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banner Wednesday, 12 December, 2001, 11:06 GMT
Heavyweight dreams
British and Commonwealth champion Danny Williams
British and Commonwealth champion Danny Williams faces American Shawn Robinson on Saturday on the undercard of the John Ruiz-Evander Holyfield fight.

Before the bout, Williams was on hand to answer your questions.

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    Williams is strongly fancied to beat Robinson in Connecticut on Saturday, and in doing so increase the prospect of a world title bout in the New Year.

    The British and Commonwealth champion recently signed a promotional deal with Don King, and will be eager to make the most of his first real chance to impress on the world stage.

    As he prepares to fight in front of the biggest crowd of his life, Williams took time out to answer your e-mails.

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    Adam Nice, USA

    Many people say that you have great heart and that this is your strong point. What do feel is your strongest asset in the ring?

    Apart from heart, I believe I've got good boxing ability and very fast hands - and I believe these attributes will take me to the top.

    Dean, UK

    Do you feel that a fight with Audley Harrison will ever take place?

    To be honest, I don't think it will ever take place. It's a fight I badly want, but with Audley getting injured all the time, and saying he needs two years to get to the British level, I don't believe it will happen. God willing, within two years I'll be on the world stage and by then I'll have vacated the British title so I don't think there's a chance of me and Audley ever fighting.

    Russell W, England

    Do you think you would be better going for the WBA or IBF world titles? In my opinion Lewis and Klitschko are more formidable than Byrd or Ruiz.

    I agree totally. Wladimir Klitschko is a tremendous fighter, as is Lennox Lewis. The winner of the Ruiz - Holyfield fight is the weakest champion out there, and I think that will be the route to go for, but no world title fight is easy, and if I have to go through Lewis or Wladimir Klitschko to become world champion, I'm ready to do that.

    Craig Davies, Great Britain

    Do you feel you could beat either Lennox or Tyson and who do you think will win their bout?

    For me to get in with someone of their calibre, I'd need another four or five fights to get my ring sharpness, then I'd be quite confident of beating them. As for the Lewis-Tyson question, I think if Mike Tyson gets his mind back to normal and in shape, then Tyson's the winner, but on current form, I'd probably have to go with Lewis.

    P Beck, England

    Having seen a couple of your fights I can't believe you lost to Julius Francis as you are a far better fighter than him. What happened?

    Mentally, it has been no secret that I've not been the most confident person, and coming out against Julius Francis I basically froze. The occasion got to me, fighting at the Royal Albert Hall, in front of thousands of people, fighting for the British and Commonwealth title. I couldn't perform, and that's basically it. But now, my confidence is really boosted. It's all a state of mind, and now my mind is sorted out, I can take on any of these guys.

    Joe, Great Britain

    I am a 15 year old boxing fanatic who also boxes as an amateur. I am just writing to ask you Danny, why do people still comment on your apparent lack of self-belief? After the Mark Potter fight I'd have thought that they would have realised what a great force you are. You're a future world champ Danny. Keep winning!

    People are always going to go on about my mental state, and they will until I step up to world class and show them that's a thing of the past. But it doesn't bother me, I'm just going to get on with my job, and win this fight on Saturday, God willing, and then move on to bigger and better things, and show people it is a different Danny Williams.

    Would you say that hooking up with Jim McDonnell has boosted your confidence?

    Definitely. Jim's got my body in such great shape, and that in itself has given me so much confidence. Also, there's nothing better than praying to God for all your needs, and the combination has done me the world of good.

    Andy Dixon, England

    I've read that some of Jim McDonnell's training techniques are pretty revolutionary. Could you give us an insight into what you go through as part of your training routine before a contest? Best of luck for your US debut and for the future mate.

    There are loads of things. Sometimes we train at altitude, 5-7000 feet above sea level, which in itself is very hard. We run up lots of hills, do a lot of sprint work. Most trainers make fighters fight three minute rounds and have one minute rests. Jimmy sometimes makes me spar 20 minutes with different sparring partners and have no break. And when you go back down to sparring three minutes rounds it makes it easy. Jimmy is totally different to all the other trainers, that's why I believe he's the best trainer out there.

    So you're feeling good ahead of your fight on Saturday?

    Yes, I'm feeling very good. I must admit, sitting here in my room I'm feeling a little bit nervous, it's my first fight under Don King. But it is understandable, a lot of pressure is on me, and I've got to go out and prove myself.

    Saleem Ahmed, England

    Danny, I have heard reports that you are a Muslim and was wondering how the fasting during Ramadan has affected you?

    I have been fasting, I haven't missed one of my fasts - I'm really hungry now, I've got three hours before I can eat! It has been difficult, and I tell you what, I'm never going to fight in the month of Ramadan again. But I still feel strong, and I'm ready to take Shawn Robinson out.

    It must be tough, having such a gruelling training regime, and fasting as well. But does it give you mental strength?

    Yes it does, and I feel as though I'm doing my duty to God, and I'm still getting on with my business and my livelihood, and I feel very good. And as I said, I'm going to take it out on Shawn!

    Stephen Askew, Wescliff, Essex

    You have now signed with Don King - do you think this will open your route to the World Championship stage? If you become champion will you try and spend more time fighting in England unlike Lennox Lewis?

    Definitely. I was speaking with Don King yesterday, and he said that he's going to get my ring sharpness back, then he wants to put me with the winner of the Holyfield-Ruiz fight. So it's all there for me. I've just got to go out there and do the business.

    As far as fighting in Britain goes, a fighter hasn't got much control over where he fights. He's paid by the promoter, and the promoter takes him to where he can make the most money. Personally, I'd like to fight all my fights in England but it all depends where Don wants to take the fight. But at the moment I'm still British and Commonwealth champion, and my next defence should be in Britain, around January or February, against Keith Long.

    Christopher Searle, United Kingdom

    Once Lewis has retired, the heavyweight division will be without a dominant fighter - can you see yourself filling that gap, and when do you hope to fight for a major title?

    I'm hoping to fight for a major title next year. As for being dominant, I agree there isn't a dominant champion out there, it depends on how I progress, but it is going to be difficult to have someone who dominates the division like Tyson did in the late eighties.

    S Mahoney, England

    If you could face any of the all-time great heavyweights, who would you most like to test yourself against?

    Probably Muhammad Ali. We always hear about how fast he is and I'd like to get a feel of being against a great man like that. I'd probably get myself knocked out but it would be a good experience until I did get knocked out!

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