FROM THE O2: After a well documented, frustrating year out of the ring, Darryll Williams was all set to face foe Lennox Clarke in defence of his English title. The #TeamSouthpawJab super middleweight boss of this nation is a fighter through and through, and after his third training camp for the bout, was understandably upset when Clarke had to pull out through illness late on.
However. It might not have been the fight Darryll wanted, but with inactivity beginning to become a real thing to contend with, just having a fight was an achievement, so credit to the matchmaking team who found the unfortunate Raimonds Sniedze. The Lithuanian based in England has power (eight knockouts from twelve wins) but had been halted in roughly a quarter of his thirty nine losses going in.
Sadly Darryll was on first, which would be fine except that the o2 is so poorly run, it’s staf so officious, unhelpful and in places downright rude, that many of Williams’ fans did not make it to their seat in time. After just about managing not to have his camera taken off him at the gate, this writer did make his seat, thankfully. Gripes about the o2 (which will remain) were put to one side for the next four minutes. Five, if you include the break between rounds one and two.
It was obvious from the first bell that Sniedze’s power mattered not a jot if he couldn’t land it, and Darryll’s movement, always such a strong part of his game, looked exceptional. Whether this was due to the level of opponent, or Darryll’s new trainer David John, under whom he seems happier than in a long time, will be seen in future fights. In the first, Raimond swiped in vain at the dust particles in air where Williams’ head had been as attacks to the away man’s body and head were cripplingly applied in reply.
It wasn’t long at all before a combination had Sniedze crumbling, touching down unelectively for a count. He rose, and began to wind up, a desperate effort to stay afloat which frankly, only hastened his drowning. It would be almost impossible to pick a punch which worked best, as everything Darryll threw landed and with venom. Hooks, however, both left and right, were vicious weapons and by the fourth knock-down in the first round, it was a wonder referee Lee Cook hadn’t seen enough. But, so the story goes, the bell went for the end of the first stanza and a 10-5 round in favour of Ferocious.
Sniedze admirably beat two more counts in the second, but not convincingly enough on the sixth and final one administered, causing Mr Cook to wave it off. Williams returns with an exceptional performance, but will be desperate, knowing him, to apply it to someone more deserving of a beat down. A good chance to shed ring rust and show what he can do was grasped firmly, though. When asked afterwards if Sniedze had even landed on him at all, Darryll replied, with a straight face, “Nah, nah he landed one I think.”