“Move your head . . . Wake up . . . Your children are watching you . . . You’re still in it . . . . It’s not over until the fat lady sings.”
These were the words of advice Danny Williams was given by his corner while taking a beating at the hands of Vitali Klitschko in his bid to claim the WBC heavyweight world title on Saturday night.
While Williams displayed tremendous heart, it was clear he had no idea of how to handle the champion and neither did his corner. Williams should make it the first order of his business to give his seconds the boot and to get somebody in his corner who can actually give him some practical advice that he can use.
What on earth was he supposed to do with the words of wisdom ushered by his corner: “It’s not over until the fat lady sings.” Williams clearly has some boxing skill and can take a good punch, what he lacks is guidance.
“Circle to Klitschko’s right,” would have been appropriate advice. “Slip his jab and throw a right uppercut.” These are things he should have been told. Merely motivating your boxer to stick around and take punches must be one of the most selfish acts of any trainer.
Seconds do play a vital role in the top echelons of boxing and it’s time those who are in those positions take responsibility for the boxers’ careers and do the research required to give their boxers an edge.
Klitschko respected Williams enough to have a strategy to beat him. Why did Williams’ corner not devise a strategy to diffuse the champion’s strong points? Was it really their plan for him just to stick around as long as possible and try to land a lucky punch?
Of course there is the argument that you can only fight as well as your opponent lets you, but if you’ve got a plan going in you could be the one determining how good he gets to look.
Williams looked like an amateur in the early rounds and it’s little wonder why when you look at the advice he was being given. Under the right tutelage Williams could still have a lucrative career ahead of him. I would give him a chance of winning against John Ruiz and Lamont Brewster, while Chris Byrd would be too ring-wise for him.
Boxers who can think in the ring always have an edge over those who can’t and when your seconds can’t think in the heat of action either, you know you’re in trouble.