On December 5, 2009, Sergio Martinez, 45-2-2, 24 KO’s, faced Paul Williams, 39-1, 27 KO’s, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The first round set the precedent for what was to come over the next half hour. Each man was dropped in the opening stanza, with back and forth action that proceeded throughout the remainder of the fight. They fought a very tough and close fight. When all was said and done the ringside judges favored Williams, scoring the bout 114-114, 115-113, and a ridiculously wide margin of 119-110.
I had Martinez by at least two rounds.
Williams scored the first knockdown, though he appeared to touch Martinez lightly while the Argentine was off balance. On the other hand Martinez landed a clean power shot to the chin of “Tall Paul” that obviously hurt him.
In the early rounds, Martinez displayed his superior skills, while seeming to be unable to miss with his right hand. Williams applied heavy pressure to Martinez and was able to take over in the middle rounds. He began to land more clean punches and looked to be coming on until an accidental head butt caused a nasty cut on his head.
Williams, knowing the fight was close, was able to continue and fight on through the adversity. Seeing an opportunity to change the fight, Martinez turned it up in the later rounds and began to control the action with hard leads and perfectly timed counters. In the end, I thought he out-boxed Williams very effectively, and when I asked myself who would I rather have been in the fight, my answer was Martinez without a doubt.
Since then, each fighter has moved on with victories, but here, Martinez bests Williams. “Maravilla” went on to face then middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik. He dominated the champion en route to a unanimous decision victory, taking away Pavlik’s WBO and WBC titles. Pavlik began to mount a comeback when he dropped Martinez in the seventh, but he got off the canvas and inflicted some damage of his own.
His accurate punches caused two cuts, one over each of the Youngstown native’s eyes and dominated the end of the bout.
For his part, Williams faced the hard punching Kermit Cintron. In one of the craziest endings to a bout, Paul won on a technical decision. The fight started out very slow, with Cintron landing the only significant punches. He was out-boxing Williams with sharp counter punching and a straight jab. Williams finally came alive towards the end of the third round, where he did his best work of the night. Things continued to heat up as the fourth round started. That is until the fighters’ feet became tangled in the middle of an exchange and Cintron’s forward momentum carried him through the ropes.
He appeared to hit his head on a monitor ringside and then on the floor. The ringside doctor ruled he was unable to fight and he was carried out of the arena on a stretcher. He was obviously frustrated as he heard the announcement that he lost the fight. The decision went to the cards by California Athletic Commission rules.
Two judges favored Williams, while the other judge gave all four rounds to Cintron even though only three and a half rounds were complete.
Over the last few months there have been a few delays to the rematch being signed. Mainly, because both fighters were chasing big money fights with either of the Pound for Pound kings, Floyd Mayweather, JR., or Manny Pacquiao. Paul Williams fought in the welterweight division for years and is a two time champion at 147 pounds. He left the division because he couldn’t get guys in the ring with him, but says that he has no problem making the weight from 47 up to 60.
It’s doubted that Williams would ever land either fight, because he is not yet a big PPV draw.
In the last few weeks, Paul Williams has blasted off verbally on Mayweather, claiming that Floyd is scared to fight him and said “he won’t fight me because I don’t have a vagina”, alluding to Mayweather’s domestic problems.
I think Floyd or Manny beats “Tall Paul”, but that’s for another day. He should be focused his current opponent.
Now the two are set to face off again at Boardwalk Hall on November 20th. In my opinion, it’s a toss up this time around. I still believe Martinez is the better boxer and that Williams’ best chance is to turn it into a brawl. But we’ve all witnessed how Paul does in rematches, so it’s a toss up. “The Punisher” attributes the result of the first fight to not having ample time to train for Martinez because he was training for Pavlik, who is a totally different fighter than “Maravilla”.
I can see his point, but Martinez had the same three weeks that he had. I think it can go either way and I can’t wait for November 20th.