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
News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the iWatch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
News
Astronauts could be kept asleep for days or even weeks
scienceScientists are looking for a way to keep astronauts in a sleeplike state for days or weeks
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own