Danny Williams: “I cannot afford to lose against Skelton”
Interview by Spud Woollatt (April 23, 2005) 
Photo © Mr.Will HoganPhotos.com
Many fight fans will remember in 2004, Danny Williams bursting from the British domestic scene into the world rankings by the way of a sensational stoppage of Mike Tyson.  Williams was then subsequently stopped by Ukranian and WBC heavyweight titleholder Vitali Klitschko in 8 punishing rounds at the famous Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

After the Klitschko fight, there were calls from many people within boxing and the media that Williams should perhaps enjoy his money by retiring.  However it seems many people have underestimated the determination of Williams to achieve his ultimate ambition of winning the coveted title of Heavyweight Champion ff the World.  Only this week it was announced Williams would be fighting British heavyweight champion Matt Skelton, a fight which excites the British media and fight fans alike.

British Doghouse recently caught up with Williams who kindly agreed to talk to us, this is what he had to say:

Spud: Evening Danny, thank you for calling me back and agreeing to talk to doghouseboxing.com.

After the euphoria of beating Mike Tyson who at one time was the most fearsome fighter in the world, you then had the fight made with the WBC champion of the world, Vitali Klitschko.  Did you go into that fight supremely confident of causing yet another upset in the world of boxing?

Yes of course I did.  I really believed that I had everything there to beat Vitali.  I was extremely confident about every area of my fight plan.  Although I knew I would take some big shots, I thought my big heart would see me through those first few rounds and then I would be able to set about my own work and subsequently test Klitschko’s stamina and his own heart and desire.

Spud: I hope you don’t mind me asking, but did you freeze on the night, or was there anything wrong?

No, I definitely went into the fight extremely confident and well relaxed.  If you ask anyone who saw me in the lead up to the fight and then the press conference and the weigh in, I was very happy and confident I could do the job.  I accept that people will say Danny Williams can blow hot and cold.  I just got beaten by a very good fighter.

Spud: The big news in the media this week is of your pending fight with Matt Skelton.  Can you confirm when this fight will happen and what are your thoughts on Skelton and how you see the fight panning out?
Yes I can confirm the fight is happening, when I am a little unsure at this present time.  The last sort of date I was told was the first week of July but maybe that has changed.

I am extremely excited about fighting Matt, it is a fight a lot of people in boxing, the fans and the media are talking about so I am going to train extremely hard for the bout as it will be a massive domestic clash, with the winner having a lot to gain from it!

It is definitely a fight I cannot afford to lose. If I were to, then I would definitely have to think about retiring, that is another reason why I am going to train so hard for the fight.

As far as my thoughts on Matt Skelton, he is a big, strong and brave boxer who has done very well, but he has not fought in my class.  His fight with me is a definite step up for him and unfortunately for him he is going to be found wanting.

Spud: Are you not concerned Skelton will not try to bully you, bulldoze his way in and thus smother all of your work?

Like I say, Matt Skelton by taking this fight is taking a big step up in class, he has not fought anyone who can punch as hard as I can, when he feels one of my shots he will not be so keen rushing in.

Spud: Danny are the reports true, the winner of your fight with Skelton will fight the winner of Ruiz and Toney?

DW:  (
There is a shout of yippee from Williams and a chuckle) If that is true, it makes me want to train even harder for the Matt Skelton fight as there is even more to lose.  It also tells you there are going to be big things happening after the Skelton fight.  I actually think despite what a lot of people think that Ruiz will beat Toney by the way, I will hold no fears about facing him. 

Spud: Danny, a delicate question and one I ask with respect.  How does your beliefs and faith to your religion work with boxing, is it true you are considering or once considered retiring because of it?

DW: No I am not retiring yet because of my faith.  What I said a little while back is that it is against Islam for me to use violence by hitting someone in anger and one day I would find the courage to eventually retire from the sport.  I have not yet found that courage to walk away from boxing.

Spud: How does your wife, Zoe, feel about you boxing, was she happy for you to carry on after the Vitali Klitschko fight?

Zoe is very happy and extremely supportive of me to carry on boxing.  She also believes I have got what it takes to become a world champion, which I firmly believe will happen.      

Spud: Thank you very much for talking to us Danny

That is okay Spud, you better say nice things about me!

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