DaVarryl Williamson: Looking to cage the Byrd!
INTERVIEW by "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. (September 20, 2005)  
Photo ©
Saturday, October 1st at 9:15 PM ET/PT only on Showtime, hard hitting IBF mandatory challenger DaVarryl Williamson 22-3 (18) is set disrupt the champion’s reign when he faces Chris Byrd 38-2-1 (20) for his IBF heavyweight strap in a twelve round clash in Reno, NV.

Even though Williamson was a late bloomer by turning pro in his early thirties he had an extensive amateur career banging out an impressive 120-17-1 (103) record. Williamson was a three-time National Champion with wins over the reigning WBO heavyweight champion Lamon Brewster and heavyweight contender Monte Barrett but fell short of the 1996 Olympic team losing out to Nate Jones by decision.

The thirty-seven year old Coloradoan has beaten the likes of Kevin McBride (5th round TKO), Corey Sanders (5th round TKO), Oliver McCall (10 round UD) and most recently Derrick Jefferson (2nd round TKO) in his quest for the top. His hard work and dedication has finally paid off and he will get his chance to be among the elite when he goes toe-to-toe with the elusive southpaw, but it is a challenge the humble hearted heavyweight is up to, and a test DaVarryl feels he will pass. During his climb up the heavyweight ladder Williamson has strapped on the NABF, WBO Latino, WBO NABO and WBC Continental Americas heavyweight titles, and the IBF hardware is in his sights.

The former stand-up comedian isn’t looking for jokes or humor come October 1st when he steps in with Chris Byrd; it’s business, it’s boxing, and it’s going to be a throw down. DaVarryl took the time out of his training to give his thoughts on his upcoming match-up against Chris Byrd, enjoy.

Benny Henderson Jr.: Thanks for taking the time out for the Doghouse readers, give us your thoughts on your upcoming match against Chris Byrd.

DaVarryl Williamson:
I am very excited about the opportunity to fight and hopefully win the heavyweight championship of the world Saturday October 1st in Reno, Nevada.

BH: How has your training been for this upcoming fight?

Ah man it’s been intense, if I describe it in one word I would say intense. I have a great group of guys out here that has really helped me out, I really want to applaud my head coach George Durbin, he has done a masterful job in putting bits and pieces together to make this happen.

BH: Are there any specifics you are working on to counter Byrd’s elusive style?

Yes, I have six different guys that are helping me daily who are getting me prepared for Chris Byrd. We are using different fighters for different styles because you never know which particular fighter in Byrd will show up. Here is a guy who is very elusive in terms of his movement, he’s very cagey and he can trick you into certain things to get you to fight his particular fight style rather than your fight style. I use a number of different guys who are helping me put this all together so on October 1st I will be a finely tuned machine.

BH: You have sparred with Chris on occasion, although sparring is a lot different than actually throwing down in the square…

(cutting in) Yeah you get somewhat of a true assessment of what the guy has, it is going to change but it won’t change that much. I have to give up props to al my sparring partners, Leland Richardson, Steve Garland, Chris Green, Terrell Williams, Ravae Springs, Derek Bryant and Brois Powell. These guys need their props.

BH: Well was there anything you learned about Chris in those sessions that you can tell us about that you feel you may be able to capitalize on as far as weaknesses go?

I can’t really give that away. (Laughs) He is vulnerable for certain things and we are going to try to capitalize on that on October1st. He is a very good fighter but he is not perfect, I am just going to have to be able to outsmart him in this fight.

BH: One thing to think about you and Byrd are friends, does that affect your game plan or mental state going in to this bout?

Not at all, I think that it is emotional enough to be the heavyweight champion and to literally like a guy. We are a lot alike, we like a lot of the same things, we are both family oriented, spiritual wise; this is just huge opportunity for both of us.

BH: What is your take on the heavyweight division at this time?

I think DaVarryl Williamson fits in there very nicely.

BH: What are your thoughts on the Samuel Peter/Wladimir Klitschko bout, which do you see having the edge in that match-up?

I have no idea, I don’t even care, all I am worried about is DaVarryl Williamson and Chris Byrd.

BH: You have been in the fight world for five years now, you have enjoyed the ups and faced the downs and everything in between. What have you learned about yourself these past five years and even more so what have you learned about the politics of boxing?

The politics of boxing are just like other politics, not always does the best person get the raise or the promotion, it is a part of life. We want to be judged on our boxing skills, not on the other stuff. Chris Byrd and I both are good people.

BH: What can the fans expect on October 1st from ‘Touch of Sleep’?

They can expect a win; they can expect a guy who is going to be focused and disciplined, who is going to be able to outwit and outbox Chris Byrd.

BH: Is there anything you would like to add or say in closing in this interview?

I just want to thank Doghouse Boxing for their continuous support over the years in my quest for the heavyweight championship of the world. I want to thank all of the ‘Touch of Sleep’ fans out there that continue to believe in me and keep me in their thoughts and prayers, and I am just honored and privileged, and this is something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

I would like to thank DaVarryl Williamson for his time and thoughts, as always it is greatly appreciated. For more info on ‘Touch of Sleep’ please visit: www.tosboxing.com.
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