Bob Arum said Julio Cesar Chavez could fight Brian Vera next, and eventually, Andre Ward.
Q&A: Williams emulates old-schoolers like Hagler, aims to salvage career
Paul Williams, who faces right-handed Nobuhiro Ishida on Showtime on Saturday, denies having problems with southpaws even though he struggled with southpaw Erislandy Lara and was KO'd by left-handed Sergio Martinez recently.
RingTV.com caught up with Paul Williams last week at the Club One Gym in Millersville, Md., where the southpaw was in training for his Showtime-televised middleweight clash with Japan's Nobuhiro Ishida on Saturday.
Williams was once at the top of the game as an unbeaten WBO welterweight titleholder after having dethroned hard-hitting Antonio Margarito in 2007. Now, Williams, 30, is considered by some to be near the end of what has become an up-and-down career.
The 6-foot-2 Williams (40-2, 27 knockouts) is coming off a decision over Erislandy Lara that many ringsiders thought should've gone Lara's way and is just three bouts removed from his devastating second-round knockout loss to RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez in November 2010, which avenged a disputed majority-decision loss in 2009.
Now comes the match up with the 6-foot-1 Ishida (24-6-2, 9 KOs), who is coming off first-round knockouts of power-punching southpaw James Kirkland in April and Edson Espinoza in November.
Williams and manager/trainer George Peterson are hoping a victory over Ishida will help him regain enough stature to stir interest in a rematch with Martinez, if not position the fighter for long-coveted bouts against the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto or even Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.
Such high-profile matchups would allow the two-time welterweight titleholder the opportunity to prove that he is as good as we thought he was.
RingTV.com: Can you tell us what your training situation is?
But I kind of like being in the gym with the up-and-coming fighters and stuff. Because you don't know nothing about them and they're very raw. They remind me of when I first started out.
But I think that my contribution to the sport is good. A lot of fighters respect the way that I fight. Especially a lot of the older guys like the Hall of Famers like the Marvin Haglers, who is a cool dude. You remind people of them.
Because they came to fight and they didn't pick and choose who they fought, and they didn't take all day to get a fight started in the ring. They handled their business, and the fans enjoy that.
RingTV.com: What challenge does Ishida pose?
There's always a first time for everything when you get in there. But I'm the one with a game plan that has been laid out there for him. I'm going to try my best to implement that the night of the fight. I'm going to try to come out there and be victorious with a very impressive win.
But I say that that's basically been me who was being lazy and allowing them to do that. That's the way that I feel about that.
I was touching him to the body and couldn't land a good head shot like I wanted to but I just tried to work.
I know that I would like to get back into the ring with him again if the opportunity presents itself, and Mr. Peterson feels like it's OK, and (my promoter) Dan (Goossen) and (my advisor) Al (Haymon) do, then, OK. Let's go.
Photo by Chris Cozzone, Fightwireimages.com
Photos by Emily Harney, Fightwireimages.com
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com