Paul Williams smashes a left behind the ear of wink Wright in their non title middleweight fight last Saturday April 11 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Williams hurled a unanimous decision against Wright before more than 5,000 members.
In my more than three decades of covering sports I have had the unique pleasure of watching some athletic freaks.Individuals whose athletic accomplishments defies logic and explanation.Former USC running back Charles White comes to mind. So does Venus and Serena Williams.The late great Raymond Lewis arguably the best hoop star Southern California ever produced is another logical candidate.Boxers although quite unique in their skill set, most of the time it's their personality that sets them apart more than anything.Muhammad Ali was the self declared greatest, but so too was Sugar Ray Robinson, Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard and less we forget Mike Tyson.However, I can't say that ever remember that any fighter in the history of the sport fought with such octane as Paul Williams did in his non-title middleweight fight at the Mandalay Bay Events Center last Saturday.Williams punch output was well over 1000 against former undisputed middleweight title holder Winky Wright, but perhaps as freakish as that was it was not the most impressive thing about him.In a day and age when most athletes do it for the money it appears that Williams really enjoys himself and as the fight progress seems to settle into sort of a comfort rhythm that in my mind makes him the best fighter on the planet today.His size of 6'2 obviously gives him an advantage over most foes in his weight class, but he frequently gives that away by punishing downstairs to the rib section and firing wicked angle uppercuts from a crouch position.Winky's words at the post fight press conference said it all."I knew he was tall but I didn't know that he was that tall. I knew that he was fast but I didn't know that he was that fast. I knew he threw a lot of punches but damn I didn't know that he would throw about a million punches," said Wright in adulation of Williams.That Wright event showed up to a post fight presser for the first time during his career spoke volumes about the man who had just punished him.His face resembling a mug that had been bashed with a bag of rocks and his sprit sapped out of him, Wright says that he will continue on fighting, just not against Paul Williams.And you have to admire him for that.I told my peers at press row to go home and tell your kids and family that you've just seen the best pitcher in the world.Williams hurled a 12 round shutout, with two judges graciously giving Wright one round and the other giving him zero.Satchel Page and Bob Gibson would have been proud of the hurling that Williams did with his fist a blazing.The fact that he didn't knock out Wright should not be shocking because no one has ever knocked him out, but the beating he put on him was the worst of his career.The only problem is that only 5400 came to see it live, because outside the sport of boxing few people know who Paul Williams is.Williams is marketability is hurt because he doesn't have a personality edge to him. He's really a nice guy, loyal and committed to his promotional team and trainer and will never make the police blotter.Which in itself is a shame because he's what right about the sport of boxing and what is best about boxing.He doesn't boast or brag, makes no promises and is graciously polite to each of his opponents and that just doesn't create fanfare.People want to hear him say that he'll bite his opponent's ears off and eat their kids. They would love to see him shove his opponent at the press conference and blame the press for his lack of publicity.Well, you will not get any of that from Williams, but will you will get is an artistic performance that will leave asking did he just do that to Winky Wright?Yes, he did and it I not likely that anyone will be lining up to fight him soon. Wait until September or October and perhaps by then some one will either get desperate or brave or both and take a shot at him.