Boxing

Danny Williams - Oleg Platov: No Decision, But No Question

danny williamsBy Jim Furo: You had to like the way the fight started out. If the 24 year old Ukrainian Oleg Platov, who brought a 26-1 record into the ring, was intimidated by England's former title challenger, Danny Williams (37-6), you would not know by the way he came in slugging against his 270lb opponent.

Working both the head and body with huge power shots, Platov seemed more than ready to take his career up a notch by carrying the fight to Williams. Williams, sometimes holding, sometimes blocking, other times absorbing, turned things around at the halfway point of the first round with a well timed uppercut that reminded Platov that he was not in the ring this time with Miyan Solomons or Stephane Tessier, but a capable fighter who was not to be underestimated and not to be rolled over.

Foreshadowing the rest of the fight, American referee, Earl Brown, called a time out towards the end of the first round, one that had me believing that this was going to be a good match up between a young up and coming fighter and an experienced ring vet that was more than a warm body.

A minute or so into the second round, things changed. The change was brought on by what I feel was an accidental clash of heads, brought on during a moment of infighting where Platov punched Williams in close, causing the Brixton Bomber's head to slam into Platov's face right above the left eye.

Being above the eye, perhaps the worst place for a boxer to be cut as blood rolling down from the forehead can impede vision and create blind moments, the cut was bad news for Platov. Looking as though he would fight through it, shortly after continuing his attack, Platov walked away from Williams and took rather a fetal position with a knee on the canvas and overtly covered up.

Brown, asking him if he wanted to continue, received a "Yes, I want" from Platov who came back strongly, yet wildly and in a way that would suggest a fighter intent on punching himself out. Williams was able to contrast this with the shorter, more flush shots that captured Platov's momentum coming in and, in the end, did the most damage.

It was at this phase of the game that Williams excelled the most at up until this point, not being able to mount much of an offensive on his own without countering the attacks made by Platov.

The third round had barely started before a timeout was called (the fourth in just over two rounds!) due to a mouthpiece on the canvas from the increasingly tired Oleg Platov.

Sensing the tiredness and inexperience of Platov, Williams was more aggressive in the third round. Winning that round behind a measured jab and what can only be described as a huge inexperience shown by younger fighter when it comes to fighting defensively or in any situation where he is not on the attack or in control.

Going into the fourth, it was tough to figure out what would happen next. Would Platov be knocked out? Would the fight go to the fifth? Would it be stopped?

Though it looked like Platov would be taken out at the beginning of the round, one question that can be answered of Platov, the question of does he have a chin or not, was soundly answered "yes" as he demonstrated throughout the fight.

He also showed that he had a non-existent jab, and a large amount of inexperience. There were more than a few moments where you would swear he had never stepped into a ring before. These, again, occurred when he was being stalked by Williams. On the offense, he is much more solid.

Brown called over the ring doctor for the third time of the fight and this time the ring doc called things off. To Platov's credit, he seemed to want to fight on.

The cut seemed about the same as it had been since the second round. Had the fight gone on to the next round it seemed unlikely that Platov, exhausted and hurt, would have been able to do much of anything different and a knockout due to fatigue seemed inevitable.

Safe to say, the stoppage saved Platov from his second loss. And if Williams is no more than a gate keeper now, he successfully turned away Oleg Platov who is not ready to jump up into contender status yet.

Oleg has a solid chin, a powerful (but wild) punch and heart.
What he lacks is ring fundamentals, a sense of pacing and the experience of being able to fight when hurt and/or tired.

At 24, he may get better and hopefully he will. As a big, exciting, puncher with heart and chin will make for many interesting fights in the future. Talk of a rematch abounds, but Platov has a distance to go before finding his way as a fighter in order to make any rematch any different.

Article posted on 10.12.2007



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