Danny Williams Scrapes Points Win Over John McDermott

danny williamsby James Slater - Last night, in Dagenham, U.K, British heavyweight champion Danny Williams had a very rough encounter with "Big Bad" John McDermott. Winning a very debatable majority decision after 12 hard rounds, Williams improved to 40-6(31) and retained his belt. In losing via scores of 114-111, 114-113 and 113-113, McDermott fell to 25-4(16).

Make no mistake, Williams was uncomfortably close to losing this fight. Not only was the 35-year-old badly hurt by a huge right uppercut and on the verge of being stopped in the 5th round - indeed, referee Dave Parris would not have been out of order had he dived in and rescued Danny - but Williams also looked like a possible points loser. In no way confident he'd done enough to have earned a points win, Danny was mightily relieved when the scores were read out..

Not only did Williams put on one of his worst showings - with McDermott putting on his best-ever performance - he also had three points taken away in the last two rounds. Low blows, a shove with the forearm and a deliberate spitting out of his gum-shield were the offences, and to many watching these deductions left only one points winner - the challenger. But no, Williams was given the nod by the three judges.

This was in no way near a good enough showing by a man who still feels he can be heavyweight champion of the world, though. Hit plenty, marked up and beaten to the punch by an opponent who had previously been stopped inside one round by Matt Skelton (admittedly, John had serious distractions of a personal nature going into that fight), Danny almost looked a shot fighter at times. He later claimed lack of motivation for mere British title fights was the reason for his poor showing, but the fact remains Danny was within a shot or two of being stopped in the 5th round when McDermott teed off on his head and jaw. The fight itself was a good one, but the champion's overall performance was not so great - despite Danny's ever present grit and ability to dig deep.

If it had been Sam Peter or Wladimir Klitschko in the ring with him last night, it would likely have been lights out for "The Brixton Bomber" somewhere before the halfway stage. As for the 28-year-old McDermott, he boxed well showed better fitness than before and with his fast hands and good work-rate proved he is a formidable fighter. Williams, if he does get himself a second world title shot, may vacate his British belt. Should he do so, John McDermott would be an ideal candidate to pick it up.

Article posted on 18.07.2008

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