Carlos Quintana Upsets Paul Williams For WBO Welterweight Title

paul williamsBy Matthew Hurley: Defending WBO welterweight champion Paul Williams, 33-1 with 24 KOs entered the ring against challenger Carlos Quintana, 25-1 with 19 KOs smiling, gesturing to the crowd and sporting a Mo-Hawk haircut but Quintana wiped that grin off Williams’ face with deft boxing skills and a southpaw left hook that seemed to be glued to the right side of the champion’s jaw.

In the opening rounds of the bout Quintana was able to use slick movement, circling to his right in order to avoid Williams’ own southpaw right jab. Quintana’s boxing skills seemed to surprise Williams early as his vaunted punch output, sometimes clocking in at over one hundred a round, was stifled.

As the bout moved into the middle rounds Williams’ jab began to find it’s mark, sometimes setting up a straight left, but it was Quintana’s left hand that remained the dominant weapon in the bout. Williams, who weighed in at 146 ¾ pounds but entered the ring at 164 pounds according to the HBO scales took Quintana’s blows well but the ease in which he was hit raises questions about not only his defense but what will happen when a true power puncher lands a shot on his chin.

As the rounds began to progress Williams began to up his punch output, attempting to double-jab while Quintana began to slow down just a bit, although that left hand was still a viable weapon. At the end of the sixth round Quintana timed an onrushing Williams perfectly and clocked him with another left hand. Williams finally found the range with a flicking jab that set up a straight left of his own.

During the second half of the bout Quintana’s early round effort seemed to be catching up to him. With his mouth wide open and his punches lacking the same steam he’d previously shown Williams began to sense a change in momentum and willfully stayed inside the pocket with his smaller foe. Quintana was still able to land some slinging left hooks and rile up the crowd but he seemed to be a fighter looking for a second wind. Williams, despite the accumulation of blows he was absorbing, began to look more comfortable as the final rounds approached.

Before the fight Williams had said that he was intent to ‘sit down’ on his punches in hopes of generating more power, but his herky-jerky style does not conjure up images of Thomas Hearns. As the final rounds wore on the dip in Quintana’s work rate during the middle rounds was compensated for with accurate counter punches. Although Williams looked to be the busier fighter it was Quintana’s punches that brought the momentum back in his favor.

Brandishing a cut over his right eye Williams continued to march forward, slapping with his right jab, scoring points and trying to get into a rhythm that had been absent in the early rounds of the fight. At the end of the ninth round Quintana landed a series of left hands that Williams’ just could not seem to avoid. The punches didn’t seem to hurt Williams, other than producing the cut, but they remained the most significant blows landed in the bout by either fighter.

As the fight entered the ‘championship’ rounds the fight remained a closely contested battle. Despite Williams constantly coming forward Quintana was able to effectively counter the champion with his money punch, that hybrid hook-straight left hand, and take the tenth round.

The eleventh round saw a lot of clinching making it a difficult round to score until Quintana once again found a home for that left hand. The round ended with Williams suffering a cut over his left eye.

After touching gloves to open the final round the two fighters failed to land any real significant blows until Quintana connected with another left before Williams backed him into a corner. Both fighters embraced at the bell with Quintana then jumping on the turnbuckle assuming he’d pulled off the upset.

My Scorecard: 116 – 112 for Carlos Quintana

Official Scorecards:

Jose Cobian, 115-113 Quintana

Tony Grebs, 116-112 Quintana

Michael Pernick, 116-112 Quintana

Article posted on 10.02.2008

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