Pavlik/Williams: Exactly the Type of Fights We Need!

Paul WilliamsBy John Brady - As January and February rolled by I had very high hopes for boxing in 2009. Roughly sixty days into the calendar year and we had already witnessed three potential fight of the year candidates in Marquez/Diaz, Mosley/Margarito, and Berto/Collazo. Oh how things change.

After the fast start this year, the boxing world is now getting over one of the most brutal stretches in recent memory. This summer has been plagued by the passing of ring legends, fight cancellations, postponements, and let’s be honest dull fights. Fights were being cancelled left and right. Everyone from Floyd to Pavlik to David Haye. Injuries, contract issues you name it. There was a bright side though. The year wasn’t over yet, and I love what I see when I look at this fall’s fight schedule. Although we can’t bring back any of the ring legends that we lost this past July, we can continue to honor their memory while me make up for the lack of ring action throughout the summer..

I wrote a piece on this very website a few months back when Kelly Pavlik was scheduled to fight Sergio Mora. The message behind the article was to basically send a message to Bob Arum that if Kelly was going to be fighting on PPV again the competition should start to stiffen a little bit. No disrespect but I don’t think that Marco Antonio Rubio and Sergio Mora were worthy as back to back PPV opponents. Apparently my point got across because two and a half months and one hand injury later and now we’ve got Kelly fighting the sport’s most feared fighter in Paul “The Punisher” Williams on FREE HBO, not PPV. The last few months of the year also include great fights including Dawson/Johnson 2, Pacquiao/Cotto, Andrade/Bute 2, Klitschko/Arreola, Mayweather/Marquez with its stacked undercard and I didn’t even get into the Super Six Super Middleweight Tournament starting in October. Pavlik vs. Williams is definitely the icing on the cake though, definitely one that I had doubts would ever be made, and definitely a fight that BOTH fighters deserve massive credit for taking.

This fight needs to be celebrated. HBO was on an extremely tight budget for the rest of 2009 but even THEY wanted this fight. They didn’t want Williams/Dzinziruk, or Pavlik/Wright, which is most likely the direction the fighters would have gone had they not signed against each other. The FANS wanted this fight, and the FIGHTERS wanted this fight. Luckily Bob Arum and Al Haymon stayed out of these negotiations and a deal was eventually reached.

Fights like these are what make boxing the best sport in the world. I tend to hear every now and again some people say that “boxing is dying”. I believe that whoever truly thinks that is either delusional or they know absolutely nothing about the sport. But one thing I will say is that boxing is not a mainstream sport like it was in the Ali, Sugar Ray or even the early Tyson days. Unfortunately the UFC has now become more of a mainstream sport these days due to their WWE type atmosphere and quick knockouts. Although I am not a fan of the UFC I do admire the organization and how it is ran. They have fewer weight divisions, less belts, and when the public demands a fight they will get it. There’s no Bob Arum, Don King, Richard Schaeffer or “Money” Mayweather trying to squeeze every last penny out of each other. I’ll always be more for the sweet science than the barroom brawling but eventually Arum, King and the others are going to have to take a page out the UFC’s book because in order for the best to fight the best, they’re all going to have to work with each other. I’m glad they started by working out Pavlik/Williams. Hopefully this start’s a trend and Pacquiao/Mayweather will be made. I think Haymon and Arum will have to sit that one out too.

Article posted on 14.08.2009

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