Don’t expect Paul Williams to feast on a journeyman-type opponent in his first fight since his devastating second-round knockout loss to middleweight champ Sergio Martinez last November.
The former two-time welterweight titleholder is expected to get back into the ring April 30 on HBO, and his promoter, Dan Goossen, says Williams will face an HBO-level opponent.
“We’re not looking for a softie,” Goossen told RingTV.com. “I’ve talked to Paul and (Williams’ trainer) George (Peterson) and we all agree that it should be the most-significant fight that we can get.”
If Goossen had his druthers Williams (39-2, 27 knockouts) would face a significant opponent in the welterweight division. The towering 29-year-old southpaw has fought between 152½ and 157 pounds since he regained his WBO welterweight title against Carlos Quintana in June of 2008.
His opposition was strong enough to merit RING rankings at both junior middleweight and middleweight. However, Goossen has always maintained that his fighter was a welterweight.
“I’d like to get Paul a big fight at 147 pounds. That‘s his natural weight,” Goossen said. “Paul’s willing to go to any weight, as usual, so we’ll just have to see who is available at welterweight or above.”
Some fans and industry insiders might question the wisdom of putting Williams in tough depending on how formidable his April 30 opponent turns out to be. The one-punch knockout loss to Martinez was one of the most brutal in recent memory.
However, Goossen says that Williams and Peterson view the KO as a fluke occurrence. The Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based promoter agrees with the fighter and trainer.
“It was one of those knockouts you don’t see very often, a knockout that comes from a perfect punch,” Goossen said. “If the loss had been a beat down or if Paul had been stopped in customary fashion where he took a lot of punishment before it happened, we would probably be a little cautious in his first fight back. But Paul, George and I are in agreement that it was a million-to-one shot.”
Site for Ward-Abraham narrows to three locations:
It looks like the Super Six World Boxing Classic semifinal between tournament leader Andre Ward and Arthur Abraham will take place on May 14. The site for the Showtime-televised super middleweight title bout has not been finalized but it will definitely not take place in Europe, according to Goossen, Ward‘s promoter.
Three locations in the U.S. — Southern California, Atlantic City, N.J., and Portland, Ore., — are being considered, Goossen told RingTV.com.
“(Kalle) Sauerland (Abraham’s Germany-based promoter) is not willing to come to (Ward’s hometown of) Oakland but he is willing to make concessions to do the bout in America and at an arena that I feel is worthy of the star that I believe Ward is becoming,” he said.
Goossen says the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, and a number of venues in Southern California are being considered.
Ward, THE RING’s No. 1-rated super middleweight who holds the WBA title, has fought his last three bouts at the Oracle Arena in Oakland.
Both of Williams’ bouts with Martinez, which Goossen co-promoted with Lou DiBella, took place at the Boardwalk Hall. Goossen promoted the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Sharmba Mitchell fight, which took place at the Rose Garden in November of 2005.