Mike Tyson former foe is ashamed of beating himWritten by Leroy Cleveland
Sometimes a young fighter is tasked with facing an idol or someone he's placed on a proverbial pedestal.
Such was the case for a former British heavyweight boxer who recently shared some candid thoughts about defeating sports legend Mike Tyson.
Danny Williams, who upset a 38 year Mike Tyson in 2004, recently told BoxingNewsOnline he's 'embarrassed' for having knocked out a fighter who was larger than life to him and admits he wouldn't have lasted a round had Tyson been well-prepared and in his prime.
Nevertheless, although Mike had slowed and hadn't fought in 17 months, he entered the Williams fight as a hefty 9 to 1 favorite and had recorded a 49 second knockout of Clifford Etienne in his previous bout.
Practically no one gave Danny a chance to win.
In that mid-summer's fight, Mike, as usual, was overpowering early and dominated the first round, staggering his presumably over-matched foe several times. In Round 2, however, Tyson's movement was severely impeded after he tore a ligament in his left knee, yet 'Iron Mike' appeared well on his way to another early knockout win.
Injured knee or not, faded or not, this was still the legendary Tyson.
But Williams felt Tyson getting weaker as the minutes went by. In round four, fatigue had set in on Tyson whose activity rate plummeted. Sensing his chance to snatch victory, Williams, with only 25 seconds remaining, landed a long flurry of hard punches in bunches that sent Tyson into the ropes and onto the canvas.
'Iron Mike' failed to beat the count and Williams had defeated the Goliath he'd once worshipped.
"I saw glimpses at times of what Mike used to be," stated Tyson's manager, Shelley Finkel, after the bout.
"But he couldn't sustain it."
And Williams recently concurred, telling BoxingNewsONline Mike's speed was "crazy" and that his shots were still sharp and very difficult to see coming. And defensively, Williams learned quickly that even this faded version of Tyson was still allusive to a degree.
Danny told BoxingNewsOnline he had planned to use his longer reach to jab Tyson from the outside but admitted he abandoned the strategy because Tyson's head movement was simply too good.
The former British pugilist, who insists he'd knocked out Tyson in a dream just prior to the fight being negotiated and confirmed, believes Mike would have remained unbeaten and possibly become the best heavyweight ever had he stayed humble and disciplined, overcome outside-the-ring temptations, and not parted ways with the training staff that had helped make him a star.
So, what have we learned from Williams' recent admission?
Perhaps defeating an icon can be a bit harrowing, especially if he is someone you revere or is of mythical status. And second, despite being well past his sell-by date, it is apparent that Tyson was still capable of producing flashes of brilliance and unleashing some ol' fashioned hurt at the highest level.
Would Danny, as he insists, really been unable to last a round in a mythical match-up against a prime Tyson?
Perhaps Williams, a pretty rugged guy himself years ago, should give himself a little more credit? Had he faced Tyson in their respective primes, he would have certainly lasted longer than a round and would have probably made it a fairly decent scrap for as long as it lasted.