo” is in no better physical condition than his February opponent. The 46 year old Botha has won just once in his last eight. The fight date in February comes close to the 25 year anniversary that the colourful Botha made his debut.

He is incorrectly often referred to as a former world heavyweight champion though he was stripped of his IBF crown shortly after out-scoring Axel Schulz when found to have been using steroids. He would then lose all three subsequent world title shots to Michael Moorer, Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko respectively.

Now 48-11-3 (29) Botha also had a famous fight with Mike Tyson back in 1999. The faded “Iron” Mike, returning from his “fight bite” boxing ban, struggled with Botha’s movement before levelling his tormentor in the fifth with a single right-hand.

Interestingly, both Williams and Botha were stopped by Polish contender Andrzej Wawrzyk early in 2014 in successive contests. Williams couldn’t see out a single round while Botha didn’t fare much better getting halted in five. Wawrzyk had been blasted out in three by Alexander Povetkin the previous year to highlight what level Williams and Botha have been reduced to.

In a boxing era when names appear to count more than substance, we are subjected to a fight which comes at least eight years over-due. Neither man should be able to compete but I guess if they want to continue its best they face each other rather than an Anthony Joshua-type wrecking ball.

For any British fight fan (myself included) who followed Danny Williams career through his famous bouts with Mark Potter, Michael Sprott and Tyson, we wish once more that one day, before it’s too late, Williams is saved from serious harm.

For the record, Bogdan won the (wait for it) Global Boxing Federation world heavyweight title with his win over Danny. Scores were 100-90 and 99-91 twice. Williams seemed in decent shape at 263¾lbs while his Hungarian foe was 20lbs lighter.

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