By Liam Napier
Sherman Williams wants to set the record straight.
Accused of bailing on last month's fight with Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker in Germany, Williams says he took a moral stance after a dispute with Wladimir Klitschko and the world champion's K2 promotions company.
Williams says on the second day of sparring Klitschko's trainer, Jonathan Banks, stepped into the ring and attempted to referee their contest.
"They said I was hitting him low, hitting him with kidney shots and that the punches were foul," Williams said.
"His trainer came into the ring and pretended to referee the sparring. This is where it became comical. Every time I went inside and threw a body punch they yelled ‘break'. There was no holding, no clinching.
"By the third round I told them I would continue to throw punches even when they called break. From that point there was an attitude shift. They weren't polite and cheerful anymore."
At 10.30pm that evening, Williams met Klitschko's training camp manager, Dave Williams, in the hotel lobby and was told the world heavyweight champion "didn't like his style".
After futile discussions the Bahamian was presented with a ticket for a 6.30am flight the next morning and told he could travel back across the Atlantic Ocean from Florida one-and-a-half-weeks later for the Parker fight. He figured the jetlag would leave him in no state to take on Parker.
"Nothing I said to them that night changed their mind - they already had the ticket in hand," he said.
Exceedingly frustrated, Williams suggested he stay on in Germany and spar with someone else, only to be told this was not an option.
He then phoned California's K2 Promotions Managing Director Tom Loeffler.
Williams expressed his angst to Loeffler, who said the situation was out of his hands.
"I'm from the Bahamas," he recalls telling Loeffler. "I've got pride and I've got integrity and I'm going to stand up to you and your bullsh*t.
"This is not how you treat a fighter. This is unacceptable. If you guys are sending me home I'm not coming back to Germany. Screw K2. Screw Wladimir. I have no respect for you guys. You have the same old mentality of exploiting fighters."
The 41-year-old, who holds a 36-13 pro record, also took exception to stories that suggested he ran away from fighting Parker.
"Despite a lot of speculation I did not walk out on the fight. I did not pull out of the fight at short notice," he said.
"I want to apologize to the people of New Zealand but I stood up against a situation where, as a pugilist, I was given no consideration and respect by a promoter.
"I never had any doubts about Joseph Parker. I'm not afraid of anybody. I read those stories and thought it was a joke.
"I would love to come to New Zealand and beat up on Joseph Parker any time in the future. It would only be fitting." Tags: Wladimir Klitschko , Sherman Williams , Joseph Parker