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Paul Williams vs. Erislandy Lara on July 9th

Erislandy Lara Paul WilliamsBy Eric Thomas: Former World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Paul Williams (39-2, 27 KO’s) has found a replacement opponent for his July 9th fight at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Williams, 29, will be fighting in the main event on the card against unbeaten but recently exposed Erislandy Lara (15-0-1, 10 KO’s). Williams was supposed to be fighting the light hitting junior middleweight contender Nobuhiro Ishida next.

However, who had originally approved of the Williams-Ishida bout, pulled their approval of the bout on Wednesday. Williams’ team then had to go out and find a suitable opponent that could fill this fight, while at the same time not be someone that would be too big of a puncher to put Williams in serous danger. Williams was knocked cold in the 2nd round in his last fight by Sergio Martinez and the last thing that Williams needs right now is another big slugger.

Lara, a southpaw from Cuba, can punch a little, but he’s more of a boxer than a puncher. To be sure, Lara has an impressive knockout record but those wins have come largely against 2nd and 3rd tier opposition. Boxing fans perhaps got to see what Lara’s true talent is when he struggled against fringe contender Carlos Molina in his last fight in March and had to settle for a 10 round draw. Lara should consider himself very fortunate that he got a draw out of that fight because I saw him losing that fight by a couple of rounds. He’s a good fighter but can’t handle pressure very well and is mediocre on the inside.

If Williams can stay close to Lara and put a lot of pressure on him, he should be okay. Lara has a nice uppercut that he likes to throw, so Williams is going to have to be careful he doesn’t get hit with it too many times. Lara also likes to throw a chopping left hand that sometimes hits his opponents in the back of their heads. This is another weapon that Williams needs to be careful of. He can avoid getting hit with those shots by keeping his head up and not bending forward to give Lara a big target.

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