Former two-time welterweight titleholder Paul Williams, who was paralyzed from the waist down following a motorcycle accident on May 27 near Atlanta, will be ringside on Sept. 15 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas when WBC junior middleweight beltholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez defends his crown against Josesito Lopez, Williams’ manager and trainer, George Peterson, confirmed to RingTV.com on Monday.
Prior to his accident, Williams had signed to challenge Alvarez, who immediately invited Williams to be ringside for the Showtime-televised bout upon hearing of his tragic incident, said Peterson.
Peterson said Williams later received an invitation to attend a bout featuring RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez and WBC beltholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., which will also take place on Sept. 15 but on HBO Pay Per View from The Thomas & Mack in Las Vegas.
BoxingScene.com initially reported the dual invitations.
“It wasn’t a tough decision to make because one of the invitations came immediatly after they had heard about the accident. Immediately,” said Peterson. “As a matter of fact, it was the day after the accident, so Paul committed to it right then. So it was just timing more than anything else.”
Williams has split bouts with Martinez, winning by majority decision and losing by second-round knockout.
“It’s nice to know that Paul has a relationship with both of them. Paul has a strong bond with Martinez, but It wasn’t so much a tough decision because when he got the first invite, he accepted it. But Paul is glad to know that he was accepted on both sides,” said Peterson.
“Especially in this situation that he’s in. For them to reach out like that is really compassionate. That’s something that he has acknowledged and received well and he wants them to know how proud and honored he is.”
Photo by Chris Cozzone, Fightwireimages.com
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org