"The Punisher" Williams Destroys Mitchell in Four

paul williams22.08.06 - By Frank Gonzalez Jr.: Standing at six foot-one inch tall, southpaw Welterweight Prospect, Paul "The Punisher" Williams (31-0, 23 KO's) lived up to his nick name Saturday night in Reno Nevada, when he punished little five foot-seven inch, Sharmba "Little Big Man" Mitchell (57-6, 31 KO's) for four rounds in a scheduled twelve round mismatch.

The fight was a tale of two prizefighters going in opposite directions, in a battle between a shop worn Mitchell, a former Champion and current stepping-stone fighter, descending into the twilight of his career-against the young and relentless, Paul Williams, a potential star on the way up.

From the opening moments, Williams' long range and aggressiveness enabled him to bang Mitchell from all angles. To his credit, Mitchell was able to land a few clean punches, but never enough to hurt, nor slow down the relentless Williams.

Mitchell's best moments came in the second round when he managed to get in close and land a four-punch combination flush onto Williams face. Williams hardly noticed and continued to pepper Mitchell with an array of punches, packing power in both hands.

Mitchell was dropped in the third round by an uppercut, followed by a right, left combo. Mitchell morphed into John Ruiz, holding more than hitting by that point. Referee Vic Draculich worked hard to break the fighters apart as Mitchell continually clinched after every Williams' assault. At one point, Mitchell threw a punch during a break that caused Draculich to issue a stern warning. But it wouldn't matter.

In the fourth round, Williams continued to blast Mitchell like a ragamuffin, putting him down three times, after which, the ref stopped the fight. Though Sharmba showed some bravery, he was in way over his head, literally and figuratively, from the start.

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Floyd Mayweather beat Mitchell in six but Williams did it in four and in more convincing fashion. Sharmba was already old when he fought Mayweather and he didn't get any younger for Williams. As weathered as Mitchell is, he's still a good boxer. This beat down provided a good exhibition of what Williams brings to the table.

During the post fight interview, Williams called out the man no one wants to fight at 147, WBO Champion, Antonio Margarito (33-4, 24 KO's). He said, "If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best."

Floyd, are you listening?

With only one big name on his resume so far, Paul Williams gave the impression that with his size and tenacity, he'll be a handful for anyone in the top of the division. His offensive is his defense and he showed a decent chin in taking Mitchell's best punches.

Williams admits that with his style of fighting, he's going to get hit. Taking a shot to deliver his own appears to be his modus operandi for now. Williams would be wise to improve his defensive skills if he plans on beating any of the best in the division. At 25 years old, Williams will only get better.

Beating a faded Sharmba Mitchell isn't enough to put Williams in league with the elite of the division just yet. While Williams may be ambitious, he's probably better off taking on some top contenders like Kermit Cintron, Carlos Quintana or Joel Julio before going after the Champions. After all, you should have to earn your way to the top.

Styles make fights and it would be interesting to see how Williams high work rate punching would fare vs. a fighter like Margarito in the future. Margarito has effective ring generalship, is an accurate puncher and gets stronger as the rounds grow deeper. Margarito is tall enough to handle Williams' size and wise enough to turn Williams wild aggression into a liability. Of course, you never know what can happen. Margarito vs. Williams could be a great fight someday.

The durable WBC Champion, Carlos Baldomir (42-9-6, 13 KO's) would also be a big step up and a tough proposition for Williams, as Baldomir brings his own brand of hard working, blue collar pugilism to the equation. Baldomir does have 9 losses on his record but he hasn't lost in seven years. Baldomir also has a competent defense and is riding high on his last two victories over Zab Judah and Arturo Gatti. How Williams compares with Baldomir in terms of stamina and ability to absorb punches might be the storyline in that match up.

Ricky Hatton (41-0, 30 KO's) would be wise to go back to the 140-pound division, where he has the potential to rule for a while, since Miguel Cotto will probably move up to 147 soon. It would be nice to see them fight each other at 147 before Hatton goes back to Jr. Welterweight, where he belongs.

Hatton's pressure style might not work well against Williams, who is too tall, too fast and too strong for the much shorter Hatton, who doesn't appear to have much power at 147. Williams' long arms generate plenty of power. Hatton would have to stay very close on the inside to neutralize Williams' size. If the fight goes into the late rounds, Williams' stamina is a question mark, while Hatton's is undeniable.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. (36-0, 24 KO's), who passed on an eight million dollar purse to fight Antonio Margarito, is slated to fight Carlos Baldomir in November. If he wins that fight, he'll likely take the safest route to staying undefeated for a couple of years. I'd love to see Floyd prove he's the best Pound-for-Pound fighter in boxing by handling a strong, confidently dangerous guy like Margarito but that's not going to happen if Floyd can help it.

As for Williams, I doubt he'd be on Floyd's short list of safe opponents any time soon. For Floyd, there's easier money to be made fighting older, faded, brand name fighters than a high risk, low reward fight against Paul Williams, who doesn't even own a major Title.yet. If he gets one, maybe Floyd will move up to 154 in his never ending quest to fight Oscar De La Hoya-before he retires. Time will tell.

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Article posted on 22.08.2006

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