Paul "The Punisher" Williams punched in volumes to make a loud statement Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
Fighting the biggest-name opponent he's faced thus far in his still young career, Williams used a stiff right jab to trigger a non-stop offensive attack that eventually overwhelmed Ronald "Winky" Wright in winning a 12-round unanimous decision.
The victory before a worldwide HBO audience lifted Williams record to 37-1 with 27 KOs. The former two-time WBO welterweight champion and reigning WBO interim junior middleweight champion was fighting at 160 pounds for just the second time in his career.
"Winky put up a good fight and I take my hat off to him that he went 12 rounds with me,'' Williams said. "I threw a lot of punches and just outworked him."
Standing 6-1, Williams used his extraordinary 82-inch reach to his advantage. He penetrated Wright's normally-tight defensive posture and moved well on his feet to avoid Wright's aggressive efforts to land a big shot.
"I expected him to throw big shots and take the fight to me, but I also knew he couldn't do defense like he normally does, so he had to fight me,'' Williams said.
Having agreed to the middleweight non-title fight because both fighters have been avoided by other potential opponents, Williams, 27, said he had no regrets about beating a former champion 10 years his senior. Rather, he hopes to benefit from having another marquee name, along with Antonio Margbarito, on his victim list.
"I'm not sorry because Winky is a two-time undisputed (junior middleweight) champion, " Williams said. "I'd just like to thank him for getting in the ring with me. This victory puts me at the top with everybody else. I proved I could go with the best. Winky is one of the guys nobody wanted to fight."
Wright's face showed the effects of Williams' onslaught, which had him throwing an amazing 1,086 punches and landing 247 (23 per cent.) Comparatively, Wright connected at the same percentage rate but landed 116 of 511 punches.
Wright (51-5-1, 24 KOs) admitted he felt rust after coming back from the longest layoff of his 19-year professional career. "After a 21-month layoff, my timing was a little off,'' he said. "But it still was a great fight.
"He was real tall and awkward with long arms. He threw a lot of punches and they were coming from so long of a distance, you can't really counter them. He's going to be tough for anybody to fight because he's so busy."
Wright was given just one round on one judge's card as Jerry Roth and Robert Hoyle each scored the fight 119-109. Adelaide Byrd called it a shutout for Williams 120-108.
In the other featured fight, unbeaten Chris Arreola stayed on pace as America's fastest-rising heavyweight with a knockout at 2:01 of the fourth round against veteran Jameel McCline.
Arreola (27-0, 24 KOs) landed two overhand rights to KO his most battled-tested opponent thus far. He praised McCline for making him work for at least as long as the fight lasted.
"Jameel McLine was a tough man," Arreola said. "He took some good punches and gave some good punches."
McCline, who took the fight on short notice, tried to get up from the knockdown but stayed on one knee as he was counted out.
"He beat me, that's the bottom line,'' said McCline (39-10-3, 23 KOs). "I didn't have a lot of time. I came in on six-weeks notice, but there's no excuses. Chris did what he was supposed to do. I'll see him fighting for a title very soon."
Arreola, whose goal is to become the first Mexican American to win a world heavyweight crown, expects that a title shot is getting closer. He hopes it's against Wladimir Klitschko or Vitali Klitschko, the brother tandem on top of the heavyweight division.
"I'm just trying to be the best heavyweight in world,'' Arreola said. "I don't know what everyone else thinks, but I want to be considered the best so I can fight the best. If the Klitschko brothers don't think I'm ready for them, here's another fight (that proves I am)."
Posted 12:00 AM | Apr 11, 2009
HBO WCB - Apr. 11, 2009
Arreola vs McCline