A heavyweight Hammer

Kevin 'The Hammer' Mitchell will not be the only West Ham United fan to get in the ring at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday night.

British heavyweight champion Danny Williams, who will sign off a storied 15-year career by fighting challenger Derek Chisora, was a childhood Hammer with posters of Trevor Brooking on his bedroom wall.

The two Londoners will enter the ring at contrasting stages in their careers - Williams plans to retire after Saturday's bout, while the unbeaten Chisora hopes victory will help land him a title shot. Check out WHUTV today to see exclusive interviews with both men.


Williams said: "When I was young I used to love West Ham. I used to have pictures of Trevor Brooking all over my wall and used to really love him. It's great to actually box here.

"It is definitely a boxing hotbed in the East End and I've had many great fights around here. I'm just really excited and can't wait to end my career here."

Now 36, Brixton-born Williams (50-8-1) has led a long and varied career, winning the British and Commonwealth title in 2000, despite fighting with a dislocated arm.

In July 2004, Williams knocked out former undisputed World heavyweight champion Mike Tyson in Louisville, Kentucky, but came up short when he challenged Ukrainian Vitali Klitschko for the WBC world title five months later.

In recent years, the veteran has regained, lost and regained the British title he will defend against Chisora on Saturday night. Williams feels his experience will stand him in good stead against a challenge ten years his junior.

Danny Williams

"It all adds up. The pressure is getting to him, I can see it. I have fought bigger names than him. I'm feeling relaxed and that's going to show on the night.

"It's very important to end my career with a win. I've always said I'm not going to retire on a loss and I'm definitely not going to do it. I'm going to go out there and rip this guy's head off.

"He's way down the bottom [of the list of fighters I've faced]. He's so far down I can't even rate him, but he's young, he's hungry and he's going to be aggressive, so I'm not taking him lightly. He's going to come to fight, definitely.

"I was a fan of Mike Tyson and I smashed him up. He's not going to smash me up, though. I've still got a lot left. I'm hoping to have a lot of support here, especially as people know it's my last fight and the last time they'll hear the name Danny Williams. I'm hoping all those people get behind me, definitely."

Chisora, 26, enjoyed a superb amateur career, winning a Four Nations gold and the 2005 ABA super heavyweight title before turning professional in February 2007.

Since then, the Zimbabwe-born boxer has compiled a perfect 11-0 record, including six by way of knockout.

The Finchley-based boxer was scheduled to face Williams last year, only for the bout to be cancelled. With that frustration in mind, the fast-talking fighter is eager to make up for lost time by taking away the veteran's British title.

Derek Chisora

"I'm looking forward to coming into the East End and to West Ham. I had a look at the pitch and they're already putting it together, so I'm excited and ready to go. It'll be a bit different to anything I've experienced before, as it's my first fight outdoors, but why not?"

While Williams has promised to retire should he beat Chisora, the younger man believes his opponent is not ready to hang up his gloves just yet.

"He's not coming to the end of his career. He's only 36. Your career as a heavyweight only starts, on average, at 30. He's still in his prime. He's shouldn't believe he's coming to the end of his career.

"It would be big to win the British title. It would be another stepping stone, but we're not in this to win just the British title or the Commonwealth title. We need to be winning everything out there because, as boxers, we want to make history. We are going for history."

Chisora is also keen to show boxing fans that WBA champion David Haye is not the only British heavyweight capable of winning a world title, picking up plenty of new fans in the process.

"There are a lot of good young British heavyweights out there. There is always the next young fighter coming along, so I've just got to train hard and do my work in the gym and then, when that young fighter comes along, you have to beat him up.

"I haven't got a lot people coming down, to be honest, but after the fight they will become my fans, so they'll be there for my next fight."