Quintana Punishes Williams in Dramatic Upset

By Neil Dennis: With the withdraw of Kermit Cintron from a title unification match, many felt WBO title holder Paul Williams’ replacement wouldn’t give him much of a fight. “The Punisher” was, after all, being hailed as the “most feared” and “most avoided” boxer in the division. So, someone like Carlos Quintana (25-1, 19KOs), who was broken down by Miguel Cotto eight months ago, was seen as little more than a speed bump in the way of possible super-fights with either Cintron, Cotto or even pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Williams (33-1, 24KOs) seemed supremely confident going in. He certainly looked taller than the 6’1 he is purported to be side-by-side with 5’9 Quintana at the weigh-in.

Unfortunately, looks can be deceiving. Quintana came into the fight with a strict game plan of landing his left, and landing it hard time and again. Though he floundered in the middle rounds, Quintana never buckled nor strayed from the constant pressure he put upon Williams.

During the first four rounds of the fight, Williams kept attempting to establish his jab, but only kept allowing power shots from the left to strafe him across the face. In the closing seconds of the first round, it even appeared as if Williams was ready to go following hard right hook to the jaw. Through rounds two through five, Quintana kept up the assault and repeatedly rocked and staggered the champion. Williams’ accuracy fell dramatically to less than 15 percent during the fifth round. Only in the final moments of the fifth did Williams reach advantage start to take hold.

And take hold it did for awhile. Quintana began to grow tired as his own accuracy level fell off as the sixth round progressed. Williams started to control things with both his jab and ability to land good clean shot when up close to Quintana. Former champion Lennox Lewis commented that Quintana’s shots at this point were coming off more like “slaps”. In the seventh round, Williams finally outlanded Quintana 19 punches to 17. Round eight went much the same way for Williams, except for a cut that opened over his left eye from another Quintana left.

In the ninth, Quintana found his second wind. Reasserting his power, he added a cut to Williams’ right eye while landing repeated bombs to the head. Most of what Williams did amounted to clenching and using his height advantage to tie Quintana up. It didn’t work that often, and Quintana’s inside game came alive in both the ninth and tenth.

As the final round began, Williams showed desperation in throwing wild looping shots that Quintana mostly deflected. Only in the final seconds of the round did Williams seem to find his mark and trap Quintana in the corner with a flurry. It was too little, too late.

Judge Jose Cobain scored 115-113 while Tony Crebs and Michael Pernick both saw it 116-112 for Quintana. When the final punches were calculated, it was Quintana who showed both the greater power and accuracy in the fight. Quintana landed 172 times to Williams’ 160, with 147 of those being power shots. Williams, to his credit, blames the loss more on his own inability to get his game plan together while applauding Quintana’s resolve in the fight.

Article posted on 10.02.2008

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