The Return of Paul Williams

By Robert Ecksel on February 15, 2012
The Return of Paul Williams
Perfection in boxing is no more genuine than a Perfect 10 who smells like a rosebush

If Williams was as defensive in the ring as he and his trainer are defensive outside the ring, those losses might have never occurred….

“The fights you lose are the ones that teach you most about yourself.”—Floyd Patterson

It’s probably too early to write off Paul Williams. Though many have done just that, present company included, it may be a more a reflection of our modern-day obsession with perfect records, which in turn has more to do with marketing than with boxing. With the exception of Floyd Mayweather (42-0) and Rocky Marciano (49-0), two exemplary fighters in two less than exemplary eras, the Hall of Fame is full of world-class fighters whose losses were neither the end of their careers nor the end of the world.

Boxing’s obsession with perfection mirrors society’s obsession with perfection, which is another word for plastic surgery and Botox. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yet there’s always more than meets the eye. Perfection in boxing is no more genuine than a Perfect 10 who smells like a rosebush in full bloom. Chances are the 38-22-36 bombshell you were eyeballing is as full of filler as the average boxing article.

If you don’t believe me—and why should you believe me since I’m far from perfect—ask yourself if Floyd Mayweather is perfect, or if Rocky Marciano was perfect.

Former welterweight and junior middleweight champion Paul “The Punisher” Williams (40-2, 27 KOs) has looked less than perfect in his last few outings. In July he got outsmarted and outpunched by Erislandy Lara, the judges’ decision notwithstanding. Before that he had his head handed to him by Sergio Martinez.

But Williams’ promoter Dan Goossen isn’t buying the “Paul Williams is finished” line, nor would one expect him to. “It’s really a shame that two losses in our sport,” he said, “and people are writing you off.”

Goossen has a point, albeit one that needs to be taken with a grain of salt. But just as Williams failed to alter is game plan after he was starched by Martinez, he seems unwilling to accept that his “victory” over Lara was tainted by lame officiating.

“I thought that was bull crap,” Williams said last week. “It’s not like the judges were off by more than one point. It was one point. Why would they want to make a big deal about that? I thought that was bull crap.

“I have no reason to fight [Lara] again. He didn’t get any fame and glory for winning that fight. All he got is me having a bad night. That’s about it. I thought I inched it out. Like most guys said like they didn’t see me doing like the clean, big head punches and stuff. But I thought this was not amateurs. They do count body shots and I worked the body the most.”

If bodies bled the way noses and mouths bleed, Williams’ argument might have more bite.

The Punisher’s trainer, George Peterson, who said prior to the Lara fight that Williams needn’t do anything different because “Paul’s a winner,” not surprisingly agrees with his fighter’s assessment.

“The judges had absolutely no account of what the announcers were saying,” he said. “The judges called it just like they saw it, not like the announcers mentioned it. The announcers mentioned it one way and the judges saw it another way. Let the judges do their job, let the announcers do their job, and let the referee do his job.”

If Williams was as defensive in the ring as he and Peterson are defensive outside the ring, those losses might have never occurred and he might never lose again.

Paul Williams gets another chance at not losing again when he gets it on with Nobuhiro Ishida, 24-6-2 (9 KOs) Saturday night at the American Bank Center Arena in Corpus Christi, Texas, in a fight broadcast on Showtime.

Ishida, who is best known for his one round KO of James Kirkland, said that he “didn’t expect to get a knockout against Kirkland. You never really expect that. I’m not sure about a knockout against Paul Williams. But I think I will get the win. I’m going to make it a very long night for Paul Williams.”

Whether it will be a long or short night for Williams depends in part on whether he and his trainer can shelve their excuses.

“I’m going to show my fans that I’m not done,” said Williams. “They will always try and write you off but I will show them that I’m not done.”

If The Punisher fights as he’s proven himself capable of fighting in the past, all will be forgiven—even those two losses—at least for now.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Paul Williams vs Erislandy Lara - Part 1 of 4



Paul Williams vs Erislandy Lara - Part 2 of 4



Paul Williams vs Erislandy Lara - Part 3 of 4



Paul Williams vs Erislandy Lara - Part 4 of 4



Teddy Atlas Previews Williams Vs. Ishida



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Sergio Martinez vs Paul Williams II



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  1. Don from Prov 01:33pm, 02/16/2012

    To tell you the truth, if Williams fights as he did in the past, I think that does = a problem


    Losses aren’t the end of the world when a fighter learns or grows from them, but PW hanging his chin out for everyone and anyone is not a good thing for his health.

  2. Bk Don 08:57am, 02/15/2012

    I’ll tell you what it’s not too early to do, and that’s to write off Williams as a main event fighter on HBO or Showtime. I don’t think the guy should retire b/c he suffered two losses, though they were both brutal in their own right, but i don’t think he should be featured against a relative unknown in a Showtime main event. Williams hasn’t been able to draw flies to watch him fight and he hasn’t performed well in his recent fights. Yet somehow, (cough cough Al Hayman), here he is facing a guy, Nobuhiro, who hasn’t been able to get a TV date since his upset of Kirkland. Something smells funny here.