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Interview: "Touch of Sleep" Speaks Out
Interview by Ed Ludwig (June 4, 2004) 
DaVarryl "Touch Of Sleep" Williamson
Current NABF Heavyweight champion DaVarryl "Touch Of Sleep" Williamson (20-2 17 KO’s) is about ready to fall asleep as his ESPN2 Tuesday Night Fights main event draws closer. As of press time he has no opponent due to the sudden and unexpected retirement of Ray Mercer last week. Over the last few days names of potential opponents have been tossed around yet no suitable opponent can be found. There have been offers to some high profile names but due to the short notice nothing has been signed and accepted so TOS sits idly by waiting and hoping.

Ed Ludwig: Can you give me an update as for how things stand for next Tuesday?

TOS: I don’t know Ed! I wish I could tell you something but I don’t know what’s going on right now. I was contacted on short notice to fill in the opening bout on Showtime this Saturday after the fallout with Kassim Ouma. I came close to finalizing a deal but Warriors Boxing said no. They said I only fight for Warriors Boxing and no one else. The Showtime fight would have been scheduled for ten rounds and my title would not be on the line. To replace Mercer all I was offered was to fight Eliecer Castillo again; or Ramon Garbey, both from Warriors Boxing and I said no. They want to get the belt back in their stable. I want Ray Mercer on Tuesday or there will be no fight.

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EL: Time is running out so are you to the point yet where you just want to say the hell with it?

TOS: To be honest I think we are past that point.

EL: Are you bitter towards Ray Mercer for pulling this so close to fight night?

TOS: Absolutely not. He is man who has legitimate reasons for retiring. Often we only hear one side of the story and not the whole truth. It’s upsetting for me as I was training hard for the fight but I have no ill will towards him whatsoever. I’m upset that I can’t fight this Saturday on Showtime.

EL: You still have a two fight contract with Warriors?

TOS: I am under contract for two more NABF title defenses but I have no promotional deal. The only way to get the Castillo bout was to give Warriors a two fight option. The contract stipulated two title fights under their banner but the language of the contract was not written in a way that should have prevented me from making my livelihood in a ten round non-title fight on Showtime. It’s a shame that I had to pass on a golden opportunity, but this is unfortunately how it turned out. Warriors Boxing wants to show that they can do business with me. I don’t care what they offer me as I don’t want to do business with them ever again. I am an honorable guy so I will honor the two fights in my contract and then that’s it.

EL: If worse comes to worse would you consider relinquishing your title and just move on?

TOS: I don’t know yet but I have to see what my best options are. Maybe relinquishing the title might be the best move. If I gave it up and still got to fight on Saturday I would have. I’m not so sure if giving it up would have given me the opportunity for Tuesday night. It’s just so crazy Ed and I wish I had nothing to do with this promotion. I dealt with the crap when Castillo got hurt in January and yet he fought the same night against another opponent when we were supposed to meet. I fought Kendrick Releford who had never been stopped until I did it. He fought Terry Smith to a draw and beat Ron Guerrero. Releford should have won against Smith but with the Calvin Brock fight on NBC nothing was going to jeopardize that.

EL: Speaking of Calvin Brock, you fought him four times as an amateur?

TOS: I did and I won them all.

EL: Who is the number one contender for your NABF title?

TOS: Jeremy Williams.

EL: Is a fight against him an option?

TOS: Not if they are offering the money I am getting now. I will not fight Jeremy Williams for seventeen thousand dollars.

EL: What are your thoughts on boxers pursuing a career in K-1?

TOS: I would never go into K-1 and I doubt if I would be good enough to compete with them. You can really get hurt with all the kicks and punches. I don’t really know much about K-1 but if guys feel that something other than boxing can enrich their lives then they have that right.

EL: I wanted to ask you about J.F. Bergeron as he was in the running for the fight with you next week?

TOS: Last week he was on a Montreal radio station talking smack about me and he should be careful with what he says. We made him an offer but he got cold feet. I would love to fight him down the road but timing is everything.

EL: In closing can you safely say that your fight on ESPN2 is off?

TOS: I just don’t know right now. My lawyer called me today when I was at my son’s baseball game and he said that Ray Mercer might be back in the mix. I’ve been training for five weeks and I would really like to fight. I fight better when I am active and I am keeping my fingers crossed that something good will come out of this in some capacity. If I don’t have a definitive answer as to who will be standing across from me on Tuesday night by close of business this Friday, then I just can’t see myself getting on a plane Sunday morning and that is just unfortunate.

EL: I would like to thank you for taking the time from your schedule to speak with Doghouse Boxing and all the best to you.

TOS: Thanks very much and it’s always a pleasure to talk to you. Take care.

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