Paul Williams - "I would have loved a fight with Kelly Pavlik"

Paul WilliamsExclusive Interview by James Slater: This writer had the pleasure of a quick, over-the-phone interview with current WBO welterweight champion Paul "The Punisher" Williams last night. Time was short and the phone line could have been a clearer one, but the 26-year-old and I did discuss a few things. With the sound of the gym in the background, Williams, who was to work-out after hanging up, was as gracious and as polite as always.

Here is what the 6'1" welterweight star had to say.

James Slater: I really appreciate your time, Paul. Firstly, are you disappointed you never got the fight with Kelly Pavlik?

Paul Williams: Oh, yes sir. That fight was tailor-made for me! I would have loved that fight. I always want to fight the best.. Pavlik is a good, young fighter, and I always want to give the fans who pay their money a great fight. You know, not everyone has a lot of money, and when they pay to see a fight they should get value for their money. I want to leave fans feeling they have seen a fight to remember. That fight [between he and Pavlik] would have been like the old days.

J.S: So what do you think of Bernard Hopkins getting the Pavlik fight instead?

P.W: Don't get me wrong, I like Bernard Hopkins. But what is he now, about 42-years-old? (actually 43) That's too old, you know what I'm saying? His time's up now. I mean, I can't totally count him out, but at his age Bernard won't be able to fight for every round and fight for all three minutes of each round like I would have done.

J.S: Do you still plan to move up in weight soon though, despite not getting the Pavlik fight?

P.W: What I really want to do is to keep my title at 147, win one at '54, and win one at 160 also - and keep them all at the same time. I want to make history in boxing. I mean, I can make '47 easily enough. I'm weighing 156 right now, and I can get down to '47 fine.

J.S: Now that Floyd Mayweather has retired, who is the best fighter in the world at welterweight?

P.W: Well, sir, not to be arrogant, but I feel comfortable saying myself. I give Floyd his props, he was a great fighter and stuff, but as far as him being the pound-for-pound best - pound-for-pound means facing the best fighters out there. But at welterweight he didn't face me, he didn't face Miguel Cotto and he didn't face Antonio Margarito. I want to fight the best and prove I'm the best. I will fight anyone - I may not always win, but I will give the fans a memorable fight each and every time out.

J.S: I know you have to run, Paul. I thank you for your time. For my final question, who do you think you will fight next, and when?

P.W: I need a fight this year. I will get a big fight this year, too. All the critics said I didn't have the power against [Carlos] Quintana, and I proved them wrong [in the re-match]. I knew I had to bring the power, and I did. Like I say, I only want to fight the very best.

Article posted on 24.07.2008

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