Paul Williams (boxer)

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Paul Williams
Paul Williams (boxer).jpg
Williams vs. Martínez, 2010
  • The Punisher
  • P-Will
Height6 ft 1 12 in (187 cm)
Reach79 in (201 cm)
Born (1981-07-27) July 27, 1981 (age 37)
Augusta, Georgia, U.S.
Boxing record
Total fights43
Wins by KO27

Paul Williams (born July 27, 1981) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 2000 to 2012. He won the WBO welterweight title twice, in 2007 and 2008; the WBO interim junior middleweight title in 2008; and challenged for the unified middleweight title in 2010. Nicknamed "The Punisher", and standing at a height of 6 foot 1 inches, Williams was unusually tall for the three divisions in which he competed. His career was cut short in 2012 after a motorcycle accident left him paralyzed from the waist down.[1][2]

Professional career[edit]

Early years at welterweight[edit]

His debut was in the year 2000. He is promoted by the Goossens. In 2005 he outpointed former Olympic bronze medalist Terrence Cauthen and, later that year, he knocked out Alfonso Sanchez in 5 rounds. His ESPN debut was a second-round knockout of Sergio Rios on Wednesday Night Fights. Williams made his HBO debut against then-undefeated Walter Matthysse, winning by a tenth-round technical knockout.[Video 1] That was followed by a victory over former junior welterweight world champion Sharmba Mitchell. He knocked Mitchell down three times en route to a fourth-round TKO.

WBO Welterweight Championship[edit]

Williams became the mandatory challenger for WBO Welterweight Champion Antonio Margarito. The match took place July 14, 2007, in Carson, California, at the Home Depot Center with Williams winning a unanimous decision in which turned out to be a close fight where Williams' seemingly stronger finish seemed to seal him the decision victory in the eyes of boxing experts and fans alike. Williams fought Carlos Quintana on February 9, 2008 in his first defense of his title. Williams lost to Quintana by decision in what many considered a minor upset.

Williams and Quintana had a rematch at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut on June 7, 2008 for the WBO Welterweight title, at Williams' request. Williams got off to a quick start when a left hand sent Quintana into a daze as several follow-up barrages put Quintana down. He got up, but Williams opened up with dozens of unanswered punches as the referee jumped in to stop the fight while Quintana was going down again.[3]

Williams was rumored to be moving up two weight classes to fight Kelly Pavlik for the WBC Middleweight title but instead Pavlik himself decided to move up two weight classes himself to fight Bernard Hopkins. Williams fought Andy Kolle on September 25. Williams dominated the fight from the start and recorded a first-round knockout in 1:37 seconds.

Light Middleweight[edit]

After failing to secure another meaningful contest at welterweight, Williams vacated his WBO welterweight title in order to fight Verno Phillips for the WBO Interim Light Middleweight title.

On November 29, 2008, Williams defeated Phillips by way of TKO after 8 rounds after the Doctor stopped the fight. In doing so he secured the WBO Interim Light Middleweight title.[4]


Winky Wright[edit]

Williams fought Winky Wright on April 11, 2009, in a 12-round middleweight bout featured on HBO.[5] Williams defeated Wright in a unanimous decision which was not close on the scorecards – two of the three judges gave Williams all but one round while the third scored all 12 rounds for Williams.

Williams was then preparing to fight Middleweight Champion Kelly Pavlik in a bout scheduled to take place on October 3, 2009 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.[6] The bout was postponed when it was discovered Pavlik had a staph infection in his knuckle and had been rescheduled for December 5. However, the bout was called off for a second time six weeks prior to the fight because Pavlik's infection had not completely healed.[7]

Sergio Martínez[edit]

On December 5, 2009 Paul Williams fought Sergio Martínez in a war of a twelve-round main event. In the first round Martinez was knocked down due to bad balance and a grazing left hand that landed just below the ear. In the final seconds of the 1st round though Martinez scored a knockdown of his own over Williams. The next two rounds were heavily in Martinez's favor as he hit Williams with barrages of counter punches. After Martinez was seemingly won the first 3 rounds, rounds 4-7 showed Williams coming back effectively landing hard lefts to the head of Martinez. In rounds 8-10 Martinez again confused Williams with using different varieties of punches, including straight lead lefts to the body followed by right hooks to the head and straight lefts to the face. The final 2 rounds showed much fatigue in Martinez and Williams but both warriors fought through to the end, although Williams seemed to win both of the last 2 rounds by being the far more active boxer (while the punching exchanges were very closely contested during those final 2 rounds as well), which would ultimately prove to be the difference and as a result of having far superior activity during those final 2 rounds, Williams won a close majority decision over Martinez. The judges scored the fight 114-114, 115-113 for Williams and 119-110 for Williams, thus making Williams emerge as the majority decision winner.

Kermit Cintron[edit]

After his close win over Sergio Martínez, Paul Williams moved on to face Puerto Rican prospect Kermit Cintrón. The two met on May 8, 2010 Live on Saturday Night HBO Boxing. In the fourth round, Kermit Cintron fell out of the ring unintentionally and was not allowed to continue fighting due to hitting the arena floor. Williams was ahead on two of the three judges' scorecards at the time of the stoppage and was declared the winner by split technical decision.[8] Cintron, who believed he should have been ahead on the scorecards, filed a complaint to have the ruling changed to a no-contest, claiming he was not given the five-minute recovery time allowed under California rules.[9]

Williams vs Martinez II[edit]

Williams before the Martínez fight in November 2010

A highly anticipated rematch with Sergio Martinez eventually materialized at Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey on November 20, 2010. Upon the Williams camp's insistence, the fight was contested at the catchweight limit of 158 pounds instead of the middleweight limit of 160, with Martinez's WBC Middleweight title on the line.[10] The fight was billed as a potential "fight-of-the-year," however the fight ended abruptly and dramatically when Sergio Martinez delivered a knockout blow with 2:02 left in the 2nd round. The punch was a short left cross that caught Williams right on the chin as he attempted to deliver a left-hand of his own. Williams' right hand was at his waist when the punch landed, rendering Paul Williams unconscious upon contact.

Erislandy Lara[edit]

On July 9, 2011, Paul Williams fought in a light middleweight contest in Atlantic City against former Cuban amateur sensation Erislandy Lara. Throughout the fight, Lara repeatedly hit Williams with hard left hands and appeared to have won the fight convincingly in the eyes of the HBO crew and those sitting at ringside.[11][12][13] However, the judges awarded Williams with a narrow majority decision, a highly controversial verdict that ultimately led to the suspension of the three judges by the New Jersey Athletic Control Board. [14][15]

Motorcycle accident and paralysis[edit]

On May 27, 2012, Williams was severely injured when he crashed his motorcycle in Georgia. He swerved to avoid hitting a car while traveling at about 75 mph on the motorcycle and was launched sixty feet. Witnesses say he landed on his head and his body "folded like a suitcase."[Video 2] The accident left him with a part of his spinal cord severely bruised, paralyzing him from the waist down. Since it was bruised and not severed, it gives him a chance to regain sensation.[1][2] The doctors told Williams the swelling could go down in a year or two, potentially giving him a chance of walking again. The accident came as Williams was preparing for his PPV main event against Canelo Alvarez on September 15.[16] "I'm just chilling in a wheelchair because I got tired of walking," Williams said in an interview with Jim Gray on Showtime Championship Boxing on the day he was supposed to fight. "Whether I am walking or not walking, my game ain't over until the Lord takes my life."[17][Video 2]

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
43 fights 41 wins 2 losses
By knockout 27 1
By decision 13 1
By disqualification 1 0
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
43 Win 41–2 Japan Nobuhiro Ishida UD 12 Feb 18, 2012 United States American Bank Center, Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S.
42 Win 40–2 United States Erislandy Lara MD 12 Jul 9, 2011 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
41 Loss 39–2 Argentina Sergio Martínez KO 2 (12), 1:10 Nov 20, 2010 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. For WBC, The Ring, and lineal middleweight titles
40 Win 39–1 Puerto Rico Kermit Cintrón TD 4 (12), 3:00 May 8, 2010 United States Home Depot Center, Carson, California, U.S. Split TD after Cintrón could not continue from falling out of the ring
39 Win 38–1 Argentina Sergio Martínez MD 12 Dec 5, 2009 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
38 Win 37–1 United States Winky Wright UD 12 Apr 11, 2009 United States Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
37 Win 36–1 United States Verno Phillips TKO 8 (12), 3:00 Nov 29, 2008 United States Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario, California, U.S. Won WBO interim junior middleweight title
36 Win 35–1 United States Andy Kolle TKO 1 (10), 1:37 Sep 25, 2008 United States Soboba Casino, San Jacinto, California, U.S.
35 Win 34–1 Puerto Rico Carlos Quintana TKO 1 (12), 2:15 Jun 7, 2008 United States Mohegan Sun Arena, Montville, Connecticut, U.S. Won WBO welterweight title
34 Loss 33–1 Puerto Rico Carlos Quintana UD 12 Feb 9, 2008 United States Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, California, U.S. Lost WBO welterweight title
33 Win 33–0 Mexico Antonio Margarito UD 12 Jul 14, 2007 United States Home Depot Center, Carson, California, U.S. Won WBO welterweight title
32 Win 32–0 New Zealand Santos Pakau TKO 6 (10), 2:16 Nov 4, 2006 United States Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
31 Win 31–0 United States Sharmba Mitchell KO 4 (12), 2:57 Aug 19, 2006 United States Events Center, Reno, Nevada, U.S. Retained WBC–USNBC and WBO–NABO welterweight titles
30 Win 30–0 Argentina Walter Matthysse TKO 10 (12), 1:56 May 27, 2006 United States Home Depot Center, Carson, California, U.S. Won vacant WBONABO welterweight title
29 Win 29–0 Mexico Sergio Rios KO 2 (10), 2:24 Apr 12, 2006 United States Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino, Lemoore, California, U.S. Won WBCUSNBC welterweight title
28 Win 28–0 Mexico Alfonso Sanchez KO 5 (10), 1:12 Dec 2, 2005 United States Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino, Lemoore, California, U.S.
27 Win 27–0 United States Marteze Logan UD 8 Sep 30, 2005 United States Cache Creek Casino Resort, Brooks, California, U.S.
26 Win 26–0 United States Terrance Cauthen UD 10 Apr 22, 2005 United States Chumash Casino Resort, Santa Ynez, California, U.S.
25 Win 25–0 United States Sammy Sparkman TKO 4 (8) Nov 11, 2004 United States Hilton, Washington, D.C., U.S.
24 Win 24–0 Mexico Javier Hector Valadez TKO 1 (10), 1:08 Sep 23, 2004 United States HP Pavilion, San Jose, California, U.S.
23 Win 23–0 Ecuador Luis Hernandez UD 10 May 7, 2004 United States Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S.
22 Win 22–0 Mexico Rodolfo Gomez TKO 4 (10), 2:43 Feb 6, 2004 United States Desert Diamond Casino, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
21 Win 21–0 Mexico Arturo Rodriguez KO 1 (8) Nov 7, 2003 United States Desert Diamond Casino, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
20 Win 20–0 United States Benjie Marquez DQ 3 (6) Aug 26, 2003 United States Sandia Casino, Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S. Marquez disqualified for hitting after the bell
19 Win 19–0 United States Earl Jackson TKO 2 (6), 2:52 Jan 3, 2003 United States Thunderbird Wild West Casino, Norman, Oklahoma, U.S.
18 Win 18–0 Kenya Joshua Onyango UD 6 Oct 18, 2002 United States HSBC Arena, Buffalo, New York, U.S.
17 Win 17–0 Jamaica Gary Grant TKO 2 (6) Jul 27, 2002 United States Jarrell's Boxing Gym, Savannah, Georgia, U.S.
16 Win 16–0 Ghana Laatekwei Hammond UD 6 Apr 5, 2002 United States Alumni Arena, Buffalo, New York, U.S.
15 Win 15–0 Puerto Rico Agustin Silva UD 4 Jan 4, 2002 United States American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida, U.S.
14 Win 14–0 United States Mahan Washington TKO 3 (6), 1:44 Dec 7, 2001 United States Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Indio, California, U.S.
13 Win 13–0 United States Willie McDonald TKO 1 (6) Sep 29, 2001 United States Jarrell's Boxing Gym, Savannah, Georgia, U.S.
12 Win 12–0 United States Robert Muhammad TKO 5 Aug 25, 2001 United States Savannah, Georgia, U.S.
11 Win 11–0 Guyana Rhon Roberts TKO 4 Jul 3, 2001 United States Six Flags Over Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
10 Win 10–0 Cuba Miguel Aquila TKO 3 Mar 31, 2001 United States Augusta, Georgia, U.S.
9 Win 9–0 United States Henry Hawkins TKO 1 Jan 27, 2001 United States Augusta, Georgia, U.S.
8 Win 8–0 Cuba Miguel Aquila TKO 2 Dec 14, 2000 United States Columbus, Georgia, U.S.
7 Win 7–0 United States Rohan Nanton TKO 1 Dec 9, 2000 United States Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.
6 Win 6–0 United States Eleser Ortega TKO 1 Oct 28, 2000 United States Jarrell's Boxing Gym, Savannah, Georgia, U.S.
5 Win 5–0 United States James Young TKO 3 Oct 19, 2000 United States Columbus, Georgia, U.S.
4 Win 4–0 United States Adrian McNeil KO 1 Sep 30, 2000 United States Augusta, Georgia, U.S.
3 Win 3–0 United States Richard Burns KO 1 (4), 1:56 Aug 18, 2000 United States Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, Ocala, Florida, U.S.
2 Win 2–0 United States Matt Hill TKO 1 Aug 1, 2000 United States Washington, D.C., U.S.
1 Win 1–0 United States Jeremy Mickelson PTS 4 Jul 21, 2000 United States Coliseum Complex, Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S. Professional debut


  1. ^ a b Frauenheim, Norm (June 13, 2012). "Paul Williams' future uncertain". ESPN. Associated Press. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Satterfield, Lem (June 13, 2012). "Manager: Williams in good spirits, adds 'We like where we are'". The Ring. Archived from the original on December 2, 2013. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
  3. ^ Paul Williams Blows Away Carlos Quintana in One-Round URL accessed 9 June 2008.
  4. ^ "SecondsOut Boxing News - USA Boxing News - Williams Batters Phillips/ Arreola De-rails 'Freight Train'". 2008-11-30. Retrieved 2014-05-08.
  5. ^ "Paul Williams-Winky Wright Agreement Reached For April - Boxing News". 2009-01-04. Retrieved 2014-05-08.
  6. ^ Rafael, Dan. "Dan Rafael Blog - ESPN". Retrieved 2014-05-08.
  7. ^ "Infection on finger of Kelly Pavlik's left hand forces title fight vs. Paul Williams to be called off - ESPN". 2009-10-21. Retrieved 2014-05-08.
  8. ^ Sandoval, Luis (May 8, 2010). "Paul Williams Decisions Kermit Cintron, A Wild Ending". Retrieved May 9, 2010.
  9. ^ "Cintron Furious: They Reverse It or I'm Done With Boxing - Boxing News". Retrieved 2014-05-08.
  10. ^ "Martinez rises to pound-for-pound elite after KO of Williams". CNN. 2010-11-21.
  11. ^ "Paul Williams vs. Erislandy Lara Decision Update: New Jersey Commission To Speak To Judges". Bad Left Hook. Retrieved 2014-05-08.
  12. ^ "Paul Williams Tops Erislandy Lara In One Of The Worst Decisions You'll Ever See". Queensberry Rules. 2011-07-10. Retrieved 2014-05-08.
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ "Paul Williams-Erislandy Lara judges suspended by New Jersey State Athletic Control Board - ESPN". 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2014-05-08.
  15. ^ Iole, Kevin (2011-07-13). "New Jersey suspends Williams-Lara judges - Yahoo Sports". Retrieved 2014-05-08.
  16. ^ Rafael, Dan (2012-05-23). "Saul Alvarez to face Paul Williams". ESPN. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  17. ^ Frauenheim, Norm (September 14, 2012). "Paul Williams: "I think I can come back"". The Ring. Retrieved September 19, 2012.

Video references[edit]

  1. ^ HBO Boxing: Paul Williams's Greatest Hits (HBO) (YouTube video: Fights against Walter Matthysse, Sharmba Mitchell, Santos Pakau, Antonio Margarito, Carlos Quintana (first meeting), Verno Phillips, Winky Wright, Sergio Gabriel Martínez (first meeting) and Kermit Cintrón). HBO Sports. June 30, 2011. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Showtime Boxing: Paul Williams Interview with Jim Gray - SHOWTIME (YouTube video). Showtime Sports. September 21, 2012. Retrieved September 24, 2012.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
New title WBCUSNBC welterweight champion
April 12, 2006 – November 2006
Title next held by
Joaquin Zamora
Title last held by
Mark Suárez
WBONABO welterweight champion
May 27, 2006 – November 2006
Title next held by
Shamone Alvarez
World boxing titles
Preceded by
Antonio Margarito
WBO welterweight champion
July 14, 2007 – February 9, 2008
Succeeded by
Carlos Quintana
Preceded by
Carlos Quintana
WBO welterweight champion
June 7, 2008 – November 12, 2008
Title next held by
Miguel Cotto
New title WBO junior middleweight champion
Interim title

November 29, 2008 – November 7, 2009
Title next held by
Alfredo Angulo