Unbeaten Forest Hill super-middleweight quits the fight game

Photo by Natalie Mayhew/Butterfly Boxing

Darryll Williams has announced he is quitting boxing – but promoter Frank Warren wants talks to see if he can change his mind.

The unbeaten Forest Hill super-middleweight’s career seemed to be gathering momentum after he won the English title in a war with Jahmaine Smyle in April on a split decision.

And Williams moved his record to 16-0 as he won a majority points verdict when the pair met again just under three months later.

Both fights saw the South Londoner’s profile raised on Warren shows which were televised on BT Sports. For the rematch with Smyle he also started training under the tutelage of Ricky Hatton.

Warren told the South London Press that he was hoping to have a meeting with the fighter and his manager Mickey Helliet.

“I want him to fight on,” said Warren. “I want to bring him in for a chat – it would be a great loss.

“I’ve got a lot of time for him. Hopefully we can resolve it.

“He has been with us about 18 months. He’s exciting, a good fighter and I’ll get him moving next year.”

Williams says he has been mulling over walked away from the sport for the past two years.

There were plans for him to box Lennox Clarke this month but that date failed to materialise.

“That’s fine – no problem at all – but there is a big show on December 9 in London and I’m not on that one either,” said Williams.

“I’ve got a child and a family I don’t see. I travel up to Manchester to train, because I’m with Ricky. I’ve got small sponsorship deals but they are not going to put food on the table.

“I’ve got to look at the benefits of this sport. I’m literally leaving my family to go and better myself – but it is not giving me anything back.

“I can’t afford to do that. It’s my career – something I’ve loved doing. But if it’s giving me the return for what I’m giving there is nothing I can do.

“I can’t afford to wait around. This is the one thing I’ve done in my life that I’ve really wanted to do. All my ambition, drive and determination is gone. I’ve given people my blood, sweat, tears and arguments – they’ve had everything.

Photo by Natalie Mayhew/Butterfly Boxing

“I’ve been boxing 10 years and had 25 fights in my whole career. That is ridiculous. People have 25 fights in their first year boxing as an amateur.

“In my position now I can’t learn or gain experience if I’m not fighting.”

Helliett has managed Williams for around five years.

“He really wanted to box at the end of the year but for different reasons it didn’t happen,” said Helliett. “He has gone through quite a lot of difficulties and was focusing everything on boxing. That fight, for whatever reason, didn’t get done. But there is the possibility of making it for next year.

“There have been a lot of positives in the last 12 months. But I don’t want to push him into a boxing ring not in the right state of mind. It is a very harsh place, you’ve got to be focused – 100 per cent driven and motivated. If not you are running into problems.

“I was down about the Clarke fight not happening. But that’s the business of boxing. You box in February – no problems. But Darryll is the one who has to go through the grind every day. It did take the wind out of his sails.

“I’ve got a lot of affection for Darryll. We went to America with me, we shared a room for a fortnight. Ricky is my mate, that’s how he ended up with him.

“It is a financial investment but he is also a good friend of mine – that’s why I wouldn’t pressure him.

“People in boxing now know his name. He’s had gruelling, hard fights and delivered in them too.

“If everything is well-structured and well-prepared then these guys can be successful. But I lost fights because I wasn’t mentally right. I’d wonder how I’d lost to a guy I should have knocked out in a round – but it was mentally when I had problems. Boxing is a huge, huge demand.”

Williams boxed on Helliett’s Hellraiser Promotions before signing with Warren.

“He has earned multiple times what he would earn on my shows,” said Helliett. “But the downside is that you have got to fight people coming to take your head off – not journeymen.

“He went to Leicester to box a guy from Leicester [Smyle] but he got a lot more money for that than fighting on my shows.”

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