Williams Punishes Margarito, Wins WBO Welterweight Title

By Francis Walker
Updated: July 16, 2007

Boxing Gloves NEW YORK — Paul Williams (33-0, 24 KOs) punished Antonio Margarito (34-5, 24 KOs, 1 NC) through twelve rounds to win the WBO welterweight championship last Saturday night, at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Ca..

At 6-feet-1 and an 81-inch reach, Williams used his southpaw stance and pressure combination punching to decisively beat Margarito. All three judges scored the bout 116-112 and 115-113 (twice) for Williams.

Had Margarito won the final round on two of the judges’ scorecards that had it 115-113, Margarito would have retained his title via majority draw.

“I wasn’t nervous at about the decision,” Williams said. “I think it was a fair decision and I beat him in his hometown which means a lot.”

The Augusta, Ga. native dominated the first half of the fight behind triple right jabs, lead, and counterpunches. Williams outworked Margarito, 29 of Mexico, from the outside.

Margarito struggled to get past Williams’ combinations until the seventh round. That’s when he began landing effective body shots and caught Williams with solid rights to his head.

Margarito pressed Williams in the eighth. He also hurt Williams in round 11 with a pair of right hands to his chin. Williams pulled away with the fight in the final round. He jabbed and continued to outwork Margarito with combinations.

Williams-Margarito was the main event of a HBO televised split site triple-header. The other two fights featured two welterweight fights from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ.

Gomez KO Retires Gatti

Alfonso Gomez (19-3-2, 8 KOs) ended Arturo Gatti’s storied career with a seventh round knockout. Gomez out-boxed Gatti (40-9, 31 KOs) from the opening bell. Although Gatti boxed and weaved, the years of abuse and strain on his body caught up to him.

Gomez’ left jabs and straight-rights snapped Gatti’s head backwards. Gomez, 26 of Mexico, not recognized as a strong puncher, hurt Gatti, 35, of Jersey City, NJ, whenever he landed a right hand.

Gatti has lost his share of fights against some of the best fighters of his time: Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Oscar De La Hoya, Angel Manfredy, Ivan Robinson, and Micky Ward. But coming off a knockout loss to Carlos Baldomir last year, Gomez was the right type of opponent to determine just how much Gatti has left.

Gatti-Gomez wasn’t even competitive. Gomez was dominant. Gomez wasn’t very fast, but he looked like a machine pitching out fastballs compared to Gatti’s dangerously slow reflexes. Fans tried to cheer Gatti on.

They chanted his name emphatically with hopes of Gatti pulling off a Wilson Rodriguez miracle knockout, Terron Millet icing, and a Joey Gamache demolition. Even Ward, his arch rival during an epic trilogy and trainer for this fight, tried to pump ferociousness into his fighter’s spirit.

The memories and flashes of yesteryear were long gone. When reality came into focus, it then became clear that Gatti’s career as a fighter was over.

“From 140 to 147 it’s just a different me,” Gatti said. “I wish I could make 140 but it’s impossible so I don’t see myself continuing at 147. I’m going to retire.”

The end came at 2:12 seconds into round seven when a Gomez right hand set up a hellacious beating. Reeling from one side of the ring to the next, Gatti absorbed an unnecessary amount of punishment. Referee Randy Newman did absolutely nothing, but count Gatti out after Gomez dropped him with a solid right to his chin.

Newman didn’t even stop the fight. He continued the count until New Jersey State Athletic Commissioner and former referee Larry Hazzard jumped into the ring to stop the slaughter.

Cintron Retains Welterweight Title

IBF welterweight champion Kermit Cintron (28-1, 26 KOs) knocked out Walter Dario Matthysse (26-2, 25 KOs) at 29 seconds of the second round. Cintron, 28 of Puerto Rico, dropped Matthysse,28, of Argentina, at the end of the first round with a solid right to his head.

Cintron scored two additional knockdowns in the second round. The final knockdown occurring after Cintron landed a left uppercut, right hook combination that slammed Matthysse onto the mat.

“I wasn’t expecting it to end that quickly,” Cintron said. “Emanuel Steward told me to be cautious, use my left jab, and look [to use] the right hand. I knew I had him at the end of the first round. I’m back! The Margarito fight was nothing. This was the real Kermit Cintron.”

It was Cintron’s first defense of the IBF title Cintron won the IBF 147-pound title in October 2006 when he TKO’d Mark Suarez in the sixth round. Cintron is now 4-0, 4KOs since losing a fifth-round TKO to Margarito in April 2005.

Cintron is eying a super fight with “Sugar” Shane Mosley next.