Make or Break - A look ahead to the British Title Clash between Michael Sprott a 

Make or Break - A look ahead to the British Title Clash between Michael Sprott a

Back in February of this year, many British fight fans, myself included, thought Danny Williams was on his way out of the domestic scene, and some would say "finally". After being Commonwealth champion for getting on four years and British champion for almost three many thought it was time for him to take his game to the next level. Europe. He stepped up to take on little known German based Turk Sinan Samil Sam and was subsequently demolished in 6. An upset? Yes. A tragedy for the British domestic fight scene? Absolutely not.

As I'm sure many of you will have seen, Williams looked less than impressive in his recovery bout against the enormous Australian Bob Mirovic, indeed he may as well have stayed in his dressing room for the first three rounds, and then just come out for the fourth, when he finished the Aussie in ferociously fine style.

However, it was plain to see that a more talented fighter could have probably beaten Williams, not due to lack of skills, but lack of mental fortitude. Williams WILL NOT be able to dose through those first three rounds if he wishes to retain his British and Commonwealth titles against the in form Michael Sprott.

I am not a Sprott fan, I'll be honest with you all. On first impressions I considered him nothing more than another Pele Reid or a Michael Holden, a workout for young fighters rising through the ranks. I was sorely mistaken.

The last time the two met in February of 2002, Williams stopped Sprott, then a late replacement, in 7, but since then things have changed drastically. Sprott has looked increasingly impressive in his performances, not just beating his opponents, but stopping them in fine style. Indeed this is essentially a different fight, between two different men.

On the one hand we have Williams, a fallen hero if you will, a boxer who, in my opinion, has sold himself short of his talent by not making a move on the European or American scene earlier. A man whose confidence is shot, and is now something of an unknown quantity, because no one but Danny knows what kind of frame of mind he will get into the ring with on that night. This could be Williams make or break factor. Williams has a highly rated jab, a powerful punch (23 stoppages from 28 wins) and a decent chin, also for such a big man, he can throw fast combinations. Physically he has all the tools, mentally however he is a wreck. That said, the knowledge that a loss here could cost him his career and will certainly put paid to any of his hopes of achieving anything outside of Europe, or indeed probably within it, may spur him on to fight like a champion.

On the other hand there is the big punching Michael Sprott who has stopped 6 of his last 8 opponents, only failing to stop the durable Derek McCafferty and hard headed journeyman Garing Lane. Sprotts confidence has seemed to have rocketed whilst Williams has been on the slide. After his first loss to Williams he is now mentally in the right frame of mind to take those belts, and I truly believe that this is now Michael Sprotts make or break time as well. If he cannot beat Danny Williams now, he never will. If he wins he will be ready to look at European level or maybe minor world title level.

I mean no disrespect to Michael Sprott, but he isn't the boxer Williams is, however his improvement ahs been vast, his skills have improved and his power is where it needs to be, not just this but he has a mental edge, knowing he managed to last 7 last time, And coming off impressive stoppage wins I'm sure he will confident of a win inside the distance.

To predict the way the fight will go is nigh impossible, what makes this fight such an interesting clash is that it really is so unpredictable. If Williams comes out of the blocks slow, like he did against Mirovic odds are he will pay, Sprott likes to stop them early and now he has the power to do so. If Williams comes into the ring focused, like he did against Keith Long then I believe Williams will probably stop Sprott between the eighth and the tenth. Sprott hasn't had the rounds lately,a nd I wouldn't be surprised to find him in trouble if it goes past 6.
My bet is that if Williams can survive the first three rounds Sprott will lose. And if Williams does win then I think there is more than a glimmer of hope for him on a wider stage. If he could combine this with a win over former two time WBO champion Herbie Hide in December, and he should stop him in 6, this could help him make an impact on Europe again, or secure a bout with Audley Harrison mid way through next year, which Harrison has commented he would welcome.

Of course I understand that in actuality this bout is unlikely to take place, but it would be great to see. If Williams could win that, he would become a minor name across the pond as well, with Harrison fighting there frequently now. Of course I realise that this is all speculation. Please give me feedback on this article, I'd welcome any constructive comments.

Article by GotSugar

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Comment Hey guys. Thanks for all your comments about the article, I really appreciate the feedback, I'll be writing a follow up just as soon as I have seen the fight. Sounds as if this has been a controversial one! I wonder whether it will be a case that Williams landed when he shouldn't have, or Sprott dropped his hands when he shouldn't have. Luke

Sat Sep 27, 2003 10:51 am MST by GotSugar

Comment Just watched the fight on BBC1 and have to conclude Williams was very much in the wrong and should have been at least deducted a point and more to the point have been DQ'd. The fight for the first four was a very give and take affair dictated a lot by Sprotts jabs and powerful replies from Williams big right. Although Sprott was leading and poking fun at Williams (smiling, sticking toungue out in a come get some gesture)the second he was hit low and went to protest Williams hit him with an almight right to the left side of his head (and should have been severly perpremanded) and that as they say is that. There was a further round but after he was laid flat the round before the 60 secs between wasnt enough and in the following round the same again. A low blow and a punch that KO'd Sprott. Cold before he hit the floor he was down for several minutes before coming too but the crowd were incised about the hyanus crime that they had witnessed. In all reality this was on the way to being a classic for as long as it was lasting it was seriously entertaining. Maybe the ref should have to answer a few questions as to his handling of the situation but it reaffirms what Williams can do to an opponent if chance provides an opertunity. Hopefully he will give Sprott the rematch as he really deserves it.

Sat Sep 27, 2003 10:05 am MST by Mr G

Comment Very good article, although I have not seen either of these two fighters in the ring, the way you speak of them and describe certain aspects of their repertoire I feel as though I have seen them fight myself. Well it seems there was some controversy at the ending of this fight. Not being able to see the fight myself I'd like to hear some comments from some of you which were lucky enough to see the fight.

Fri Sep 26, 2003 10:57 pm MST by Mike aka DjNecrogenic

Comment Nice article. This upcoming fight is exciting me for 2 reasons. 1, because I think its gonna be a storm barner before it finishes (KO by Williams again) but not before Sprott gives his all trying to attain the British title which eluded him against Williams last time. As impressive as he was in his last fight (KO 1)I beleive this is Williams fight which leads me to point 2. December Hide vs Williams. That is a mouthwatering prospect and not because of the previous tention between the two (Williams claims to have KO'd Hide in a sparring session a few years back and Hide strongly denies it). This matchup will not enhance the potential standing of the winner's stock in the top ten of the world but what it will do is have an edge in excitment that many world heavyweight fights lack these days: fighters giving it their all and intending to knock the other man out. Too often a fighter will cruise to a points win whereas (and im sure the Brits will agree) my opinion of the majority of British title fights I have seen (dont include Mathew Barneys win over Dean Francis) is pure excitment and hunger shown by both participants. Im sure a lot of people will remember how Scrap Iron Ryan used to fight as well as the likes of domestics such as Geoff McCreesh or Kevin Leushing (however you spell it). Anyway lets get behind the guys and wish them luck as im sure they both want it bad. Mr G hey has every body noticed how the comments of Boxing Central have dropped to virtually zero since registration introduction.

Fri Sep 26, 2003 8:14 am MST by Mr G

Comment Great article, and very accurate analysis in the form of both boxers. Sprotts vs Williams II is of course going to be a much more even bout than the first meeting mainly because William's confidence has taken a swan dive while Sprott has become a significantly better fighter, and is as you pointed out in great form coming off some great performances. I was very impressed in particular with the massacre that was Sprott vs Potter! For me, Danny Williams was exposed in his defeat against Samil Sam and I believe several names coming through in the British domestic division will all have been intrigued at how easily Sam was able to dismantle him and how poor Williams peformed against a hand picked victim in Bob Mirovic. Although as a British fight fan I'd love to see him make an impact on the European and World scene, I believe that Williams as British & Commonwealth champion is now merely a stepping stone for someone with momentum to come along, dethrone him, and venture forth beyond domestic level successfully themselves, and that it may well be Sprott who achieves this. The fact that Sprott isn't coming in at short notice this time around parallel to other factors such as form convinces me that Sprott has a genuine chance of revenge. I'm going to be bold and predict Sprott KO 5.

Wed Sep 24, 2003 11:40 am MST by Des Troy

Comment First of all i'd like to welcome you to our little forum here. Secondly, i feel i must congradulate you on a great effort on this article. While i cannot claim to be any kind of expert on this issue, i must agree that you make a very succinct analysis. From what i've seen and heard about these fighters, i believe your take is spot on. it certainly has heightened my interest in the fight. Now i just have to figure out how i can possibly get to watch it. does anyone know the web address of the site that streams boxing matches?

Wed Sep 24, 2003 6:53 am MST by SAL

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