Paul Williams vs 'Winky' Wright: Fight Strategy, Keys to Victory, and Four to Explore

By Vivek Wallace - photo by Jan Sanders/ Goossen Tutor - Tonight's showdown between Paul Williams and 'Winky' Wright features a battle between two very enigmatic sources. For years, 'Winky' Wright was viewed as the sports perennial "high risk/low reward" contender, which ultimately kept him on the side of the sport where the sun seldom shined. Created from the same mold is his opponent tonight, Paul Williams; A man whose freakish presence alone has been known to scare off a full cast of contenders.. Their eagerness to battle with a worthy opponent, coupled with a deficiency of contenders who feel the same have put them on a collision course that will finally culminate tonight, live on HBO for the world to see. In an effort to analyze tonight's main event we set the tone by identifying keys to victory, four critical effects to explore, and in the end, a final prediction.

wright vs williamsPaul Williams - (Strategy/Keys To Victory)

For Paul Williams, he'll have to go with everything that has got him here. How did he become so feared in the sport? By throwing a ton of punches from a distance that he can reach but you can't. 'Winky' is known for that crab-shell defense that only Bernard Hopkins was able to penetrate. Considering that Williams doesn't have Hopkins' power, he will have to go to a strategy that none of Wrights other opponents have been able to employ. Constant pressure from every angle. The key for Williams is to keep a glove on Wright. Whether it's his elbow, his arms, his shoulder, or his face - just keep the gloves on him. Coming off of a near two year layoff, even if Wright is in the best shape of his life, great shape is not necessarily fighting shape. It's a totally different challenge to take those pounding shots from a man that's playing for keeps. One other thing that Williams will need to bring to the ring is that same aggression in which he used in the Quintana rematch. Williams always has a certain level of activity that you can bet on, but that "I'm not gonna give you a snow balls chance in hell" mentality seems to bestow more power in those ripping combinations he throws. Both men are southpaws so that takes the intangibles out of the mental chess match. For Williams it will all come down to setting a tireless pace that he can maintain, but his inactive opponent most likely cannot. If he can keep the punches coming and wear down the body of Wright, the head will follow.

'Winky' Wright - (Strategy/Keys To Victory)

For 'Winky' Wright, tonight's fight will come down to two things. When you analyze these two things there's a certain spousal element that quickly becomes transparent because despite them being separate titles, they carry far less value apart. These two things are conditioning and hunger. After a long and unwarranted 21 month layoff, one has to truly question Wright's motives for returning to the ring now - as if quality fights didn't exist a year ago. Is this a return for financial reasons, or is he truly gearing up for a run at bigger things? Putting that question aside, even if he is in it for the long haul, the biggest issue will come down to conditioning. 'Winky' has never been one to lack great physical conditioning, but against a fighter like Williams, he will need it in great abundance. If 'Winky' does have the hunger and conditioning, from a strategy standpoint, he will need to use that patented defensive posture and that precise jab. Williams is a busy fighter, but none of us have ever seen him cope with throwing a ton of punches and barely landing any. If Wright can make him miss and make him pay, the "X" Factor (experience) will guide him to what could actually turn out to be an easy points victory. There are many things to consider, but conditioning and hunger will be the key to this fight for 'Winky'. If he has those two, you can call it a perfect trifecta because he'll gain the third and most coveted thing....a victory.


"The Done and the Restless?": Why Wright chose to come back now, and against an opponent that even those in their prime have rarely considered remains to be seen. Some may question the move, but against a tireless fighter like Paul Williams, one thing for sure, if he isn't in it for the right reasons he'll be exposed. Will Wright rise like the sun? Or is it one (more) and done?

'Reach' for the Stars: Despite his near three inch height advantage, Paul Williams also holds a 10 inch reach advantage, being measured at a distant 82 inches compared to Wright's 72. When you pair that type of reach advantage with Williams' punch output, it's near impossible to overcome. That being said, if anyone can do it, it's the shell-like defense presented by Wright. How much of a role will the reach advantage really play?

'Middle-Wait'?: In the beginning of the fight you can expect adrenaline to keep Wright pumped and primed. What also should be expected is a deeper logic which tells us to WAIT until the MIDDLE of the fight when fatigue sets in for the inactive veteran to see where he really stands. That's when the real fight will begin.

'Another X-Factor'?: Williams has handled the pressure of Margarito, and soundly handled the agony of defeat (against Quintana); Is he now ready to face a man who has fought 229 more rounds than he has professionally? Many see this as a non-issue, but it was this same type of landslide stat that urged me to stand out on a limb and pick Hopkins over Pavlik along with a very slim minority. Gee, I wonder how that one ended....(Smiles)


(Got questions or feedback?: Contact ESB's Vivek Wallace at and 954-292-7346, follow more of his work at 8CountNews and The Examiner, or show some love at Myspace and Facebook).

Article posted on 11.04.2009

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