Lem Satterfield

Q&A: Williams frustrated but still hungry


Paul Williams believes to the pit of his soul that he would be more than a challenge for Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Manny Pacquiao, but the nearly 6-foot-2, high-energy volume puncher doesn’t expect his name to be uttered as a potential opponent by either man.

“I’m to the point right now where I’m done with calling guys out. You get the guys that talk the trash and all of that, but they won’t step up to the plate. But when I say that I want to fight you, I want to fight you, and I’m going to step up to the plate and I’m going to go after you,” said Williams, who is 40-2, with 27 knockouts.

“So I’m not disappointed that Floyd called the other guys out or whoever called whoever out. I’m going to always be looked over and stuff…Of course I feel like I should be in there with them. I don’t see why not. I’m on their level. In my eyes, I’m more on the level of a Floyd Mayweather and a Manny Pacquiao than those other guys because of a lot of reasons.”

Williams offers his track record as evidence, having decisioned Antonio Margarito in July of 2007 at a time when Margarito still was considered to be the world’s most feared welterweight.

Williams’ triumph over Margarito happened long after Margarito already had stopped current RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez in the seventh round in 2000, a full year before Margarito would hand Miguel Cotto his first career loss by 11th-round knockout, and far in advance of Margarito’s one-sided beat-down loss against Pacquiao in November of 2010.

As a middleweight, Williams has split bouts with Martinez, his victory coming before Martinez dethroned Kelly Pavlik as a two-belt titleholder. Williams also has split wins over Carlos Quintana, avenging a unanimous decision loss with a first-round knockout.

Williams also owns of a one-sided middleweight win over former world titleholder Winky Wright, controversial junior middleweight decisions over once-beaten Erislandy Lara and two-time beltholder Kermit Cintron, and knockouts of former beltholders Sharmba Mitchell and Verno Phillips as a welterweight and junior middleweight, respectively.

Williams never got a shot at Pavlik, whose two proposed bouts with him were postponed and cancelled. Williams, nevertheless, still carries the stigma of being a nearly washed up fighter, thanks to the second-round knockout loss to Martinez, and his disputed decision over Lara.

It is for those to reasons, primarily, that as Mayweather and Pacquiao decide whether or not they will fight one another, Cotto or some other opponent, Williams is preparing for what amounts to a career-rebuilding match with Nobuhiro Ishida on Feb. 18.

“My whole career, I’ve been fighting the guys that nobody else has wanted to fight. I’m putting up the most exciting fights, win or lose, because I’m just a throwback fighter,” said Williams.

“You’ve got to get in there with me and you’re not going to be in for an easy night. You’re going to have to work hard for it. You’re going to have to come and get it against me, and a lot of guys, they know that, and they don’t want that.”

In this Q&A below, Williams expressed more of his thoughts on his upcoming bout as well as his future.

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