Paul Williams Defeats Winky Wright and Sends a Message to the Boxing World

April 12, 2009

Las Vegas, Nevada – In a middleweight fight that matched two of the most avoided boxers in the sport, Paul Williams dominated veteran Winky Wright en route to a unanimous decision victory at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. The one-sided victory improved Williams’ record to 37-1 (27 KO's), and likely pushed him into the discussion for the mythical pound-for-pound title. Wright fell to 51-5-1.

Williams' performance illustrated precisely why he has been ducked so often by other elite fighters, as his defense, skill, and physical superiority were on full display.

When the "The Punisher" chose to attack, he lived up to his nickname, bombarding Wright with a continuous high volume of punches from multiple angles. The diversity of Williams' arsenal was impressive, as he hit Wright with stiff jabs, 3-punch combinations, hooks, and even an impossible under-the-arm uppercut.

Defensively, Williams' head movement and footwork made him an elusive target for the stalking Wright. Often Winky would throw his jab at The Punisher, only to find a vacated area, as the quicker Williams had moved himself out of harm's way.

Even more impressive was Williams' physical superiority.

Not only was Williams the quicker, more fast-handed man, but he was also the stronger fighter. More importantly, Williams held distinct advantages with his length and conditioning.

Williams' reach allowed him to nail Wright with numerous hooks to the head, reaching around Wright's peek-a-boo defensive stance with his length.

In addition, Williams' superb stamina and high work rate were on full display, as he threw a total of 1086 punches through 12 rounds. In four of the rounds, including the twelfth, Williams threw over 100 punches.

In order to fully appreciate such a superstar effort from a fighter who is at the top of his game, a little perspective is needed.

Against Wright, the great Shane Mosley's power and speed could muster little effective offense in two fights. Similarly, former middleweight champ Jermain Taylor tried to chop through Winky's arms with thunderous shots, but gained only a draw for his efforts. Even the legendary Bernard Hopkins -- a fighter who figures out all his opponents -- did not exact nearly the same amount of physical punishment in his victory over Wright as did Williams.

Williams, on the other hand, physically dominated Winky. And his formula for success was unique and not likely to be duplicated, as no other fighter out there has his long arms and punch volume.

To his credit, Wright showed a champion's heart throughout the night. He consistently pressed forward, hoping to close the distance and land some shots. When Williams brought his unrelenting onslaught, Wright took the shots and tried to rally. He competed like a true pro.

As for Williams, we hope to see much more from this supreme talent in the future. Hopefully, someone will show enough courage to step up and face him.

The judges officially scored the fight 120-108, 119-109, and 119-109, all for Williams.

Here is how scored the fight round by round, including the most significant punches:

Round 1

Williams started the fight feinting and jabbing. Williams threw a combination that hit Wright’s gloves. Wright moved forward, blocking Williams’ flurry of shots as he advanced. Wright landed a jab, followed by a left hand. Williams countered with high punch activity, much of which Wright blocked with his arms. Williams then landed a combination, and Wright immediately responded with a solid left. Williams continued to throw his jab at Wright, and often doubled his jab. Near the end of the round Wright scored with 2 clean jabs. Williams finished the round with a 1-2 combination around Wright’s arms.

Overall, it was a competitive round in which Wright landed the cleaner shots, but Williams’ higher activity set the tone.
10-9, Williams

Round 2

Wright landed a clean jab. Williams nailed Wright with a left, and then stunned Wright with a 3 punch combination and an uppercut. That combination caused Wright to cover up defensively. Wright landed a jab, but already appeared to be the slower fighter in the ring. Williams continued to attack Wright with a high volume of shots, and later scored with a clean uppercut. A dominant round for Williams.
10-9, Williams

Round 3

At the start of the round, Williams’ relaxed body language exuded confidence and energy. He continued to stay busy in a 92-punch round, and scored with a clean jab. Wright’s handspeed again appeared inferior to the quick Williams. Wright scored with a good right, then a left, and finally another right. Williams then nailed Wright with a 3 punch combination. Although Wright had an improved showing in this round, Williams’ nonstop punch volume again won him the round.
10-9, Williams

Round 4

Williams landed a clean jab between Wright’s arms, and then threw a combination. Wright countered with a right. Williams then threw a jab, followed by a left hand lead, and finally a combination. Wright responded with back-to-back right hooks. Both men closed the distance and began infighting. Williams then landed 2 jabs. Williams’ high work rate again won him the round.
10-9, Williams

Round 5

Williams opened with a solid 1-2. Both fighters then landed during an exciting exchange. Williams doubled up on his jab, but Wright continued to come forward. Williams scored with a left hand lead. Wright hit Williams with a jab to the body, followed by another jab. Wright then nailed Williams with a left to the head and another jab to the body. Williams landed a right hook, and both fighters exchanged punches. Williams landed another combination. A close round, as a “slowing” Williams threw 81 punches in the round, but Wright got in some sneaky shots here and there.
10-9, Williams

Round 6

Williams landed a jab to the body, and then a jab to the head. Williams then threw a right hook to the body. Wright responded with two scoring jabs, followed by a clean 1-2 combination. Williams walked through that combination, unfazed. Both fighters began infighting and Wright got in some effective body work. Williams landed a left hook. After more infighting, Wright scored with a 1-2. Wright had the cleaner shots in the round and was able to get inside on Williams. Overall, Wright landed 11 punches to Williams' 14 connects, the narrowest differential in any of the 12 rounds.
10-9, Wright

Round 7

Williams began the round strongly, throwing combinations and landing a variety of punches from multiple angles. In the arena, the gamblers in the crowd voiced a pro-Winky chant, hoping to inspire the betting underdog. Wright got in a jab. Then Williams scored with a left hook to the head around Wright’s arms. Williams later landed a few combinations, taking advantage of his length to score from distance.
10-9, Williams

Round 8

Williams landed a jab to the body, and then for good measure threw one more. Wright began to circle Williams, rather than coming forward, and hit Williams with a jab. Williams scored with a big right hook that forced Wright to cover up defensively. Williams threw a left hook to the head that landed around Winky’s guard. Williams continued to score big in a dominant round, landing a big right hook, combinations, and some stiff jabs. Winky ended the round with a sneaky right hand.
10-9, Williams.

Round 9

Williams opened with a 3 punch combination. Wright landed a clean 1-2 that caused a confident Williams to smile. Williams responded with a 1-2 of his own, plus a right hook that backed Wright to the ropes. Wright rallied down the stretch, throwing a combination, a jab, and then a 1-2. Williams finished the round with a 1-2 combination.
10-9, Williams

Round 10

Williams ramped up the intensity in this round in an attempt to end the fight, as he threw some heavy shots. Wright took the shots, and kept coming forward. Williams was on his toes and looked fresh, nailing Wright with a left hook and then a right hook, both to the head. Both men later landed shots in the midst of some entertaining infighting. Winky finished with a body shot and a sneaky right.
10-9, Williams

Round 11

Wright opened with a jab. Williams hit Wright with a jab, and then followed it up with a left hook and right hand to the head. Williams added a right to the body, and then a right hand power shot to the head. Both men then went into the phone booth, except this time Wright began to tie up Williams more so than in the prior rounds. Williams landed a combination. Wright hit Williams with a left on the button, but Williams was unaffected.
10-9, Williams

Round 12

In the final round of a fight Williams was clearly leading, he came out on the attack, refusing to dance. He opened the round actively throwing combinations, and Wright retaliated with a combination of his own. Williams then scored with multiple combinations, and appeared to have Wright a little stunned. Both finished the fight exchanging near the final bell.
10-9, Williams

Co-Main Event: Arreola Versus McCline

Heavyweight contender Chris Arreola got his first victory over a "name" contender, defeating veteran Jameel McCline by TKO stoppage at 2:01 into the fourth round. Although both men came into the ring looking somewhat out of shape, Arreola had the greater endurance, as McCline already was breathing out of his mouth by the second round of the fight. Meanwhile, Arreola was calmly breathing through his nose and aggressively stalking his opponent.

Arreola again demonstrated his tremendous punching power, as he buckled McCline's knees in the first round before eventually ending the fight in the fourth.

More importantly, Arreola showed that he does indeed possess boxing skills, as he threw several nice combinations, and made excellent use of his uppercut. In fact, Arreola's TKO came via the uppercut, as he floored McCline with a beautiful 1-2 combination consisting of a left uppercut and an overhand right. He followed that combination with another overhand right to put McCline on the canvas.

Arreola also showed a decent chin, withstanding several shots from a big, heavy-handed fighter. In the second round, McCline caught Arreola with a clean right hand, but Arreola walked through it. In the third, Arreola ate a left hook that temporarily had him stunned, but he weathered the storm and showed good toughness.

Overall, it was another solid outing for Arreola, who soon could be on a collision course with one of the Klitschko brothers.

Post Fight Notes and Comments

1. Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, Ricky Hatton, and Mike Tyson were in attendance.

2. At the press conference, promoter Dan Goossen relayed a story about his conversation that night with Tyson, saying that the former heavyweight champion noted during the eighth round that Williams was actually getting stronger.

3. Williams told several reporters after the fight that he injured his thumb in the middle rounds. He then showed us a cut on the thumb.

4. Winky was gracious in defeat, stating, "I knew he was going to throw a lot of punches, but I didn’t know he was going to throw that many." He then said, "I figured he was long, but he was long.”

He stated that Williams "threw a lot of punches that were coming from everywhere and that he did not know how to dodge them."

Winky also dismissed any notions of retirement, stating that he wanted to stay active and fight more frequently.

5. Williams expressed a desire to go back to 147 in order to reclaim the belt that "I was forced me to give up." He also stated that he would be willing to fight Kelly Pavlik.

He attributed his stamina to running 7 miles each day during training.

6. Dan Goossen openly suggested Shane Mosley or Bernard Hopkins as possible future opponents for Williams.

7. Chris Arreola demonstrated his sense of humor at the press conference, stating that he gained weight after his training camp because "Vegas food is delicious." He later stated that for a fight against the Klitschko brothers, he would have to weigh 245, or 10 pounds less than his current fighting weight.

Showing that he is a student of the game, he stated that he wanted to become the Mexican-American version of Jack Johnson.

Jameel McCline noted that Arreola is "a strong kid."

8. Williams threw 1086 total punches, connecting on 247 of those punches, or 23%. He threw 419 jabs, and connected on 70 of them (17%). Of the 667 power shots that he threw, Williams landed 177 (27%), including 27 body shots.

Wright threw 511 punches, landing 116 (23%). He threw 240 jabs, landing 40 (17%). Of the 271 power shots that he threw, 76 landed (28%), including 29 body shots.

9. Arreola threw 146 total punches, landing 72 (49%). He threw 42 jabs, landing 7 (17%). He threw 104 power punches, landing 65 (62%), including 20 body shots.

McCline threw 129 total shots, landing 24 (19%). He threw 80 jabs, landing 11 (14%). Of the 49 power shots that he threw, McCline landed 13 (27%), including one body shot.

10. Southern California native Shawn Estrada continued his impressive rise through the professional ranks, as he knocked out Omar Coffi at the 0:47 mark of the third round. Estrada again showed his power, knocking down Coffi in each of the fight's three rounds. Estrada also demonstrated good patience, as he methodically took his time and walked down his opponent.

11.'s two boxing prophets, Manish Pandya and Kweku Turkson, correctly predicted the outcome of the Williams and Arreola bouts in their respective fight previews.

By Mike Elliott
Staff Editor for

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