They're a couple of scholarly types who were recently involved in two of the more shocking technical knockouts in the heavyweight division.
Unfortunately, the two were the knockoutees rather then the knockouters, both ending up on the wrong side of a short fight.
But glass chins and early departures aside, Saturday's scheduled 10-round heavyweight fight (SHOWTIME) between Wladimir Klitschko (42-3, 39 K0s) and DaVarryl “Touch of Sleep” Williamson (20-2, 17 K0s) has all the makings of a real mystery.
Who are these guys and how did they manage to swing a top gig at Caesars Palace? Isn't that a hallowed nightspot reserved for world champions defending world titles? These two guys are well-spoken and polite, and between them, they have more degrees then a Harvard mixer. But that doesn't win belts or fill seats at a prize fight. Diplomas don't usually count for much in the fight game. If anything, a college degree means you spent more of your prime-time hours in a classroom than a gym.
“College boys? They think too much in the ring,” the old timers will tell you. “They'd be better off letting their corner do all the thinking.” They'd be better off not listening to old timers.
Williamson, who holds a master's degree, comes into this fight following a majority-decision win over Eliecer Castillo in April. But like most fighters, he's got this ugly past that keeps creeping up on him, slapping him across the back of the head every time someone asks him about “Baby” Joe Mesi.
Williamson lost to hot prospect Mesi last September. But it wasn't so much that he lost to Mesi as how quick he lost to Mesi. The fight was over in 98 seconds, or about the time it takes to grab a beer and turn the TV on. Ninety-eight seconds? For some guys, it takes that long to throw a punch. Anything but a fight ticket, the crowd would have demanded its money back. But if Williamson beats Klitschko, they'll forget about Mesi.
“A win here puts me in a different tier,” Williamson said on a conference call this week. “This gives me a chance to fight in front of a large crowd.
It gives me another chance to make a first impression from a year ago. I took my focus off Joe Mesi and it cost me dearly.”
If he just survives the first round against Klitschko, he'll have made a better first impression than he did a year ago.
One of Klitschko's nasty little nightmares is called Lamon Brewster. Klitschko appeared to be coasting along to an easy win over Brewster this past April when the ceiling suddenly caved in on him. It didn't actually fall on him. It just looked like it did.
Klitschko, who holds a doctorate, was stopped after five rounds and Brewster was suddenly the new WBO heavyweight champ.
“I feel no pressure in this fight because I am at the bottom of boxing,” said Klitschko, who has a firm grasp of his standing in the heavyweight division right now. “This is another opportunity for me.”
As for his loss to Brewster, Klitschko said he was not looking to make any excuses.
“Lamon Brewster won the title, won the fight,” Klitschko said. “But what happens on (Saturday) will show a lot of things. This fight will answer a lot of questions.”
Maybe it will answer the question, “Should these two guys be fighting the main event on SHOWTIME at Caesars Palace?”