Muslim doesn't want to cut or trim his beard

Updated: December 8, 2004, 10:43 AM ET

LONDON -- British heavyweight fighter Danny Williams has threatened to pull out of Saturday's World Boxing Council title fight with champion Vitali Klitschko if he is forced to shave his beard, British media reported.

Williams, a devout Muslim, will have his beard inspected by the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Wednesday to see if he would gain any advantage during the Las Vegas bout.

"If they ask me to shave or even trim it there won't be a fight," Williams was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.

Marc Ratner, head of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, said: "If the beard is considered abrasive then the fighter will be asked to cut it back."

However, Klitschko's camp are not taking the threat to the million dollar event seriously.

"As long as there's not a horseshoe hidden up there we don't mind," a spokesman for the Ukrainian said.

Williams has a shot at the title after knocking out former champion Mike Tyson in the fourth round of their fight in July.