first_imgVitali Klitschko vs. Danny WilliamsShortly before Christmas in 2004, Danny Williams, riding a massive wave of popularity following his upset win over Mike Tyson earlier that year, was handed a world title shot against recently crowned WBC heavyweight champion, Vitali Klitschko. Williams, a consistent underachiever, was given a decent shot at causing an upset by the British boxing media, but once the first bell rang, it became obvious this was a step too far for him.Klitschko’s long jab prevented Williams from getting close throughout the night and whenever the giant Ukrainian let his hands go, Williams was often in trouble. After hitting the canvas several times, Williams was finally rescued by the third man halfway through the eighth session with Klitschko absolutely miles ahead on the scorecards. With Anthony Crolla heading to Los Angeles this weekend as a giant underdog in his fight with Ukrainian sorcerer, Vasyl Lomachenko, Sporting News looks back at some hard nights endured by British fighters when the odds have been stacked against them.Mike Tyson vs. Frank Bruno When Frank Bruno traveled to Las Vegas in February 1989, not many gave him a hope of even troubling Mike Tyson. The popular Brit had worked himself into a position to fight for the world title held by the ferocious New Yorker, but previous defeats to the likes of James Smith and Tim Witherspoon suggested that Bruno was going to be way out of his depth against Tyson.Join DAZN to watch Canelo-Jacobs and 100+ fight nights a yearDespite starting well and hurting Mike in the opening session, the task, already mountainous for Bruno, became even more demanding as the fight wore on. Tyson found the unguarded target of his opponent far too often. In the fifth round, Tyson forced Bruno onto the ropes and unleashed another barrage of attacks before Richard Steele stepped in and prevented Bruno from taking any more punishment.Miguel Cotto vs. Michael JenningsPeople pondered long about the state of Miguel Cotto’s mind before he went in with Michael Jennings at the beginning of 2009. The previous summer, Cotto surrendered his unbeaten record to Antonio Margarito, but controversy would later shower the result as the marauding Mexican was caught with illegal hand wraps in his next fight against Shane Mosley. Jennings would’ve been hopeful that the circumstances impacting on Cotto at the time would’ve shown in his performance, but the proud Puerto Rican was back at his brilliant best.After using the early rounds to assess Jennings, Cotto began through his repertoire from the third round onwards. He managed to drop his opponent in the fourth session and it appeared then that end was imminent. In the next stanza, Cotto trapped Jennings and landed a superb right hand. The Chorley man went down again and that prompted the referee to halt proceedings.Kelly Pavlik vs. Gary LockettIt’d been a while since a fighter exploded onto the scene the way Kelly Pavlik managed to in 2007. A powerful puncher from Youngstown, Ohio, who had been built slowly since his professional debut, Pavlik was delighted when he was given his world title chance against Jermain Taylor. In a stunning battle, Pavlik rose from a second-round crisis to defeat the 2000 Olympian. A rematch occurred months later and Pavlik would be victorious once more.After seeing off the threat of Taylor, Pavlik’s next assignment would be Welshman, Gary Lockett. A decent contender who had won minor world titles, Lockett headed to Atlantic City dreaming of an upset, but the size of his challenge was made evident early on. Pavlik couldn’t miss and after hurting Lockett several times in the early going, the outgunned Brit was rescued by cornerman, Enzo Calzaghe.Fernando Vargas vs. Howard ClarkeIt’s hard to believe that Britain’s Howard Clarke ever got to fight for a world title. A wily journeyman for the bulk of his career, Clarke got himself into this lucrative position by defeating the world rated Jason Papillion over eight rounds on the undercard of Chris Eubank’s battle with Carl Thompson. With ten defeats on his record, largely against domestic prospects, Clarke’s win massively deviated from the script, but his reward was a world title showdown.On the same show where Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield fought out a controversial draw, Fernando Vargas, the IBF world champion at 154lbs, gave Clarke an almighty beating that highlighted the vast gap in class between the pair. Clarke received a career-best purse for his troubles, but the bout was over before the halfway point as Vargas was too accurate and powerful for the well-traveled Englishman.last_img

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