Paul Williams hoping to get third fight with Sergio Martinez if he beats Lara on Saturday
By Dan Ambrose: 29-year-old Paul Williams (39-2, 27 KO’s) has split two fights with the hard hitting Sergio Martinez in the past two years, and was knocked out violently in the 2nd round last year in November. The knockout was so bad that it’s kind of scarey to even think about a third fight between them, but that’s what Williams wants, saying this to ESPN: “I’m down for it. I plan on three more fights. My manager is telling me two more. Once we get [Erislandy] Lara, and the fans want it, and HBO wants it, I want it.”
Williams won’t get it if he doesn’t beat Lara (15-0-1, 10 KO’s) on Saturday night at the Boardwalk Hall, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Williams can’t lose this fight if he wants to get the Martinez or something else of interest. It’s a far cry from the dreams that Williams had at one point in his career when he had hopes of fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr., Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao. Sadly, none of those fighters wanted to mix it up with the 6’1″ Williams and he’s had to settle for fights against guys like Carlos Quintana, Winky Wright, Kermit Cintron and Martinez as being the biggest fights of his career.
The difference between those fighters and Mayweather and Pacquiao are huge. But Williams has had to accept the cards that he’s been given him, and it looks like Martinez is the best he can hope for. What’s odd is that Williams plans on getting out of the sport in three more fights. That’s crazy, because if he stuck it out at junior middleweight he would likely get a shot at Cotto and Saul Alvarez, two of the biggest stars in the division, sooner or later if Williams didn’t get knocked out again before that.
Facing Martinez isn’t the wisest move for Williams, because he struggled in the first fight in 2009 in winning a controversial 12 round decision, and then was over his head in the second fight with Martinez throwing hard leather. Martinez knows how to beat Williams now and the rematch will likely be just as easy as the last fight. Williams is too wide open on defense and Martinez will be throwing as hard as he can right at Williams’ chin. Lara will likely be doing the same on Saturday night, albeit with a lot less power than Martinez. If Williams’ chin was compromised by the knockout loss to Martinez, we could see Williams destroyed for the second straight time. At that point, he might be wise to hang up his gloves a little earlier than expected.