Darryll Williams believes a victory on Saturday will bring him a step closer to challenging for his first title – just 12 months after he was told that he would never box again.
The unbeaten super middleweight defied the odds and will return to the ring this weekend on Micky Helliet’s show ‘Final Frontier’ at Camden Centre, Kings Cross.
Williams, whose style is likened to that of Mike Tyson, was spotted by the former world champion’s trainer Kevin Rooney in 2010 and was invited to spar at the legendary Cus D’Amato’s Boxing Gym in New York, where Iron Mike fought out of.
However an undetected injury suffered just weeks after making his professional debut has since put paid to any progress that he would have made, and left him on crutches and sidelined for almost 12 months.
He said: ‘It was without question one of the worst years of my life.
‘It was hard to know what to do at the time. I’d won my first four fights quite comfortably, I was already boxing on national television (BoxNation), and I’d been invited to go over to the States to train with somebody like Kevin Rooney.
‘I knew there was something wrong but I fought through it for another three fights until I no longer could.
‘In hindsight it might not have been the best thing to do, but a lot of guys never receive the opportunities I was being given. I knew it would make it difficult for me to keep them alive if I would have taken time out from boxing after only just making my debut.
‘I never expected it to be as serious as it was. I was told they would have to take bone from my hip and fuse it into my hand to help repair the ligament damage, and that I should prepare myself for the news that I may never fight again.’
Williams, who boxes out of Miguel’s Gym in Brixton, has remarkably since returned from his injury nightmare to beat Joe Walsh and James Child respectively this year.
However the 24-year-old is set to defend his unbeaten 6-0 record against arguably his toughest opponent yet in Danny Brown. But he insists that he is ready to step back up and is determined to rediscover the form which drew the attention of Mike Tyson’s old gym.
Williams’ team believe that he isn’t far from earning a title shot, and expect that victory on Saturday will put him back into contention.
He added: ‘Danny has a lot of experience. He’s fought some brilliant boxers and has shown that he can be quite formidable as a southpaw, too.
‘He’s lost 15 of his fights, but he’s only been knocked-out three times. He’s not someone you can get down easily, so it’s a perfect test for me.
‘I respect him as a fighter, but he’s never faced anyone like me before. I’m aggressive, I get in close, I take them to places they don’t want to go and I never get hit.
‘I’m horrible to fight against. I’ve got fantastic stamina, and I fight from the first minute to the last.
‘I terrify guys, it’s how I’ve made my name. Everyone I’ve faced came with a game-plan to fight. But as soon as they took a swing at me or dropped their guard for a second, I pounced and battered them. There’s nobody better at it than me.
‘I know I’m good enough, BoxNation thought I was good enough, and one of the best trainers in the sport thought I was good enough.
‘I feel grateful to be in this position again. I was written-off when I was younger as a ‘problem or troubled kid’, and then later the doctors wrote-off any chance I had of ever stepping back into the ring.
‘The key is to always take one more step and throw one more punch every time you feel like giving in. That’s what I did.
‘But that’s behind me now. And I’m going to win on Saturday for everyone who’s given me these opportunities, to all those people online who’ve never met me yet continue send me support on a daily basis, and for everyone who’s stood by me and have never stopped believing in me.’
A thank-you from me: http://vimeo.com/100571754
For tickets or more information, tweet @DarryllWilliams.