A Closer Look

By Tom Donelson
Updated: February 17, 2008

GlovesIOWA CITY, Ia. — Paul Williams had every reason to be confident as he headed into his last match against Carlos Quintana. Williams defeated Antonio Margarito whereas Quintana got clobbered by Miguel Cotto.

The long winged Williams was the prohibitive favorite and yes, I was among the pundits who predicted an easy night for the tall, lanky Williams.Funny thing about sports, often things don’t always go according to scrip.There are those scripts in which the favorite wins his match on his way to the big pay day.

This was one of those nights in which the underdog failed to read the script. Quintana, using his southpaw stance, often shot his left hand over the right hand jab of Williams.

His massive reach failed to keep Quintana off him and Quintana used Williams’ face as a piñata. Williams, whose strength was his ability to throw punches in bunches while keeping his opponent off balanced and away. This night, it was Quintana who kept Williams off balanced as he breezed to victory.

So what does it mean in the scheme of the welterweight? First, Quintana was underestimated as a fighter. The Puerto Rican fighter has fought three tough undefeated fighters in a row, winning two of those bouts.

In defeating Williams, Quintana showed that he belonged to the elites of the Welterweight; one of boxing deepest division. As for Williams, his future is still bright.

While his defeat were greeted by the howls of Williams being exposed; these headlines don’t tell the truth of the fight and the fighters involved. These headlines do injustice to Quintana for he is a tough fighter in his own right.

His victory over the rugged Joel Julio was no fluke and Quintana had the technical skills to match up with many of the top Welterweights. As for Williams, he fought another southpaw and was found wanting.

This doesn’t mean that his career is over or that he is not a good fighter. Williams, like Quintana, belongs to the elites of the Welterweights and soon, he may be parading as a junior Middleweight and maybe even a Middleweight.

Williams dominated Margarito easily in their bout and Margarito has always been considered one of the Welterweight and one fighter that others find it prudent to avoid.

Quintana’s victory opens up new possibilities and with a WBO champion, he has one trinket to offer as incentives and there are plenty of good fights left to be made. As for Williams, he was given a learning experience.

And great fighters often learn from losing and take those lessons to heart.Williams is a talented athlete who is becoming a fighter as he showed against Margarito. And with his volume punching and long reach, he can easily move up and challenged for the junior Middleweight and eventually Middleweight.

Is Williams overrated? Or did he simply lose to another elite Welterweight? History will answer both questions but for right now, what happened was simple. Two elite fighters engaged in a tough fight and Quintana was the better fighter against Williams.