Who Can Beat Paul Williams?

Paul Williams13.04.09 - By Doveed Linder: After his dominating performance against Winky Wright, Paul “The Punisher” Williams (37-1, 27 KOs) has proven that he is one of the best fighters in the world and he could very well dominate in the 147, 154, and 160 pound divisions. Paul is comfortable in any of those weight classes and it’s hard to see any of the top guys beating him. At 147 pounds, Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto are the dominant forces. At 154 pounds, Vernon Forrest and the winner of the Cory Spinks/Deandre Latimore fight would have to be considered the division’s best. And at 160 pounds, it’s a toss up between Kelly Pavlik and Arthur Abraham. Every boxing fan has their own opinion, but the majority of the boxing world would likely favor Paul Williams over any of those fighters.

For some time, people have been talking about Paul as if he is the next great thing to happen to the sport of boxing. But it’s not necessarily his resume that has everyone so impressed. Before last Saturday, Paul’s greatest victory and only career defining fight was a decision over Antonio Margarito. And one can make the argument that Paul beat Winky Wright after a two year layoff and that he wasn’t in there with the same fighter who once defeated Shane Mosley and Felix Trinidad. But there’s something about Paul that is much greater than his accomplishments on paper.

At 6’1”, Paul has a tremendous height advantage over his opponents, especially at 147 pounds. And his punch output and superior conditioning make him very difficult to deal with. But what impressed people about Paul before his latest victory over Wright is his undeniable natural ability. He’s such a natural, it’s almost as if he’s supernatural. When Paul gets into the ring, he seems to enter a state of body-awareness in which everything he does happens by itself. He’s so unconsciously competent and he does everything so effortlessly that sometimes you can’t tell the difference between the fighter and the fight. If you ask Paul what it is that makes him so effective in the ring, even he would have a hard time explaining it.

But Paul is only human, as was demonstrated in his first fight with Carlos Quintana when he lost a decision. He claimed that he had an off night and that might very well be the case. It’s hard to argue with him after he came out and blew Quintana away in the 1st round of their rematch. But the fact is that great fighters sometimes lose fights. Bernard Hopkins lost his first professional fight. Even the great Henry Armstrong lost three out of his first four fights. Boxing fans sometimes get so caught up with a fighter’s record, that when an up-and-coming fighter loses a match, he becomes labeled as “exposed.” But it just goes to show you that it doesn’t matter if a fighter losses, it’s what he does after that loss.

With this recent victory over Winky Wright, Paul has a lot of options. Although he has the potential to dominate at 160 and maybe even 168, he might be better suited in the 147/154 range where he would have more power, more of a height advantage, and more durability. But it’s probable that Paul will fight wherever he can make the best fight for the most money.

So when you ask the question, “Who can beat Paul Williams?” the answer is no one and the answer is everyone. This is boxing and anyone can beat anyone on any given night. But Paul is at the height of his powers and if anyone does have intentions of beating him, they’re gonna have to bring something special to the table, because he is the future of boxing. He has a lot of skills, he’s young, he’s confident, and he’ll likely be around for some time.

Article posted on 13.04.2009

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