DaVarryl “Touch of Sleep” Williamson Ready to Battle Tony “TNT” Grano

By Laz Izada: Hey, hey, hey boxing fans and especially you heavyweight fanatics. Come see the heavyweight showdown this Saturday night at the Seminole Hard Rock & Casino, in Hollywood, Fl. If you can’t make it to the almost sold out show, catch it on Pursuit Channel on DirecTV channel 608 and Dish Network channel 240.

This heavyweight matchup between DaVarryl “Touch of Sleep” Williamson 27-6 (23 Kos) and Tony “TNT” Grano 19-2-1 (15 Kos) is the main event on Don King’s show Viva Don King II for the vacant NABF-WBC Heavyweight Title.

Grano is ranked No. 1 and Williamson No. 11 by the NABF. The winner of this heavyweight showdown should be ranked in the top 15 worldwide by the WBC in next month’s heavyweight ratings.

In this heavyweight matchup, it will be intriguing to see if “Touch of Sleep “Williamson-at 43-can turn the clock back and revitalize his career to get another heavyweight world title shot, which has eluded for the past seven years.

His last and only title shot was a unanimous decision loss to Chris Byrd-IBF Heavyweight Champion in 2005.

Let us not forget about Williamson’s illustrious and promising amateur career that included a record 120-17 (103 KOs)-an outstanding 88 percent knockout ratio. As an amateur, he was a National Golden Gloves champion twice (1996, 1999), and the only amateur heavyweight to be a three-time United States National Champion (1996, 1997, 1998). In the amateur ranks he defeated Lamont Brewster and Calvin Brock.
Now the big question is: Has his time for another title run returned? He believes so. At the press conference on Wednesday where he looked to be in great shape, he said that “he feels at 43 he still has enough gas left in the tank for another title run”.

Williamson, with his appearance and natural athleticism-he is a former starting college quarterback at Wayne State University- as well as his wealth of veteran heavyweight experience should be back in the heavyweight mix with a win over Grano.

In 2004 he lost a controversial non-title fight against Wladimir klitschko that was stopped in the fifth round. In the previous fourth round he had knocked Klitschko down to the mat. At the time of the stoppage one judge had the fight for Williamson 48-46 and the other two judges had the fight for Klitschko 49-47. Williamson feels that his bout with Klitschko “was the last competitive fight Wladimir has had”.

Most recently, in his last fight in April 2011, Williamson had a seven-round knockout victory over young heavyweight Michael Marrone (19-2). Before that fight in 2009 Williamson lost a WBC Heavyweight Title eliminator to Ray Austin by a fourth round TKO.

I believe 31-year old Grano is somewhere near attaining top status. Grano, similar to Ray Austin, is ready to turn the corner in the heavyweight division. In his amateur career he was the 2005 National Golden Gloves Champion. In his last fight in January of this year, he defeated Brian Minto (35-4) by TKO in the third round. Now with Don King as his promoter with a win over Williamson he should go far in the heavyweight division.

Jacob Ramos, Williamson’s trainer over the last two years tells me that “Touch of Sleep” has had an excellent eight weeks of camp preparing for Grano, and that he has been “learning and experimenting with new techniques to better his game”.

Can “Touch of Sleep” pull out the victory over Grano Saturday night? I believe he has a fair chance. The fight could go either way, but his experience could be the determining factor that wins it for him.

This is the kind of U.S. heavyweight action/matchup that we should be seeing more often. Thanks to Don King for making it happen.

Article posted on 23.06.2012

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