Tag Archives: paul williams

The Fight That Never Was–Saul Canelo Alvarez vs Paul The Punisher Williams

Paul The Punisher Williams used to be known as the fighter who took over the mantle of the most ducked fighter in boxing from Antonio Margarito. Listed as 6-1 with a 79 ” reach on Boxrec for promotional purposes so as not to scare off potential opponents, he was noticeably taller and rangier than stablemate heavyweight Chris Arreola who was listed as 6-3. Fight teams all knew his data was heavily fudged and stayed away from the towering colossus in droves. Even the fearsome Kelly Pavlik looked none too anxious for a battle after twice signing to fight him before pulling out with a series of regrettable health problems.

Saul Alvarez has the opposite problem of Williams. The hottest undefeated darling of Mexico needs his team to beat back the hordes of fighters trying to get at him, so it seemed an incredible convergence of good fortune and opportunity for Williams when he was chosen by Team Canelo for a splashy September 15th defense of the Alvarez WBC belt.

The Punisher

Williams had been struggling according to critics, but of course his critics had him struggling all through his stellar career. Even Beethoven had to endure such ham handed reviews such as “It bodes ill for Beethoven if he continues down his current path.”

Sadly, this potential fight of the year turned into a tragedy when Williams was paralyzed from the waist down after a motorcycle accident, squashing the big payday and the chance for Williams to upset the boxing applecart again.

Lineal light heavy champ Julio Gonzales recently passed from a motorcycle accident as did former champ Diego Corrales a few years back. Going back, fellow Georgian and HOFer Young Stribling was near the same age as Williams is now when he passed in a motorcycle accident, so Williams should thank his lucky stars for surviving with mental faculties intact.

Might even be time for Alvarez to make a test run with his 190 MPH Maserati and decide how much longer fate needs to be tempted.

Ladies and Gents, if you are married with a young family, sell your bike or at least mothball it until they can fend for themselves.

Willie Pep was similarly injured in a 1947 plane crash and told he would never box again, yet five months later he resumed the last 3rd of his stellar HOF career. Paul Williams is not likely to ever be voted into the HOF, but he did have his signature moment when he stood in the pocket all night to carve up Winky Wright like a Thanksgiving Day turkey. There were other great showings like his first round knockout of Carlos Quintana, outworking and outslugging Antonio Margarito in a firefight, and a spectacular give and take fight with current middleweight champ Sergio Martinez that had HBO salivating for the rematch in a classic series.

Alas, far too few American fighters or critics ever took to imposing giants as Jess Willard, Primo Carnera and Nikolay Valuev knew, much less a gangling southpaw giant who was a nightmare to fight, so Williams was left scrambling to find the best of the few opponents willing to test themselves against his formidable reach and work rate. He finishes with a stellar 41-2, 27 KO record.

I wish Paul Williams and his family all the best in his recovery and adjustment to his new life. He has been a great fighter and ambassador for boxing who has been greatly underrated.

Golden Boy Promotions has a well stocked stable of talented junior middleweights available for substitution, but then replacement James Kirkland fell out after citing ongoing shoulder problems. The 3rd choice, Victor Ortiz, had his jaw broken by the unheralded Josesito Lopez in what was supposed to be a mopup fight for Ortiz after his choreographed dive to the canvas in the Floyd Mayweather incident.

So after 3 fruitless rounds of scrambling for an opponent, Golden Boy finally did the right thing and yielded to the inevitability of fate by tapping the surging new boxing hero, Josesito Lopez.

Canelo vs Josesito
Canelo vs Josesito

Naturally boxing critics were instantly set howling in derision since the soon to be 29 years Lopez has never fought at junior middle, but then again he never fought at welterweight before pounding Ortiz into the hospital to ponder next year’s comeback with a rebuilt jaw. As you can see, Lopez looks to have some height and range over Alvarez, so he has plenty of time to pack on some additional pounds if needed.

Canelo is closing in on Floyd Mayweather Jr‘s undefeated record, 43-0, 26 KO. He’ll just have turned age 22 at the Lopez bout and goes to 41-0-1, 29 KO if he wins, so he’s already surpassed Mayweather in knockouts. They have been through a series of co-promotions together and Alvarez holds Mayweather’s old belt, so perhaps next year they meet in the ring for the final say so.

It’s been a troubling year for Golden Boy Promotions. Their #1 star Floyd Mayweather Jr is doing a stint in the federal pen as two of their young stars, Victor Ortiz and Amir Khan suffered humiliating knockouts by unsung underdogs. Their oldest star, Bernard Hopkins is going nowhere faster every day at age 47.

The good news for this card is that Mexican featherweight honchos, Jhonny Gonzalez and Daniel Ponce de Leon, will collide in what promises to plenty of old school slugging. Gonzalez should be the slight favorite, but he’ll have to throw in some nifty boxing for good measure against the southpaw De Leon.

Undefeated American heavyweight Seth Mitchell looks to earn respectability against fellow American Johnathon Banks who has been fighting in Germany on the Team Klitschko cards. All out sluggers Marcos Maidana and Jesus Soto Karrass lock up for contender status, so it’s a pretty good card for free viewing.

That’s September 15 at the MGM Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for those interested in the manly art of self defense otherwise known as prize fighting.

Battle of Two Sergies–Martinez vs Dzinzurik

Fresh off his fight of the year knockout of Paul Williams, WBC middleweight champ Sergio Martinez is at the zenith of his long career in his 15th year of boxing when he takes on a very tricky challenger, Sirhiy Dzinzurik, the undefeated WBO 154lb champ.

Maravilla

Maravilla

This is a much riskier fight for Martinez who couldn’t nail down a big money fight after his brilliant showings against Kelly Pavlik and Paul Williams than it is for Dzinzurik who his fighting for name recognition in spite of a stellar career.

The fight could be alternately titled The Big Risk vs The Big Step Up.

Or perhaps the tough Argentinian against the tough Ukrainian.

The Bad News is that Martinez is at an advanced age, 36, in what could be a very tough fight against a tricky southpaw, a pure boxer nicknamed the Razor. The Good News is that Martinez is a marvel in the ring. Maravilla is also a tricky a southpaw going up against a 35 yr old fighter making a big step up in class.

Dzyna/Razor

Dzyna/Razor

I expect a wonderfully technical fight with some unexpected twists. Martinez will be the favorite, but really, given the unknowns of this bout and the excellence of both boxers, this is a pickem for me, but, regardless one or the other will be picking up the WBC Diamond belt.

That’s next Saturday, March 12.

Main thing is to enjoy the show as both these guys are very underrated. 

Knockout of the Year– Sergio Martinez KO2 Paul Williams

~((BooM))~ The CHAMP:

Como se dice, "Adios, Amigo?"

Como se dice, "Adios, Amigo?"

Sergio Martinez shattered the glass ceiling that has kept him from the pinnacle of boxing by doing the unthinkable, airmailing the concussive force of a single short looping left handed grenade that blasted the immovable, unstoppable Paul Williams straight into dreamless Bolivia. Both were highly ranked in their multiple divisions for some time now and consensus type P4Pers, so this rematch was highly anticipated. The towering Williams come out hard with an evil blood in his eye glint to him as he went about the task of pounding Martinez into dust bunnies. Perhaps the only criticism might be it was too short of a fight with no chance for ebb and flow or drama, but it was a shocking, turnabout type of moment and absolutely the highest level signature KO of a fine bunch for me, one for the ages.

All 2 rounds of the fight here with the KO just after 5:30 mark. There seems to be a sound lag, so you will hear a huge bomb go off with the crowd roaring about 1 second before it happens on the tape.

The Worthy Contenders:

Fernando Montiel TKO4 Hozumi Hasegawa

The Swarm

The Swarm

Fernando Montiel put together a 6 second highlight clip of his career with a stunning left hook that sent the monstrous Hozumi Hasegawa stumbling back to the ropes where Montiel leaped in to snap off a flash combination that caused the ref, Laurence Cole to stop the fight in the last second of round 4. Both highly ranked in their divisions and fringe P4Pers with Montiel stepping up in weight and flying all the way over to Japan to take on a dominant champ who had a string of KO defenses. What mars this bout for me is the poor reputation of the ref, Laurence Cole, who has uncanny habits of terrible timing among many bad habits, stopping what had been 4 rounds of a Hasegawa textbook masterclass performance after 6 of the last 7 seconds that remained of the 4th round. The champ was just starting to recover when Cole steps in, losing the one minute’s more rest time due him.

Longtime Japanese boxing icon, Joe Kozumi, reported alternately that Hasegawa suffered a fractured rib or fractured jaw either in training or during the fight, but, regardless, that was a booming counter left hook that stumbled Hasegawa and a brilliant flash combo that forced the stoppage of the unstoppable. I would also add that had to have been one of the most gentlemanly technical fights fought at such a high level with nary a thing for the ref to do, both showing complete respect to the other for any minor incidents common in lefty/righty clashes. Hasegawa was very tight at the weight and only trying to break the Japanese record for consecutive defenses. He subsequently moved up two full divisions to featherweight to stage a rough tough masterclass over a bigger, stronger, younger undefeated contender for that WBC title in spite of suffering a terrible cut from a butt early on. He must have been really tight at banty to jump 2 full divisions with such a strong performance.

Rounds 3-4 with the final punches just after the 6:00 mark:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpUf_mqg9Sg&feature=related

Glencoffe Johnson KO8 Alan Green

Put a Knot on Your Noggin That Grandpa Soap Won't Wash Out!

Put a Knot on Your Noggin That Grandpa Soap Won't Wash Out!

I like that ol’ man Johnson took this bout on somewhat short notice and made a weight he hadn’t been out for a decade and then knocked out a prime contender who had never been stopped. Thing is that Green was coming off a one of the most technical lopsided losses I’ve ever seen against Ward and was not a highly regarded contender, but still, it’s the Road Warrior for the HOF for me. Nobody comes close to his decade long quality of competition, not to mention being well into his 40s and still willing to travel and cede unfavorable conditions and short money just to get a crack at the cream of his division. He’s become the signature ol’ timer of boxing, more so than any of his contemporaries.

All 30 seconds of round 8, a complete carpet bombing:

Wlad Klitschko had 2 stunning highlight reel knock em dead K-Os of Chambers in the last 5 seconds of the 12th and Samuel Peter at 1:22 of the 10th.

Diced, Then Iced

Diced, Then IcedThe downside is there was no drama of a tough fight or necessity other than Manny Steward challenging Klitschko to stop his methodical beatings and go for it. Still, nobody had ever iced these guys stone cold before, so a combination of being young, highly ranked and rock solid durability type of contenders to be so utterly dominated before the icing, it’s quite an accomplishment in one of the great dominating heavyweight careers.

Entire 12th rd with the KO just after the 3:00 mark:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhKcVDfp9F8

My complete respect for the poor, unfortunate victims of these bombings. Takes a brave man to enter the ring and risk his physical and emotional integrity to end up on the down side of the latest highlight clip for schoolboys to giggle over, but such is the risk and nature of boxing.

Paul Williams vs Sergio Martinez-The Rematch

The stratospherically tall Paul Williams is set to challenge the newly minted WBC middleweight champ in a long anticipated rematch against Sergio Martinez this Saturday, November 11th at Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Play It Again, Sam

Play It Again, Sam

Martinez has managed to make himself into something of a sensation recently in spite of posting a disappointing 1-1-1 record over the past two years. The poor results show the limitations of using the record alone to judge a fighter and don’t reflect the excellent boxing skills and fighting spirit Sergio shows in the ring.

The loss was very close and disputed by many, and the draw was a travesty against honesty and competence in boxing when a whacked out Kermit Cintron should have been KTFO after taking the full count or at least DQed for arguing with the ref afterwards. The gang of officials who sanctioned and officiated the bout scrambled to find a single functioning brain cell between the lot of them to tell them what to do next before resuming the bout a farcical 5 minutes later, but that’s all water under the bridge for the new WBC champ coming off his signature win over the towering Kelly Pavlik.

The Argentinean seems to have attracted a significant American following the last couple of years because of his stellar fighting acumen, but perhaps more tellingly by his personal demeanor as an old school consummate gentleman with additional descriptors such as Hollywood handsome tagging along.

All that attention might raise the hackles of the perpetually underappreciated Paul Williams who has been struggling for meaningful fights, recognition, and the large purses that traditionally come with the type of success he’s had in his career thus far, 39-1, 27 KO. If riled, he must be hiding it well since he’s been virtually silent on the promotional end since the fight was announced while Martinez has garnered most of the press.

Williams got little credit for their first fight in spite putting up a great fight and coming away with the majority decision that some claim Martinez deserved. He followed that with another controversial win over Kermit Cintron who has become the King of Controversies. Cintron dove out of the ring during an exchange and hit floor, “apparently” unable to continue until he suddenly came to life to protest the fight’s stoppage much like the Martinez knockdown.

So, Williams is coming off a majority decision and then a technical decision against top ranked contenders and wondering what he has to do to get some recognition and a more comprehensive win.

Williams’ biggest problem besides being impossibly tall and talented is that he’s also a southpaw with a freakish reach making him a very awkward fight. Martinez is also a southpaw, and traditionally two lefties don’t make fan friendly fights though their first match had HBO raving for more. Williams did himself no favors with the public by demanding a 158 lb catchweight for this challenge which is just more catchweight silliness in boxing that lately seems to be catching on like a wave of the latest flu pandemic.

Thankfully their promoters finally got the contracts hammered out, so now it’s up to the fighters to take care of business in a definitive way on the cards that fans can get behind. I get the feeling that this fight is a grudge match for the two training teams if not the fighters themselves since Martinez’s team were vehement in their protest after losing the first fight. Martinez himself just flashed his trademark sunny smile and shrugged his shoulders knowing that he’d already been done in worse for the Cintron fight and that little could be done to change the outcome.

I personally thought Williams edged it, but boxing does itself no favors with perpetually poor refereeing and judging, such that close fights or unsporting behaviors can become contentiously controversial on no other basis save individual perceptions that the rules of boxing are not being followed for a sporting contest.

That’s what rematches and rubber matches were meant for, to straighten out the record, something boxing, ie, promoters and ABCs could better promote, but typically they are more interested in following up tough fights with easy walkovers to build up fragile fighter psyches rather than dicker over infinitesimal purse percentage splits in another tough fight.

The Trinkets

The Trinkets

So, here we are with two top lifetime welter/junior middles fighting at a 158lb catchweight with the WBC and the Ring middleweight titles on the line in what should be a pretty good scrap. Martinez also won the WBO belt when he dethroned Pavlik but was almost simultaneously stripped of that belt and his WBC junior middle belt afterwards, so Martinez is becoming painfully aware of the self serving capriciousness of the various ABC orgs, refs, and judges.

Ripped For Action
Ripped For Action

Reports initially indicated a possible weight problem with Martinez scaling near 180lbs, but in California, he is looking sharp and trimming down as he moves his conditioning up. Here’s a training pic some 2 weeks before the fight that shows a ripped Sergio at whatever his current weight is, so I suspect with the length of his camp, it should be no problem cutting weight.

Team Williams is apparently working on secret weapons and buried itself somewhere deep in Georgia not to be bothered by the press as I’ve heard scarcely a peep out of them. Williams has been much like Kelly Pavlik and Vitali Klitschko in sticking to his longtime trainer, in this case one George Peterson, whereas Martinez seems to have outside training input at the Robert Garcia Gym in Oxnard at the start of camp.

I personally feel both Pavlik and Williams could stand some additional training input from quality outside sources, but it’s their call and loyalty is an admirable trait.

In their last fight Martinez was able to utilize ring movement to direct the stalking Williams around the ring before using his quickness to leap in with damaging shots and combinations before moving out again. It worked OK overall as a counter to Williams’ reach, but it looked to me like Martinez tired down the stretch from fighting such a large, awkward opponent with such an energy sapping fight plan.

The other option would be to stand more at ring center and take the fight directly to Williams.

That would fit perfectly into Williams’ fighting style which has been to take the fight to whomever he’s fighting, softening them up with a blizzard of punches, often delivered in combination from different angles with both hands. Williams has a lot of experience fighting high profile lefties now, a record 4-1, 2KO against Sharmba Mitchell, Carlos Quintana, Winky Wright, and Sergio Martinez, so he has to be confident that he can handle Martinez again.

Remember, Williams did much, much better in his rematch against Quintana, avenging his only loss with a monstrous KO that Williams would love to replicate for this fight to avoid another controversy not of his making.

Williams is an aspiring young man who wishes to please the fans and doesn’t always fight to his strengths which is using his spectacular reach and work rate to overwhelm fighters at a distance. He willingly allows himself to exchange in close which is where the most realistic chance of beating him comes, and though he usually gets the better of those exchanges, a quick fisted combination southpaw puncher like Martinez can pose a danger and make him look clumsier than he is, which is one of the reasons the public has not flocked to him. The other being that Williams is not a dynamic personality with dynamic ring persona. He’s more in the mold of Joe Louis, another small town Southern country boy going quietly about his work to beat every fighter he encounters which keeps his record shining without casting any limelight on himself.

Though Williams and Martinez exchanged opening knockdowns in their first encounter, neither fighter is a one punch artist, but rather a combination, accumulative, attrition type of puncher. It’s possible someone’s chin could crack eventually in spite of both proving to be very durable fighters if the pace gets ramped up to what I suspect it to be with both looking harder for the KO this go round.

I’m guessing the odds will be fairly even come fight night with Williams being a slight favorite, but I have a sneaking suspicion that training preparations will be key in this fight and I have no inside insight there. From the outside, it looks like Martinez has been making all the right moves, but he has a huge obstacle to overcome since Williams is a much quicker, a more dynamic and awkward fighter than the orthodox Kelly Pavlik, a tall powerhouse that Martinez was able to move inside on at will thanks to flowing eye cuts that kept Pavlik blinded for the latter rounds of their fight.

If the fight is near as exciting and as closely contested as the first, I imagine HBO would be willing to put on the rubber, so I’m expecting a good, maybe a great, very tight fight, but you might not want to risk betting the farm in this one unless you enjoy chewed off nails and split judges cards.

Good Lookin' Undercard Too!

Good Lookin’ Undercard Too!

The undercard is intriguing with an undefeated two division champ, Zsolt Erdei, 31-0, 17 KO, former title challenger Tony “The Tiger” Thompson, 34-2, 22KO, and undefeated middleweight contender Fernando Guerrero,19-0, 15KO, fighting, but unfortunately against TBA type of journeymen. Still, these guys may be relatively unknown, but it’s a good opportunity to showcase their skills for future title challenges.

Pick’em, Danno-Winner Takes All……..

 

Como se dice, "Adios, Amigo?"

Como se dice, “Adios, Amigo?”