Williams Drops a Shocker to Quintana

By Christopher Roche, - I remember the feeling I had that August afternoon back in 1987, and it still hurts today. Mark Breland, my indestructible childhood hero, was knocked out by Marlon “Magic Man” Starling. I kept waiting for Breland to turn it on, like he had done so many times before, but for some reason he looked sluggish and out of sorts. Well, tonight, in California, Paul Williams reincarnated Breland’s performance, and he dropped a shocking decision to Carlos Quintana.

When I first saw Williams fight, it stirred nostalgic images of Breland because of their similar freakish height and speed, and I openly gushed over Williams’ package of size and speed. However, when Williams could not get a big fight, and he settled for Carlos Quintana, I grew somewhat concerned that he would land in a trap.

When I placed a call to Williams’ camp in Puerto Rico, and I interviewed Williams, he said all the right things. He said he was focused and motivated. While I thought Williams would win, I eventually touted the Quintana bout as one of the most underrated matches of the year. I was convinced it would be a good fight.

Quintana came out with guns blazing as he hurt Williams several times over the first two rounds. Williams could not block Quintana’s left hand, and he ate too much leather. Williams’ vaunted punch output was limited, and he was sloppy with his jab. Quintana eventually cut Williams over both eyes, and even though he faded in the middle rounds, he rallied down the stretch to pull out a unanimous decision victory. The scores were 115-113 and 116-112 twice. Williams relinquished his WBO belt.

Where does Paul Williams go from here? In the unforgiving world of Boxing, Williams is now a footnote. He is no longer in line for a bout with Miguel Cotto or Floyd Mayweather, but if he can get a good win or two, then he will propel himself back into legitimacy. Quintana did just that tonight, and he is fully recovered from his loss to Cotto.

It was reported that Williams gained almost twenty pounds after the weigh-in and entered the ring at 164 lbs. If that is true, then a move up in weight class might be a consideration. Otherwise, he will have to wait his turn in the crowded welterweight division. As for Quintana, his future is wide open, and it is so bright that he might have to wear shades!

Article posted on 10.02.2008

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