Home / Boxing Debates / The Big Debate: Matt Skelton vs. Danny Williams.

The Big Debate: Matt Skelton vs. Danny Williams.

If man must know his limitations, he should have had a whisper in Danny Williams’ ear before Vitali Klitschko turned up. It was easy to become caught up in the hype that followed Williams’ fourth round stoppage of Mike Tyson, but in hindsight, if Kevin McBride can do it…..all right, I’ll stop there before we all get depressed. If Karma was at work in Williams’ favor against Tyson, it came back to slap him in the chops against Klitschko on a night where whatever could go wrong, did. But in this heavyweight era of the almost scary terrible, Williams received praise from the boxing community for getting up from each of his four knockdowns and taking his beating like a man. When such a thing constitutes a redeeming feature, we are seriously in trouble. Williams has the age advantage over Matt Skelton, but for a fighter whose career highlights have seen him either over-matched or under-perform, it is not easy to have faith in a Williams victory. Especially when that victory must come against Matt Skelton, on shaky ground at thirty-seven, but responsible for some movement of his own, such as the movement of his opponent’s from consciousness to the dark side.

SaddoBoxing takes an in-depth look at this crossroads fight between two outstanding British heavyweights topping the bill in England this Saturday. Check in for James MacDonald’s counter-argument in favor of Danny Williams.

If boxing were a beauty contest, Skelton, in physical form and style would not make it through the preliminaries. Fortunately enough for the Bedford bruiser, this game is about sparking your opponent out as soon as possible, and Skelton is currently Britain’s best heavyweight practitioner of that discipline. There is a lot we do not know about Skelton, and not a lot of time left for it to reveal itself as he comes to us at an age when the supposed experts are clamoring for fighters to retire. This weekend should provide a good few clues about how far Skelton might advance in the world championship territories. What we do know is that he is raw, powerful and only one fighter has managed to last the distance with him. Skelton has only Williams to defeat to have locked up the British heavyweight scene, and it may not prove too difficult a task.

Many believe that Williams suffered a career ending beating from Vitali Klitschko, not one that surfaced through a definitive injury to prevent him from competing, but a disheartening slaughter that might dissuade anyone from fighting on. Williams rose beyond the calls for his retirement, but how much can he have left after that overwhelming pounding? At his best, Williams was a frustrating fighter to watch that only ever showed brief flashes of his ability. He has a solid jab he does not use and since his early career defeat to Julius Francis, has frequently come into fights overweight for his comparatively small frame by modern heavyweight standards. The mental game is one that Williams has constantly lost before his fights and how motivated he can be at this stage of his career makes all the difference to whether he can revive himself. Usually, when Williams is hurt by punches, it is only a matter of time until he caves. Skelton does not possess the skill to outbox Williams, but it will not come to that. Skelton will wade into Williams with a torrent of punches and this one will end before the midway point.

Take it away James………..

For my money, the outcome of the fight is almost entirely dependent on which Danny Williams shows up. If the lazy, out-of-shape, lackadaisical Williams rears his head, it may very well be an easy night’s work for Skelton; however, if the industrious, enterprising and, most importantly, well-conditioned Williams decides to make a rare appearance, it’s hard to imagine the brutish Skelton demonstrating the necessary class to overcome the undoubtedly technically superior Williams. Given the importanceof this fight to his career, I believe that Williams will have worked himself to the bone in preparation for Skelton—however presumptuous that may be, bearing in mind the Klitschko fight.

That, of course, also raises the question of hunger. Williams has oftentimes been criticized for lacking the heart to push himself to victory in his most testing fights. A myth thoroughly dispelled in his courageous performance against Klitschko, despite being hopelessly mismatched. As stated, I believe that Williams will turn up hungry for the fight. There is still a question mark over him, however. That same question mark does not hang over Skelton’s head. There’s no doubt that he has the hunger. Being a relative novice despite his years, Skelton has thus far blazed through the competition. He is crude in the extreme, but also extremely effective. Will his style hold up to the marked step up in class? In my opinion, no. The step up in class refers to Williams at his best and I don’t think Skelton has the necessary tools to deal with the gulf in class.

That’s just my opinion, though. We’ll find out soon enough. I pray that the real Williams turns up, purely for the bragging rights, if nothing else.

Jim Cawkwell can be reached at jimcawkwell@yahoo.co.uk

James MacDonald can be reached at ac009b5460@blueyonder.co.uk

About Jim Cawkwell

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