Regardless of how he does July 9 in his redemption fight against Cuban star Erislandy Lara, Paul "The Punisher" Williams says his plans are to retire next year.
Williams (39-2, 27 knockouts) was considered one of the most-avoided boxers in the sport until he suffered a devastating, one-punch knockout in the second round of his WBC middleweight tile fight with Sergio Martinez in November. He plans to recharge his image against the unbeaten Lara (15-0-1, 10 KOs), which he says will be one of his final fights.
"After three more fights — though my trainer says two more — I want to be done with boxing," Williams said during a conference call with the media last week. "After two more fights, if HBO wants to do it and the fans want it, I'm up for it."
The fight with Lara at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City will be Williams' first ring appearance since the loss to Martinez. Lara also has some redemption on his mind after battling Carlos Molina to a majority draw in March.