Boxing: Williams and Sprott set for swift finish

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The Independent Online

The last time Danny Williams and Michael Sprott shared a ring their foul-filled brawl ended in controversy in round five and tonight they look set to do it all again.

Williams retained his British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles when his unintentional but low punches forced Sprott to drop his hands in a protective gesture that left his chin exposed to a chilling knock-out punch. It was a savage end to what was one of the best British heavyweight title fights for many, many years.

At the Wembley Conference Centre they will meet again in what is actually their third fight for the two titles that Williams holds and, as usual, the champion starts as favourite in a contest that once again looks certain to have its fair share of explosive moments.

Their first encounter took place days after Sprott had arrived home from a holiday and he was predictively stopped on his feet after seven rounds but their last fight, which was in September, was far closer and it is not as easy to predict an outcome of tonight's latest instalment.

It is clear that the winner has a future that should include a world title fight by the end of the year and it is equally clear that the loser will end up on heavyweight boxing's unwanted pile.

The pair understandably have different opinions on what actually happened when they met the last time. Williams claims Sprott was looking for a way out and Sprott claims that Williams was so desperate that he started to use dirty tactics to save his titles.

It is clear from their meetings outside the ring that tonight's fight is unlikely to contain any dull moments and it would not be a surprise for this third instalment to end inside three rounds and the most likely winner of a hard fight would be Williams. However, back in September, Sprott looked to be in control before the fight's sudden, unfortunate conclusion.