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Boxing: Williams ignores cynics to declare Tyson intent.

Danny Williams believes he can silence the disbelievers and strip the final vestiges of greatness from Mike Tyson in Louisville next Friday night.

Williams (right) jumped at the chance to become the Tyson camp's latest choice of comeback opponent in a tenround contest.

The 31-year-old Brixton heavyweight knows the cynics have not had to look far to rubbish this latest chapter in the Tyson freak show.

They can start with Williams' points defeat to former Tyson victim Julius Francis - subsequently avenged - in 1999. And they can point out his crashing knockout defeat to crude Turk Sinan Samil Sam in February last year in what was Williams' last true step up to continental class.

But the quietlyspoken Williams has not got unsettled by the inevitable anti-hype which always swirls around Tyson's head.

Williams said: 'Mike Tyson is not the fighter he used to be - I would say he is about 40%.

'I think he is one of the greatest heavyweights ever, but now I believe he is ready for the taking.'

They might not be much by Tyson's often obnoxious linguistic standards but those are strong words for Williams, a polite and deeply religious man. Indeed it is not hard to find those in British boxing who believe Williams' laid-back attitude has contributed to his failing to hit the heights once expected of him.

He was woefully unimpressive in his first fight against the veteran Francis and his later development has been jolted by the indecision of numerous training and promotional splits.

Now back with his long-time gym boss, the former European featherweight champion Jim McDonnell, and his first promoter Frank Warren, Williams believes he is ready to rise to his biggest challenge.

He added: 'Whatever happens I will be ready and I will adjust to what he brings.'
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jul 26, 2004
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