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by Alan Taylor
After the fiasco of the Tyson-Golota circus, which, I'm glad to say I haven't
paid for and haven't seen, some semblance of truth, or whatever it is that can
make boxing so much better than other sports, returned to the game on Saturday
night. The occasion was the British heavyweight title contest between
Danny Williams, the Commonwealth champion, and Mark Potter, who took the fight
at short notice.
To be frank the fight was a brawl. It was by no means a classic in the
strictest sense, neither fighter is a stylist, but sometimes events transcend
the limitations of the competitors. Sometimes a fighter, everything
seemingly against him, can find something intangible which can make mockery of
the odds. That may seem like New Age mumbo jumbo, whatever, but this
writer has, for some time, been disheartened and disillusioned by events in the
'sport' of boxing and tonight Danny Williams has single-handedly
(literally) restored some of my faith in the sport of kings.
In brief, Potter was in control. Going into the fifth round he was at
least five points up on the score cards. Williams had been down and had
had three points deducted for (accidental) low blows. In the third round
he followed a jab with a long right which missed Potter's head but which could
have ended the fight. As Williams pulled back it was obvious that he had
dislocated his shoulder. The pain must have been immense but the round was
nearly over and Williams survived. Back on his stool it appeared that the
shoulder had popped back in and there were no visible problems in the fourth.
But Potter, a steam forward pressure fighter, was relentless and just wouldn't
let Williams settle into his natural fight.
Early in the fifth Williams' shoulder popped again. His right arm hung
useless at his side but Williams, who could have understandably quit on his
stool, refused to walk away. Amazingly, his corner waved him forward and
showed no sign that they were aware of his problem despite the bone which
was visibly distorting their fighter's shoulder muscle. Williams was
practically defenseless. He tried to hold Potter off with the jab while
also trying to cover both sides of his head with his left glove. It looked
just like a matter of time. I was caught between applauding Williams'
bravery and hoping he would see sense and quit before he was seriously hurt. But
this brave man, who was earning peanuts compared to the chumps in Friday's
'fight', had other ideas.
Suddenly Potter was down. Williams turned a defensive jab into a perfect
uppercut and Potter collapsed in a heap. He beat the count but was met by
a one armed attack which felled him again. Again he rose but Williams
would not be denied and, as Potter was smashed to the ground again and, referee,
John Coyles waved the fight off Williams too fell to the ground in agony.
was almost in tears at the finish so how he felt only Danny Williams knows. He
left the ring as soon as his shoulder was strapped to go straight to hospital.
Williams may never progress much above domestic level but in my eyes he will
always be head and how ever many shoulders he's got above the likes of Mike
Tyson and Andrew Golota whose WWF antics don't belong in the same sport as the
heart and sheer guts of men like Danny Williams.