Williams Spanks Margarito!

By Taj K. Eubanks - July 30, 2008: Such a title was bound to get your attention. Seriously though, what are the prospects of a repeat victory by Paul Williams? Let’s examine what we know, starting with what we found out about Margarito this past Saturday. First, Margarito still gives away too many early rounds. The first six rounds of Cotto-Margarito clearly belonged to Cotto, who boxed beautifully, circled, and threw combinations..

judah clottey In Margarito-Williams, Margarito also lost the first half of the fight, though he seemed to be off to a slow start. The key question to ask about the Williams fight is this: Was Margarito’s sluggish start due to a mistake in strategy or was he forced by a larger, equally powerful foe (who threw more punches than he did) to fight at a pace he was unaccustomed to? That is a key question. Put another way, it is possible to bully opponents around the ring when one has the advantage in size, power, and punch output, that is until you meet your mirror image that matches you shot for shot. Fact of the matter is, if Margarito is to beat Williams, he has to start from round one, and even then victory is still not guaranteed as Williams, despite being buzzed, was never in danger of going down.

Second, Margarito’s chin is spectacular, a chunk of titanium made in the mold of Julio Cesar Chavez himself. And while this chin makes him an absolute beast to a fighter whose game plan is to KO him in order to win (see Cotto and Cintron), it has absolutely no bearing on a good boxer with moderate power, because Margarito can be easily out-pointed (as Williams proved). Unfortunately, if a fighter is drawn into a game of macho with him then it’s lights out, as Cintron and Cotto know all too well.

Third, Margarito does not take backward steps. This fact leaves his opponent with 3 choices: hurt him (impossible), box him (best strategy), or run (shameful). Assuming the first and last actions aren’t options, boxing the man is the best bet for victory. Which means that his opponent has to have superior stamina. In order to constantly stay on your toes, make him miss, and take the shots that he will inevitably land, Williams will have to be in the best shape of his life. He was gassed at the end of their first encounter and was in less than optimal shape in the Quintana fight. Margarito, on the other hand, is now more motivated than ever and will rain hell down on Williams in the latter rounds if he doesn’t show up in tip-top shape.

Finally, there is the revenge factor. Who will want the win more?

Will Margarito, now that he is the brightest star in the game, get lackadaisical and believe his own hype, or will he use his “victory or death” mentality to get revenge on the man who handed him his only defeat in his last eight fights? Will Williams, who holds the mental edge over Margarito, underestimate him like he underestimated Quintana? He knows that a victory against Margarito puts him on the top of the heap, a spot he can never truly occupy until they meet again.

The chances of a Williams victory are good, yet Margarito, who single-handedly reshaped the 147-pound landscape, has that X-factor that make it impossible, now more than ever before, to count him out.

So until they touch gloves, all of this speculation is ultimately in vain, little more than tinkling brass and sounding cymbals.

Here’s to hoping it won’t be long.

Article posted on 31.07.2008

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