Gammer and Williams meet at the crossroads

gammer03.03.07 - By Neil Goodman: Scott ‘The Hammer’ Gammer defended his British Heavyweight title yesterday evening; against the former British and Commonwealth champion Danny Williams.

This was a real crossroads fight for both boxers. Gammer, going into the bout, was undefeated and showing plenty of promise in his career to date. For Williams another defeat would have meant certain retirements and dreams of what could have been.

Even before the first had rung there was intrigue with Williams weighing in at 16st 4lbs. Eye brows and question marks were raised with Williams coming in so light; when you consider Williams has generally operated at between 18 and 20 stones, this was a massive drop.

Gammer, expecting a Williams to come in heavy, weighed in at a career heaviest 17st 1lb. The bookies had this fight down as too close call, with Gammer fighting in front of partisan crowd being the slight favourite. The unanswered questions, about both fighters, led to many pundits not knowing which way the outcome would swing. Had Williams taken too many hard shots? Was ‘The Hammer’ ready for an opponent who had contested the world title? We were about to find out!

In the first round Williams found the absence of excess baggage to his liking; he pushed forwards from the first bell and look to assert his jab. Both fighters occasionally toss in a big bomb, but each was wary of getting caught early on.

In the second round Gammer started warming to the task. He relaxed a little a bit and as Williams work rate drop off, Gammer took the opportunity to target the body and fire off volleys of two and three punches.

In the third and fourth rounds Gammer continued in the same vein; whilst his senses kept him on high alert to the Williams right hand, he managed to outwork Williams at range. Danny ambled forward, looking for openings, but all the while Gammer rattled of combinations to both the body and the head.

The pattern of the fight continued in the fifth and sixth, but the balance of power was slowly shifting in Williams favour. Whilst Gammer’s accuracy and work rate were catching the eye, it was Williams who was applying the pressure and presenting more of a threat.

The fight went past the mid-way point and some of Gammer’s work really was top notch, but whilst he was hitting; unfortunately for him was not doing enough hurting.

At times, when Gammer was attacking, Williams looked alarmingly open; his head was jolted back on his shoulders and memories of Klitschko and Harrison can not have been too far from Danny’s consciousness.

The pressure of the occasion and the work rate he had managed to exact on Williams both started to take their toll on Gammer in the eighth. Additionally, there must have been concern in the Gammer camp that their best work had failed to stop Williams in his tracks (especially when you also take into consideration Gammers weight advantage). Danny’s confidence level flowed like a roller coaster, through peaks and troughs; maybe he sensed the apprehension entering into Gammers work.

Williams looked like he had caught his second wind, his jab was flying out and he managed to get his head movement back. I think that Danny actually had to keep reminding himself that he was in fact ‘light’ and therefore he could get up on his toes; as opposed to ambling forwards with 2 or 3 extra stones baggage to haul around.

The bell rung to start the ninth round and Gammer must have known he was in for the toughest 4 rounds of his professional career if he wanted to retain the British Title belt. Williams, by far the more experienced fighter, flew out of his corner and pumped his fists. Not all the shots were getting through, but Gammer did not really know how to react, clinch or return fire; instead he got trapped against the ropes.

Williams saw this as his opportunity and as he did against Mike Tyson, in the words of Magnus Magnuson said to himself; ‘I’ve started, so I’ll finish’. Williams planted his feet and started to really turn the shots in, this was probably the hardest Gammer had ever been hit and the learning experience was about to become more painful. Danny crashed home a flush left hook and this time Gammer was staggered and the finishing right hand had already left the launch pad.

The finishing punch landed a little bit high, but for Gammer the game was up. Scott took the referees count looking at his corner and he got to his feet before the count of ten elapsed; the referee was not convinced though that he could go on.

The night had not turned out as the Neath faithful and indeed Gammer had hoped. Williams was meant to have been a barometer and spring board for future success, but life is bitch and the old drawing board will now need to be called into play.

For Williams it was ultimately another successful night’s work, however, there had been moments in the fight whereby had he been fighting someone with a bigger punch he could have found himself in trouble (again). To my mind there is now only one logical fight for Williams and that is the rubber match against Harrison. The outcome of that fight, in the words of the Contender, will mean the ‘winner goes on and the loser goes home!’

Article posted on 04.03.2007

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