DaVarryl "Touch of Sleep" Williamson Ready to Battle Tony "TNT" Grano

Laz IzadaContributor IIIJune 22, 2012

Tony Grano, Don King, & DaVarryl Williamson, photo:Dalia Duran
Tony Grano, Don King, & DaVarryl Williamson, photo:Dalia Duran

Hey, hey, hey boxing fans and especially you heavyweight fanatics. Come see the heavyweight showdown this Saturday night at the Seminole Hard Rock & Casino, in Hollywood, Fl. If you can't make it to the almost sold out show, catch it on Pursuit Channel on DirecTV channel 608 and Dish Network channel 240.

This heavyweight matchup between DaVarryl "Touch of Sleep" Williamson 27-6 (23 KOs) and Tony "TNT" Grano 19-2-1 (15 KOs) is the main event on Don King's show Viva Don King II for the vacant NABF-WBC Heavyweight Title.

Grano is ranked No. 1 and Williamson No. 11 by the NABF. The winner of this heavyweight showdown should be ranked in the top 15 worldwide by the WBC in next month's heavyweight ratings.

In this heavyweight matchup, it will be intriguing to see if "Touch of Sleep" Williamson—at 43—can turn the clock back and revitalize his career to get another heavyweight world title shot, which has eluded him for the past seven years.

His last and only title shot was a unanimous decision loss to Chris Byrd—IBF Heavyweight Champion in 2005.

Let us not forget about Williamson's illustrious and promising amateur career that included a record of 120-17 (103 KOs)—an outstanding 88 percent knockout ratio. As an amateur, he was a National Golden Gloves Heavyweight Champion twice (1996, 1999), and the only amateur heavyweight to be a three-time United States National Champion (1996, 1997, 1998). In the amateur ranks, he defeated prominent heavyweight players of the time such as Lamont Brewster and Calvin Brock.


Now the big question is: Has his time for another title run returned? He believes so. At the press conference on Wednesday where he looked to be in great shape, he said that he feels at 43 he still has enough gas left in the tank for another title run.


Williamson, with his appearance and natural athleticism—he is a former starting college quarterback at Wayne State University—as well as his wealth of veteran heavyweight experience should be back in the heavyweight mix with a win over Grano.

In 2004 he lost a controversial fight that was stopped by the referee in the fifth round against Wladimir Klitschko, in which he had knocked Klitschko down in the fourth round. One judge had the fight 48-46 for Williamson and the other two judges had the fight for Klitschko 49-47. Williamson feels that his non -title fight against Klitschko was the last competitive fight that Klitschko has had.

Most recently, in his last fight in April 2011, Williamson had a seven-round knockout victory over young heavyweight Michael Marrone (19-2). In 2009, he had a four-round TKO loss to Ray Austin in a WBC Heavyweight Title eliminator, which he felt should not have been stopped.

I believe 31-year-old Grano is somewhere near attaining top status. Grano, similar to Ray Austin, is ready to turn the corner in the heavyweight division. He is the former 2005 National Golden Gloves Heavyweight Champion. In his last fight in January of this year, he defeated Brian Minto (35-4) by TKO in the third round. Now with Don King as his promoter, a win over Williamson could vault Grano a lot higher in the heavyweight division.

Jacob Ramos, Williamson's trainer over the past two years tells me that "Touch of Sleep" has had an excellent eight weeks of camp preparing for Grano, and that he has been learning new techniques to improve his game.

Can "Touch of Sleep" pull out the victory over Grano Saturday night? I believe he has a fair chance. The fight could go either way, but his veteran experience should help him.

This is the kind of U.S. heavyweight action/matchup that we should be seeing more often. Thanks to Don King for making it happen. Let's see what happens Saturday night.