English Super-Middleweight czar Darryll Williams is all fighter; built like a fighter, scowls like a fighter, struts like a fighter, barks like a fighter.
But the 5ft 9in slab of black marble who sports a ‘Built for War’ tattoo and owns a maximum security glare is promising fight fans a style make-over that would flatter Gok Won, when he returns to duty after 11 months of exile at London’s O2 Arena on June 23rd.
After a brief stint under two-weight world champion Ricky Hatton up in Manchester, ‘Ferocious’ from Forest Hill recently relocated to Swansea, Wales to rekindle his alliance with native Welshman Dave John, the coach who first instructed the rough and rugged 18 year old in the nuances of The Noble Art at the Double Jab gym in Herne Hill.
People are in for a shock regarding my boxing ability,’ warns the dipping, ducking, slugging, hooking south Londoner who makes no secret of his past life as a hoodlum on the unforgiving streets of SE23.
‘I’m back with the man who gave me my raw style as a teenage amateur. David realised that my personality determined I was never going to allow myself to be put on the back foot. But lately I’ve been working on different things; everything off the jab, feinting.
‘Look, the fighting part, the raw aggression, the heart, the chin, can’t really be taught. You get that from the street and it’ll always be there. After my fights, people often said: ‘That would’ve been a good fight OUT of the ring!’
‘The excitement will always be there, guaranteed, but now there’ll be boxing within the fighting. I’ve just added subtleties and science picked up at other gyms to the aggression and rawness I always had.
‘In Wales, I’ve become associated with a company, AJM Boxing, that’s looked after me really well, handled my strength and conditioning, introduced me to yoga and gymnastics. It’s really improved my flexibility. My patience and timing are better and I deliver my punches in a unique way. There’ll be a lot more finesse and technicality.’
Last November, aged just 27, sporting a perfect 16 fight slate (six stoppages) and fresh off a brace of impressive English title wins against Leicester man Smyle, headstrong Williams astounded the trade by announcing his ring retirement, citing lack of opportunities. Hence, the dormancy.
However, he re-considered earlier this year after receiving re-assurances from Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren.
‘On Saturday, I’ve got to make myself look like I’m worth the hassle,’ claims the 28 year old who is managed by Mickey Helliet.
‘It’s been very frustrating and a lot of mental strength was required to keep going but we’re here now and I’m chomping at the bit, ready to go.
‘As much as it’s been difficult to retain focus, the time away has been beneficial because it’s allowed me to become comfortable with the changes I’ve made.’
On Saturday night, warlord Williams makes his return on a stacked London show with outstanding young talent.
‘It’ll be great to be part of the history of an arena that’s hosted so many iconic fighters, musicians, comedians,’ concludes ‘Ferocious’, a father of one, who relaxes by reading books on war strategy!
‘Once I get through next weekend, I just want to remain busy. I’d rather have four smaller fights in quick succession than wait for one big one.
‘I may not be respectful to the opposition once a fight is made but I don’t waste time calling people out.
‘The one that does interest me is (Chris) Eubank Jr. We’ve history dating back to 2012 when, as I was walking back to my corner before a spar, he ran up behind me and hit me on the back of the head. I’m not having that crap! When the spar started, it was more of a street brawl and he just kept holding. Even his coach Ronnie Davies had to tell him to stop holding on. Eventually his Dad pulled me off.
‘Junior can only fight one way, front foot, and nobody pushes ‘Ferocious’ back!’
DARRYLL WILLIAMS appears to have found his mojo after going back to where his boxing love affair started.
The English super-middleweight champion dramatically retired from boxing last July after the second of his thrilling back-to-back wins against Jahmaine Smyle.
The South Londoner is returning after reuniting with David John, his ﬁrst ever boxing coach when Darryll was a teenager. It meant leaving Ricky Hatton’s camp in Manchester and moving to Swansea. He believes the switch will pay off when he returns on Saturday’s o2 Arena bill, that is being screened live on BT Sport.
Williams who has won all 16 ﬁghts said: “I will be winning in good fashion on Saturday. “It was a good time in my career when I retired though because people were talking about me, but things happened and I had to deal with issues.
“I am back now and with a new training team. I am in Swansea with my old trainer, David John and things are really starting to look up even though it is a long way from South London.
“I had been with Ricky Hatton in Manchester, but that was costing me a lot of money going back and forward. Luckily in Swansea I was able to get sponsorship.”
Williams, 28, had personal problems which pushed him towards his shock quit announcement and the exciting puncher was also vocal on social media.
He added: “I’ve had some issues and some of the stuff I put on social networks when I said I leaving boxing may have upset some people, but I apologise to my manager Mickey Helliet and promoter Frank Warren.
“I made a rash decision on impulse. I was very emotional at the time. I had just lost my grandmother who I was very close to.
“Things were very awkward for me at that time and I needed that space. Now it is time to cultivate, go further and not have time out of the ring.”
Williams has been linked with a ﬁght against conﬁdent new pro Umar Sadiq who has called him out even though he will be having only his third professional ﬁght on Saturday’s bill.
Darryll is refusing to rise to challenges or give a hit list, but added: “I just want to stay active in 2018 and keep ﬁghting.
“That is the only way I am going to get better and learn. Stay in the ring, stay ﬁghting and you can always correct your mistakes.
“People fancy it against me, but they haven’t come up against my character. That is what throws a lot of people off.”
Williams is back in action on a bill topped by Roberto Garcia’s WBC silver middleweight title defence against Martin Murray.
The high quality bill includes Anthony Yarde’s WBO Intercontinental light heavyweight title defence against Dariuz Sek. In a battle for the vacant English heavyweight championship KO King Daniel Dubois meets trash talking Tom Little. Others stars on the bill include Ohara Davies, Johnny Garton, Raza Hamza, Archie Sharp, Umar Sadiq and Harvey Horn.