from secondsout.com, a pretty good site.
Williams spars two rounds - 24 hours before fight
By Ant Evans in Las Vegas: In a move which will leave traditionalists flabbergasted, WBC heavyweight title challenger Danny Williams sparred two rounds of boxing at 8pm, local time, on Friday night - exactly 24 hours before he climbs into the Mandalay Bay ring tonight to fight Vitali Klitschko.
A 4-1 underdog lacing up the gloves and donning the headgear with just 24 hours to go before he challenges for the Richest Prize in Sport is almost certainly a new formula for success in the Sweet Science. But fitness mad ex-European super-featherweight champion turned trainer Jim McDonnell insists he's got his equations right.
"Danny hasn't trained to improve for a while now but I need to keep him at his peak," the softly spoken McDonnell began. "We do this before most fights; I need to get his heart-rate up every day. We did this before the Mike Tyson fight in July. Danny is an athlete and it is no different to any other athlete jogging around the track before the big race."
Perhaps, but few athletes ever withdrew from a footrace with a sliced eyelid thanks to a stay elbow; but assuming disaster doesn't strike during these last final six minutes of tuning, Williams's final preparations have been very different to the norm.
McDonnell added that on Thursday night, just hours after his charge equalled the 70-year old record for the heaviest world championship combatant at 270lbs (19stone 4lbs), he took Williams out running.
It is a vastly different style of preparation to those used by previous world champions; in fact, it is very dissimilar to that of current king Klitschko, who stopped sparring over a week ago as traditional wisdom dictates. But Team Williams - which is essentially McDonnell and Danny himself - are doing things their own way and that includes allowing the 6ft 1inch Briton to carry 270lbs into battle tonight.
The challenger's weight (19stone 4lbs) equalled the that of 1930s figure of fun Primo Carnera and already the comparison's have been made between Williams, Mike Tyson's last conqueror, and Iron Mike's original nemesis Buster Douglas who also added considerable bulk after KOing the alleged 'Baddest Man on the Planet'.
But there's a world of difference between the soft, man-breasted wobble of Douglas's body v Evander Holyfield 14 years ago and the carved teak appearance of Williams's torso at Thursday's weigh-in for the Klitschko fight.
"Danny is in the shape of his life," McDonnell has said for the last month.
Having seen Williams train for this fight at close quarters I am included to agree. Ninety minutes of bag-work, mitt work, press-up and sit-ups, skipping and shadow boxing with only the merest of 10 second breaks more than satisfied me that McDonnell had Williams, 31, at a career apex in terms of cardio-vascular condition.
I'm less easily persuaded, though, by Jimmy Mac's suggestions regarding Klitschko, who, he has claimed is a drug cheat, a bottle-job and indeed less than talented. Choice comments like "Williams has fitness you can't inject or consume" "Klitschko quit when he had one arm v Chris Byrd, a month later Danny scored a KO with one arm" and "If Klitschko were 6ft 2inch (rather than a hulking 6ft 7inch) we'd never have heard of him" went down a treat with the press, bile starved in this battle of the nice guys.
However, I do not believe McDonnell, who has been at the top level himself - having twice challenged for the world honours - believes his own soundbites.
Hollywood tends to portray boxing trainers as war generals, grandmasters of the canvas chess board who calculate every move and countermove. The best of them are but, at the same time, they are also the boxer's infantry - sent to probe for both physical and psychological weaknesses in the weeks and days leading up to the fight.
At the final press conference this Wednesday, McDonnell won such a skirmish when he accused the giant Ukrainian of being a drugs cheat (a reference to Klitschko getting thrown off the 1996 Olympic team when, unknowingly according to the champion, he took a banned substance to better recover from a training injury)
But all this talk is now past and the real issues of who wins and loses at the Mandalay Bay have to be answered.
Ever since the fight was first seriously mooted in the New York offices of US cable giant HBO in September, McDonnell has tried to reduce the bout's many intangibles into two simple questions of heart and fitness because that is where 'Jimmy Mac' believes his charge is without peer in the heavyweight division.
"Danny has to set the pace and take it to him," McDonnell said. "He's got to work the body hard, get stuck in and bully him."
Despite the additional 20lbs Williams has on the champion, to many it seems a unconventional tactic for a 6ft 1inch challenger to attempt to bully a man over six inches taller who is acknowledged as the much bigger puncher.
But unconventional is how Team Williams likes it.