Williams-Potter: Courage

danny williams22.08.07 - By Ted Sares: Heavens knows Danny Williams has had his ups and downs. Losing to ordinary Sinan Samil Sam was certainly not a highlight nor was being stopped by Audley Harrison in 2006. Certainly one of his “ups” was taking out heavily favored Mike Tyson in shocking and decisive manner when they met in Louisville, Kentucky in 2004 setting up a fight with Vitali Klitschko in which he himself was brutally stopped.

Of course, beating Tyson has to be the pinnacle of his career, but I think there may have been a fight back in 2000 when he fought Mark Potter, 14-2 coming in, for the vacant BBBofC British heavyweight title and the Commonwealth (British Empire) heavyweight title that was even more remarkable.

Both fighters appeared fit and ready, but Williams badly injured his right shoulder in one of the early rounds and Potter took advantage by pressing the action with Danny trying to hold him off as best he could. Then in the sixth round, Williams missed with a right that had “ending” written all over it. In so doing, he grotesquely dislocated his already injured shoulder and was in terrible pain. His right arm sagged and he grimaced, but he hung on and managed to keep Potter at bay with his left jabs.

Potter inexplicably let Danny off the hook by not launching an all-out attack. Then midway in the round, the Brixton Bomber caught Potter with an astonishing left hook (some called it an uppercut) that sent him down and almost out. Danny jumped on the badly hurt Potter and decked him two more times before Referee John Coyle called a halt to this remarkable fight. The crowd was up and roaring in disbelief.

Attesting to the seriousness of the injury, Williams underwent surgery and was out for eight months. He came back and fought unbeaten New Zealander Kali Meehan at Bethnal Green. It took him just 32 seconds to dispatch the same fighter who almost beat Lamon Brewster over twelve rounds.

In March 2007, the affable Williams once again achieved an “up” when he KO’d Scott Gammer, 17-0-1 coming in, in Wales for the BBBofC British heavyweight title in a crossroads fight for both fighters. In an interview after the fight, Danny, 37-6, talked about retirement while he had the opportunity to bow out on a high.

Danny Williams has had his lows and his highs, but the way he fought through pain in the sixth round at the Conference Centre in Wembley on October 21, 2000 defined courage. Anyone who thinks there is no such thing as a puncher’s chance needs to see a video of this fight. Anyone who wants to know about not giving up when the odds are stacked against you needs to watch this fight. Others have demonstrated courage in the ring, but this was Danny’s turn to do it.

Article posted on 22.08.2007

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