Williams stopped Tyson to earn shot at title

Updated: October 14, 2004, 1:06 PM ET
Associated Press

LONDON -- Danny Williams has earned a heavyweight title shot nearly three months after derailing Mike Tyson's comeback.

Williams' fight with World Boxing Council champion Vitali Klitschko has been confirmed for Dec. 11 in New York. Williams stopped Tyson in the fourth round of their fight in Louisville on July 30.

"This is an unbelievable dream for me," Williams said Thursday at a news conference announcing the fight to take place at Madison Square Garden. "To fight in the place that has had so many great fighters -- Ali, Dempsey. I'm going to make the most of it."

Klitschko won the WBC belt with a technical knockout of Corrie Sanders in April.

"He has a strong chin and a big heart," Klitschko said of Williams. "Many underestimated him against Tyson. He won't be easy to beat."

Klitschko said he has a personal motivation to take on the 31-year-old challenger.

"Danny Williams destroyed my dreams of fighting Mike Tyson," he said. "I was disappointed he beat Tyson, but I was also very impressed with his fighting."

Klitschko is 34-2 over an eight-year career. His last loss came in June 2003, when a cut above his eye forced him out in a championship bout with Lennox Lewis.

Lewis retired later that year but advised Klitschko's next opponent, Sanders. Lewis also has worked with Williams.

"Lennox Lewis gives advice to these fighters from retirement and then sends them to me," Klitschko said. "It didn't help Corrie Sanders. Let's see if it helps Danny Williams, but I doubt it."

Promoter Frank Warren said Williams has prepared well on his own.

"Danny doesn't need Lennox Lewis' advice," Warren said. "This is a huge, huge opportunity for him, and he has a chance to shock the boxing world again."

Williams is 32-3 with 27 knockouts since turning pro in 1995.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press