By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Paul Williams injured in motor accident
Williams has been very positive and upbeat since the accident. Williams underwent more than six hours of surgery on Friday to stabilize his spine from further injury. Williams has no movement from the waist down. Yet, still, Williams believes he will not only walk again, but will also resume his boxing career someday.
Williams was quoted by other media outlets saying, “They told me, you know what I’m saying, there’s a very slim chance of walking, because the spine was, like, crushed, or whatever. I should be able to sit up on my own. But as far as me walking and all that, it’s all on me. I’m going to be walking; I know that – that’s how I feel. If I can’t walk, then, oh well, hakuna matata. I’ll be on a boat, fishing.”
Hakuna Matata is Swahili for ‘no worries.’
It’s a sad situation. We’re talking about Paul Williams, a professional boxing world champion with tremendous physical conditioning.
Paul Williams is a genuinely nice guy and a very, good fighter. In fact, Paul is a genuine freak of nature. Williams, a 6′ 2″ southpaw with an 82-inch reach, comfortably made the 147-pound weight limit with few problems. Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto, and Andre Berto all refused to fight “Punishing Paul” because he is a freak of nature. Throughout his career, Williams was known to throw 100 punches per round. He was a very difficult fighter to outwork consistently.
Manny Pacquiao would have been too small for Paul. The reach disparity would have been too great had the two fought. Manny would have had a puncher’s chance if only would have reached Paul’s chin.
Williams wasn’t a welterweight, but routinely made the 147-pound weight-limit through his career. Williams customarily threw more than 100 punches per round. Williams was a solid lead puncher and threw a lot of punches. His offense was his greatest defense.
Williams made his professional debut in July 21, 2000 following a four-round decision against Jeremy Mickelson. Williams went on to knockout his next 13 opponents in a two-year stretch (2000-2002). It wasn’t until July 2007, seven years following Williams’ professional debut that he received his first world title opportunity.
Williams, along with Antonio Margarito, were both widely recognized as the most avoided boxers on the planet. No one wanted to fight either man. Both were desperate for opponents and Williams was the unbeaten No. 1-ranked contender for Maragrito’s WBO welterweight title.
After twelve spirited rounds, Williams took advantage of Margarito’s slow start to end his five-year run as WBO 147-pound champion. Unfortunately for Paul, he lost the title in his first defense against Carlos Quintana in a huge upset several months later.
Although Williams claimed the WBO junior middleweight title, the big fights continued to elude him. In 2009, Williams continued to distance himself from the welterweight division by accepting challenges at 154 and 160 pounds and it paid dividends for his career.
Williams will probably be best remembered for his two sizzling fights with Sergio Martinez at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. The first bout was fought in December 2009 in the small arena upstairs. It was one of the most thrilling fights in recent memory. Both fighters exchanged knockdowns in the opening round. The combinations exchanged were rapid and downright damaging. However, the judges scored the bout 119-110, 115-114, and 114-114 for Williams, via majority decision.
The November 2010 rematch ended in spectacular fashion when Williams didn’t realized he was moving into a solid left hook he didn’t see coming. Williams fell face-first onto the canvas and was counted out to the absolute shock of a jam-packed crowd in Boardwalk Hall’s big arena.
Williams returned in July 2011 to win a controversial majority decision against Erislandy Lara and looked terrific out-boxing Nobuhiro Ishida through twelve rounds last February. Williams was next scheduled to fight undefeated WBC super welterweight champion Saul Alvarez on September 15.