David Haye Steps Up Against 'King' Arthur Williams

04.05.05 - By Elliot Worsell: Go getting Cruiserweight talent David Haye and manager Adam Booth have signalled their intent this afternoon, by confirming that accomplished former IBF cruiserweight champion Arthur Williams 38-10-1 (27 KO’s) will provide the 23 year old Londoner's next professional assignment in Reading on May 12. Announced at a 'Fight Academy' press conference today in Reading, Williams was plucked from a shortlist of well established cruiserweight names ranging from former IBF title contenders Derrick Harmon and Jason Robinson to battle hardened US veteran Ernest Mateen.

All names considered to share a ring with the much hyped prospect, and all names that would represent an unquestionable step up in class. Williams, coming off a ten round points loss to Russian prospect Vadim Tokarev, was given the call, and having traded blows with the likes of Orlin Norris, IBF heavyweight champion Chris Byrd, Vassiliy Jirov, O’Neill Bell and recently crowned IBF cruiserweight belt holder Kelvin Davis in former years, Haye’s lofty amateur reputation won’t faze him in the slightest.

Upbeat and naturally brimming with confidence, Haye described the rumble with Williams as his ‘challenge’, the chance to begin beating the best, and get noticed on the global stage.

‘Last time out against Hastings Rasani, I had never been more under-motivated for a fight.’ The Bermondsey born puncher explained. ‘I just couldn’t be bothered with it all. I couldn’t get up for that fight, and as a result, went in there and just blasted him out – not caring. Against a guy like Williams though, who has world-class credentials, I will have to be at my very best. If I rush in and fight like I did against Rasani, I know he’ll soak it all up and stop me late. But when I have a real challenge, that’s when I know the best will come. I think it’s far more dangerous to under-match me than overmatch me, because there is always the risk of taking a fighter lightly. I definitely won’t be doing that on May 12.’ Haye warned.

The self proclaimed ‘King’ Arthur may not be the same polished jewel as he was back in 94/95 when taking respected names Orlin Norris and Chris Byrd to the wire, but nonetheless, for a nine fight novice to tackle the noted warhorse over eight rounds, shows not only intent, but a great deal of ambition on the 23 year olds part.

‘Fight Academy’ mogul Robert Waterman, clearly delighted at having signed such a touted practitioner, was quick to reveal how such a giant leap in competition occurred for Haye. ‘Usually it’s down to the promoter to pick and choose who his fighters fight, but in this case I had both David and Adam Booth demanding a fighter of the calibre of Arthur Williams. They went about getting a quality opponent in, and were intent on making a real step up in class following the Rasani fight.’

The fight with Pensacola born Williams is a welcome step up for all parties, and pending the result in Reading, is merely the first notch on the ladder towards world title triumph for Haye. ‘I don’t want to just be a world champion, I want to be the world champion.' Haye insisted. 'I want to do things the traditional way, win all the major titles out there, and then defend them against the best fighters out there. After a year of feeling out the professional game, and getting used to it, on May 12 the serious stuff begins, and I’ll be in the ring with a guy who has mixed it with the best fighters in the world.’

Article posted on 04.05.2004

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