A Touch of Sleep

Fighting family man DaVarryl Williamson takes his last shot at greatness.
February 2006
His house phone finally rings, a relapse from the silence. It's one of his doctors, an alternative medicine doctor, who's examined the MRI report and scolds DaVarryl for not coming in before the fight. DaVarryl begs him off, citing his training and the chaos in the weeks before. The doctor starts pushing some herbs that he thinks will help the elbow, but DaVarryl tells him he'll probably get surgery.

Hanging up on the doc, DaVarryl refills his bowl with more Cap'n Crunch. He lets the refrigerator door swing shut, ignoring the smiling faces on his kids' pictures. With the kids at school and Shalifa at work, the house is quiet, and DaVarryl tinkers around, not quite sure what to do with himself.

It's a waiting game now. I ask him if he'll quit, and he shakes his head.

"Hell no. I didn't give my best effort. I can accept a loss, but not if I didn't give it my best effort."

Then why hide the injury? Why not postpone the fight, until after he had his elbow treated? "It was a once in a lifetime opportunity," says DaVarryl. "I thought the adrenaline would keep me in the fight. I mean, I don't know if that opportunity will ever come again. It was right there. Right there. That was a winnable fight for me. That was a very winnable fight."

He leans forward over the kitchen table, his speech quickening, pounding out the syllables. "I want to win the heavyweight world championship. I know that I have all the tools. My conditioning is good, my mind is good, my body's good. Obviously, I want to make sure I get this elbow as close to 100 percent as possible. But, I'm 37 years young. My body feels good, man."

He pauses and looks at his arm.

"This elbow. Maybe it just needs ice and rest." Two and a half weeks after the fight, DaVarryl went in for surgery on his right elbow. The surgeons spent two hours removing a mass of scar tissue, 15 foreign bodies, and fluid from the joint. He expects to fight in February or March. m

Patrick Doyle is assistant editor at 5280.