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Dannie Williams on the Comeback Trail

By Richard E. Baker on January 17, 2020

Andre Keys took a huge step up to face Dannie Williams. (Photo: Richard E. Baker)

Dannie Williams vs Andre Keys.jpg

Andre Keys took a huge step up to face Dannie Williams (23-3, 18 KOs), only to fall on his face. Williams is suffering from Lazarus Syndrome in attempting to put life back into his boxing career.  


The Keys team looked sharp in their shiny new emerald outfits. Keys looked sharp in the fight as he dropped a unanimous decision to Williams. Since Keys came in 6 pounds overweight one can only wonder how determined he was. To come to the weigh-in overweight at all is a disgrace. To come in 6 pounds overweight is an abomination.  


Williams had built his record to 22-2 before losing to John Molina Jr. in 2013 in a fight for the vacant World Boxing Organization NABO lightweight title. He retired for six years to rethink his career and, after thinking he still had a chance to make some noise, returned to boxing in April and beat Ronald Rivas by majority decision.


Andre Keys (12-1, 5 KOs), a native of Tacoma who was a multiple-time national champion as an amateur, was coming off the biggest win of his career, having defeated Manuel Monteiro by unanimous decision in a 10-round bout on Nov. 9.


Both men appeared to be in fine shape as they entered the ring. Williams trained for nine months for the fight and felt the ring rust was gone. He hoped to climb back into title contention. Six years removed from any sport is often deadly, if not in mind, then in body. Keys also looked fine and hid his Burger King addiction well.


The first round told the story of the remainder of the fight. Williams, constantly on the move, threw punches relentlessly, but not always accurately. He often looked awkward. Williams wanted to lay him out like a strip of golf turf.  


Keys clearly had the better skills; better balance, better defense, and more accurate punches. Trouble was, he did not throw enough of them. Someone forgot to tell him that throwing punches is a big part of boxing. Williams must have thrown 4 shots to every one of Key’s.


Halfway through the fight, Williams started to look tired. That often happens when one has worked to make weight. Although he looked tired, he kept up his blitzkrieg while Keys managed to launch a few accurate pot-shots.


It was a good fight for Williams, who can now move ahead to bigger paydays. Keys can sit at Burger King and wonder what went wrong in a fight that should’ve been his. Sometimes it takes two hands to handle an opponent.

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