- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 31, 2004

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — British heavyweight Danny Williams stunned the boxing world last night by knocking out heavily favored Mike Tyson in the fourth round of the highly anticipated return of Tyson before a crowd of more than 17,000 at Freedom Hall.

Williams delivered a series of unanswered left and right hooks and uppercuts to a beaten and bloodied Tyson. A roundhouse right sent Tyson into the ropes and down on the canvas at 2:51 of the fourth round.

Referee Dennis Alfred started the count, and as it hit eight Tyson appeared to try to get up, but he never got to his feet as the count reached 10. An elated Williams jumped up and down in the ring, celebrating his win. The loss is most likely the end of Tyson’s boxing career.

“I said I would win,” said Williams, a 9-1 underdog going into the fight. “No one gave me a chance. I proved them wrong.”

Freddie Roach, Tyson’s trainer, said he thought Tyson tired from the 265-pound Williams using his 32-plus pound weight advantage.

“Williams leaned on him a lot and I think that wore him out,” Roach said.

Tyson, who came up throwing heavy body shots and uppercuts, had Williams hurt halfway through the first round. But Williams survived and, as the fight went on, came to realize that he could handle Tyson’s power. He began trading blows with his own body shots and hooks to the head.

“I knew I could get him,” Williams said. “I trained for this kind of fight. He hurt me for a few seconds, but … if you keep throwing punches, he doesn’t recover very well.”

In round three, Williams had two points deducted by Alfred with no warning, one for hitting on the break and the other for hitting below the belt. Tyson also suffered a cut under his right eye and was briefly examined by ring doctors as the fight was temporarily halted.

Williams made those deductions irrelevant as he came out in round four with a series of hard body shots that took the fight out of Tyson. Williams followed with uppercuts that sent Tyson’s head snapping back. Williams landed about a dozen unanswered blows, backing Tyson up before landing the final knockout shot.

The stunning win by Williams (32-3) further buries the dying heavyweight division, now ruled by four little-known title holders. The hope had been that a renewed Tyson (50-5) would inject life into the weight class and result in major paydays.

The loss also puts Tyson’s plan to get out of bankruptcy and pay off more than $40million in debt in question. His lawyers had proposed a seven-fight plan for Tyson in bankruptcy court as a way for Tyson to pay off a long list of creditors. But the loss to such a lightly regarded opponent as Williams would seem to end any chance of generating that kind of income.

Tyson’s loss came at a time when Tyson, 38, had seemed able to publicly sustain his most lucid and normal psychological behavior. It may be the finish of one of the most controversial careers in a sport that is ruled by controversy.

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