Journeyman boxer closing in on 100th professional contest

RINGSIDE 25/07/2019

Michael ‘Ducky Boy’ Williams will take a step nearer his target of a century of professional fights in Nottingham this weekend.

“That’s the target,” said the 26 year-old from Leicester, who meets Fonz Alexander at Britannia Hotel on Saturday night.

Most weekends, Williams fights and though he loses more than he wins, he gives crowds value for money, prospects get a tough work out and what’s more, he enjoys it.

“It’s great being out on the road, fighting every week,” he said. “I love fighting. Just thinking about fighting puts a smile on my face !”

Fighting is in his DNA.

His great, great uncle Griff Williams had 122 professional fights. “He would work down the mines all day and then fight at night,” said Williams. “One month he had a 15 rounder, a 12 rounder and an eight rounder.”

Williams started fighting at school.

“I was a bit mouthy when I was younger, so people wanted to fight me,” he said. “I never started the fight – but I never turned one down.”

He went on to have 24 amateur bouts for Fountain and Braunstone ABCs – he lost a ding dong with Lyon Woodstock jr – before turning professional with Carl Greaves.

Williams made an impression in his second pro fight, dropping hard-as-nails Kevin McCauley on the way to a points win.

But the punch that put McCauley on the floor also left Williams in agony and he had to take a break from boxing.

Perhaps unwisely, Williams eased back from his hand injury with a bareknuckle fight !

He won in the first round, then fought on an unlicensed show before going back to professional boxing.

This time, he decided to be an opponent rather than a prospect.

“I could sell tickets and fight at home and build an unbeaten record,” said Williams, “but I didn’t need the hassle.

“The week of the fight, when I should have been resting, I was running around dropping off tickets. People would ring me on the day of the fight wanting tickets.

“I decided to go on the road.

“The atmosphere in the away changing room is so different. It’s like a party sometimes with the lads playing their music and having a laugh. As an away fighter, there’s no pressure. We haven’t sold any tickets, so we don’t have to go out there and impress anyone. We just go in there and have a fight.”

Williams has a tattoo climbing up his neck that tells you something about his pain threshold – and to do what he does, you have to be tough.

Every fight Williams has, he’s the opponent – and expected to lose.

Matchmakers will tell you there are opponents who “nick their money.” That is, they just look to get through fights without making any effort to win. Williams is way too honest for that. He’s paid to fight – and that’s what he does.

He describes many of his fights as “back and forth” and because he gives promoters value for money, Williams is in demand.

He fights around every other week – and earlier this month, he was on a huge show at the O2 Arena.

That was a fairly typical Saturday night for Williams, who lives with girlfriend Sophia and four-year-old daughter Isla.

Across the ring was Micky Burke, a former amateur star being groomed for stardom by Frank Warren.

Williams didn’t take a backward step throughout, lost on points and left the ring smiling.