Paul Williams: “I honestly feel I’m going to knock Sergio Martinez out this time”

by Geoffrey Ciani - This week’s 91st edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio featured an exclusive interview with former two-time WBO welterweight champion Paul Williams (39-1, 27 KOs) who is expected to have a rematch with WBC/WBO middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (45-2-2, 24 KOs). When these two first met in December of last year, Williams was awarded closely contested majority decision in a fight many fans felt could have gone either way. Williams spoke about that fight and reflected back on various moments of his career as well as his future plans. He also provided opinions and views on a variety of other topics pertaining to the current boxing landscape. Here are some excerpts from that interview:

On rumors that he will be having a rematch against WBC/WBO middleweight champion Sergio Martinez:

“As much as I know the fight is going to be November 20. That’s all I know so far. I’m excited to get back in there and do what I got to do.”

On what he feels he can do differently this time in order to have a more decisive victory:

“I got more time to prepare for him. Last time remember that I was training for Kelly Pavlik the whole time and he pulled out like two and a half weeks before the fight. So then they put Martinez in there, so I had to switch my whole style up. You can’t prepare for a champion like that in two and a half weeks. I was preparing for a right-handed person that’s somebody who stands in front of me and stuff, and they had to switch it up to a left-handed person that’s somebody who moves. We couldn’t get sparring partners there. My manager basically told me game plan was going to be to just fight this dude, just jump on this dude the first time. So now that I have more time to prepare for this guy, I’m pretty sure we’ll have some new tricks there for him.

On whether he was surprised that Martinez beat Kelly Pavlik for the WBC/WBO middleweight titles:

“Oh no. We knew that was going to happen, just like we would have got him. We would have stopped him. So we weren’t surprised that he beat Pavlik.”

His views on Sergio Martinez as a fighter:

“Overall as a fighter, I have to give him his props. He’s a champion. He’s been proving himself. I think he only lost one fight out of forty-something fights, so you have to give the man respect for what he’s doing and all he accomplished. But in my eyes, I feel like I didn’t have time to prepare for him like I should, like I said, going in there with a champion like that. A lot of people are like, ‘Oh you lost. You won. You lost. You won’. Now we’re going to see how it is with me preparing for three and a half months and preparing for this bout and all of that. Now we’ll see how everything goes in this rematch. Bottom line, it’s going to be an explosive fight for the fans to see. I mean I’m excited just knowing that there are talks of us getting back in the ring on November 20. So I’m really pumped up for that. My fans know I’m going to be ready, and I’m pretty sure his fans know he’s going to be ready. It’s going to be another big explosion on November 20.

On whether he feels the need to get back in the ring following the unsatisfying finish his last time out against Kermit Cintron:

“Oh yeah. Our game plan with Cintron was just to take our time. We knew he was going to counter and all of that, so for him, we were just going to take our time and we were going to last with him and then we were going to start picking it up. We started picking it up and I landed like two big left hands on him, he landed a little hook, and I came back with a left hand and he jumped out of the ring. So you know, I’m not really thinking about Cintron.”

On whether he believed he would such an easy time in his dominant victory against Winky Wright:

“Well I didn’t expect we’d have an easy time. We know they say Winky had a good defense and all of that. After I started training with what we were working on, I was to the point where I was like, ‘You know what? I don’t care how good his defense is, I’m going to get mine in and he’s going to have to deal with me’. That way what he did to other people and all of that, he never did that on me. In my mind, I was like I’m going to be the one to expose him and show him what you do to guys with defense and all of that.”

On whether he was surprised Winky took the fight with him at a time when he was having trouble finding opponents willing to face him:

“I wasn’t surprised that he took the fight. With Winky Wright’s pedigree, he took the fight that nobody wanted to fight and stuff. He has always been like the guy that nobody wanted to fight. For him to get an opportunity just like me, if we get an opportunity to fight anybody we’re definitely going to get in there if the money is right. We’d definitely get in there. So I expected him to take the fight. I knew he was a veteran and a crafty guy and all of that, but I just wanted the opportunity for me to get in there with a big name fighter like Winky Wright and to prove to everybody that I’m something to reckon with in the ring.”

His views on whether he could still make the 147 pound limit for the right fight:

“I think I still can, and the only way you’ll find out is if either Pacquiao or Mayweather or somebody like that challenged me at that weight or whatever, and I’d go down to that weight. I wouldn’t go down to that weight with a guy who’s not worthy. So to me definitely, I never had trouble making that weight. Even when I was fighting at that weight, I was coming in at 145 ½ at that weight. The problem was getting guys in there to fight me. So we couldn’t get guys in there to fight, so Peterson was like, ‘Why stay at this weight and fight? You can’t get no fights at this weight. Let’s move up and get fights’. So that’s what we were doing. As soon as we get a fight, that’s what we do.”

His views on the fact that Floyd Mayweather Junior and Manny Pacquiao have been unable to reach an agreement:

“Well it’s kind of upsetting and you’re a fan and stuff and you really want to see it. Everybody says they’re the best and all of that. My thing is, the only way that you can prove that you’re the best, you get to get in there and fight the best. I mean I think Pacquiao’s ranked number one, Mayweather is number two, and I’m number three in the world. I mean Martinez is number four, so we’re all getting in the ring to fight. Why can’t they get in the ring and fight? With the kind of money that they were going to make and stuff, I mean come on. That’s crazy. With me, all they had to do is say we’ll fight Williams, and I would have signed a contract to get it on. I mean this is what we do, we fight.”

On recent headlines made by Floyd Mayweather Junior with his recent arrest and remarks made towards Pacquiao which many perceived as being racially charged:

“To tell you the truth, I haven’t really been paying any attention to none of that stuff. I mean when the facts come up out and everything comes out, then I’ll probably make a comment then. But right now, we really don’t have any proof or anything so I don’t want to make a comment on that.”

His views on the upcoming fight between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito:

“I think it’s going to be a pretty good fight for as long as it lasts. You got to look at Margarito’s last couple of fights. He’s been taking some beatings and stuff his last couple of fights. You got to see how much he has left in the tank. Cotto was beating him for the first eight rounds, he was putting a whopping on him. Then Sugar Shane, everybody knows Margarito starts off real late, but Mosley didn’t give him a chance. Before he even got started he got knocked out. So you got to see how much that took out of him. Pacquiao is a fast fighter. He’ll be bringing it to him. So you know Pacquiao is going to win the first seven rounds off of muscle. That’s how Margarito starts. So you got to see if he stand up to the beating or the punishment that Pacquiao will deliver. So it will be interesting to see, but I would love the winner.”

On whether there were ever any serious negotiations for a rematch between him and Margarito after their first fight:

“Never. I even wanted that fight before he fought Sugar Shane. I definitely wanted that fight because that was the fight everybody was talking about. Everybody wanted to see a rematch with me and Margarito, but to me, there is no point fighting him now. He lost his reputation with the hand thing and then he got knocked out by Sugar Shane. That kind of like made it die out. Maybe if he beats Pacquiao he can rejuvenate himself or something.”

His views on Floyd Mayweather’s impressive victory against Shane Mosley and whether that was the type of fight he was expecting from those two:

“That fight with Mosley and Mayweather, Mosley had him for the first two rounds. He was doing what he’s supposed to do, but then I don’t know. I don’t know. He just didn’t do anything else. He just let Mayweather beat the bricks off of him after that. After the first two rounds he was done. All I had seen him do was jump around the ring for twelve rounds just bouncing around and not throwing any punches, letting Mayweather do whatever he wanted to do. Then he wanted to try to touch gloves in the middle of the ring with Mayweather, and Mayweather did what I would have done—just punch him in the face. You don’t try to touch gloves. He didn’t want to fight anymore. That’s what I had seen.”

On whether he believes Mosley will bounce back this weekend when he fights against Sergio Mora:

“I don’t know. I mean he’s fighting Sergio Mora. Sergio Mora was a champion but that’s all we know. Not taking anything from Mora or anything like that, but I don’t think Mora fought since the last time he fought Vernon. I think that was his last fight. I don’t know how good of shape Mora’s going to be in here. He’s been out of the ring so he may have a little rust. Hopefully it will be a good fight, I don’t know.”

On whether he would still drop down to 147 to fight Mayweather or Pacquiao even if he beats Martinez to become the middleweight champion:

“Most definitely. I mean I think they’re fighting at catch weights right now, but it doesn’t matter. They can do 47, 54, whatever weight they want to go at, I’ll be game to go at with them at that weight. They’re the big guys out there. They’re some of the top guys out there in the world. Pacquiao is number one, Mayweather’s number two, I’m number three. So to get in the ring with those guys, that will be me completing my legacy. When I go out of boxing, I want to have all the big guys on there. Williams never ducked anybody. I want to fight those guys, because they’re the best guys out there at my time right now. I don’t want to let those guys get off the hook and stuff. I mean if I need to, I’m going to push that issue out there. Why are those guys not fighting Williams? They’re fighting everybody out there but Williams. They’re fighting guys that Williams beat.”

On who he would prefer to fight give the choice—Pacquiao or Mayweather:

“Pacquiao. Pacquiao’s got an explosive style. I mean I think it will bring more action for the fans, because he’s going to bring it and I’m going to bring it. He mans up. I’ve never seen Pacquiao ducking anybody. I think that will be the best fight out there anybody will see. Pacquiao’s going to fight. He’s going to be throwing punches and I’m going to be throwing punches. We’re not going to take three minutes to throw a punch. It’s going to be action. With a fight like that where there’s a lot of action going on, anything can happen. When punches are flying, anybody could get caught. I know I’m going to take some shots and I know he’s going to take some shots, so it would be explosive to see.”

On what he feels are his keys to victory in his rematch against Martinez:

“Just that Paul Williams got to show up. That’s all. That’s all I got to do is show up, and the rest is going to be easy. Not taking anything away from Martinez, but I know what I didn’t do last time and I know what I got to do this time. So it’s going to be no problem for me to go in there and do what I got to do.”

On whether he would ever consider moving up to 168 if he got a chance to face the winner of the Super Six super middleweight tournament:

“Of course, if the money is right I will definitely go up to that weight. To me, that means I can have more to eat. I won’t have to watch what I eat and I could probably go back to my burgers and fries and stuff. So if the money’s right and they want me to go up to 168, I’ll talk to Peterson and stuff and we’ll see about who wins and we’ll see. If the dollars are right and the fans want to see it then I’m already game.”

His official prediction for his November 20 fight against Sergio Martinez:

“Oh, there’s going to be a knockout. I honestly believe it’s going to be a knockout, and it’s not going to be me. I honestly feel I’m going to knock Martinez out this time around. Peterson showed me what I allowed the guy to do and what I didn’t do, so I just got to execute my game plan. The stuff I allowed him to do, I just got to take that away from him. Not to take anything away from Martinez. I know he’s going to be looking for a knockout, too. But if it’s not going to be a knockout, it’s going to be a brutal twelve rounds and it will be something where the fans will get their money’s worth. They’re going to enjoy every penny of it.”


For those interested in listening to the Paul Williams interview in its entirety, it begins approximately twenty-three minutes into the program.


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Article posted on 15.09.2010

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