Boxing: Perfection in preparation holds the key for Williams

It has been a long month for Danny Williams and his trainer, Jim McDonnell, but the pair are now relaxed and happy with just one week to go before next Saturday's fight.

Williams and McDonnell flew to America on 3 November for a series of press conferences and media opportunities which are now part of the build-up for any world heavyweight title fight.

When Williams climbs through the ropes next Saturday at the Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, to challenge Ukraine's Vitali Klitschko for the World Boxing Council title he knows that there is absolutely nothing else that he could have done to prepare himself.

"I sat with Danny before we left and I went over everything that could go wrong and everything that could go right and we had a counter-plan for every move,'' said McDonnell.

"Being a challenger in a foreign country and a dangerous challenger at that, means that we will be up against it and I was determined to make sure that nothing caught us out.

"Even before we left for Las Vegas I had made arrangements for us to move out of the hotel and into a secret and private house because that was the way that boxers did it in the old days.

"When we arrived, the suite at the Mandalay Bay was fantastic but we both knew that it would be stupid to stay there so we spent just a couple of nights before moving permanently to the house,'' said McDonnell.

At first there were a lot of media requests and media commitments, but Williams was able to satisfy everybody and when he had to fly from Las Vegas to New York he made sure that he was gone less than 24 hours so that he never interrupted his training schedule.

As the fight date has moved closer, it has also become clear that Williams is in a perfect frame of mind to once again pull off an enormous heavyweight shock, just as he did when he knocked out Mike Tyson in July of this year.

On that occasion, Williams was the underdog and a late replacement and he was given very little chance of surviving, let alone winning.

"Before the Tyson fight we didn't have much time to get our act together, but we managed and we managed very well to find the ideal sparring,'' continued McDonnell, who as a professional held both the British and European super-featherweight titles back in the Eighties.

"I remember sitting with Danny in the weeks before the Tyson fight and telling him that one night would change his life forever, and that night would be against Tyson, and I've been telling him the same thing during the last few weeks.

"Danny is a brilliant fighter to train because he absorbs everything and he is capable, as he showed against Tyson, of putting everything into practice even if he is under terrible pressure,'' added McDonnell.

During their time in Las Vegas, the duo have been helped by Sterling McPherson,, partner of the promoter Frank Warren, who is known as Mr Vegas because of his connections in the gambling city.

"I have made sure that everything has run smoothly for Danny and I think that will give him an edge because if a heavyweight is relaxed then he increases his chances of winning,'' claimed McPherson, who in the past has looked after several leading heavyweights.

One of the first things that McPherson did, even before Williams and McDonnell arrived, was to locate all of the tall heavyweights in the various Las Vegas gyms and go and watch them all spar. Klitschko is nearly five inches taller than Williams and obviously the British boxer needed sparring partners of a similar height.

"It was no good just signing up tall fighters. I needed to know that they could actually fight and not just get in the ring and run away,'' added McPherson.

"Working with Jim we have both managed to find some quality heavyweights that are over 6ft 5in and Danny has benefited from all the hard work,'' said McPherson.

Williams will complete his sparring this weekend and just have light work-outs next week as the final countdown begins in earnest with the arrival of the world's media for what has become an intriguing fight. Klitschko is based in Los Angeles, but it has taken him a long time to receive the recognition he deserves, and Williams became an instant favourite with the American public when he blasted Tyson back in July.

For McDonnell, next week's championship fight is something that he has been working towards for over a decade as a trainer, but he knows that leaving Las Vegas with the WBC belt will not be easy, but he also knows that it is not an impossibility. He said: "I understand why Vitali is the favourite, but to be honest with you I have seen signs of doubt on his face when we have met and I think that he realises that he is going to be in the fight of his life when the first bell sounds.''

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

News
A Brazilian wandering spider
news

World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas

Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

News
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech

Company decides to go for simply scary after criticising other sites for 'creepy and targeted' advertising

Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
News
news

Footage shot by a passerby shows moment an ill man was carried out of his burning home

Voices
Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea
voices
News
i100
News
Kimi the fox cub
newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# asp.net Developer - West Sussex - permanent - £40k - £50k

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Project Manager (App development, SAP, interfacing)

£50000 - £60000 Per Annum + excellent company benefits: Clearwater People Solu...

IT Project Manager (technical, applications, infrastructure)

£55000 - £60000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: IT Proj...

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past