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INTERVIEW by Gabriel Montoya (Nov 29, 2007) Doghouse Boxing

Last week I caught up with WBO titleholder Paul Williams. At the request of trainer/manager George Peterson, Paul and I did not go into detail regarding his proposed bout with IBF titleholder Kermit Cintron. However we did cover all the other titleholders in depth. If you are a Paul Williams fan in particular or a welterweight fan in general, this is the interview for you. Doghouseboxing.com welcomes back Paul Williams.

Gabriel Montoya: We haven’t spoken in a while, Paul. How’ve you been, man? You’ve been on a bit of an extended
vacation.

Paul Williams: I’ve been pretty good.

GM: What’ve you been up to?

PW: Basically training. After the fight with Margarito, I came home for like a week or two. And after that we were back doing our training. Basically my life is training.

GM: You got to spend a little time with the family, I imagine. Much needed.

PW: It definitely was needed but right now I am still in training.

GM: What weight are you walking around at right now?

PW: 156 and half.


GM: Really? I guess if you needed to fight next week, you could.

PW: Oh yeah, most definitely. I’d love to fight next week (laughs).

GM: Were you a little disappointed you didn’t get to finish the year out with a fight?

PW: Yeah. I wanted to get a fight sometime in December but unfortunately the TV schedule didn’t open up until February 2nd so…

GM: Now coming into the Margarito fight there was a lot of speculation that you were injured. And you guys kind of squashed that but when I did the interview with George afterwards, he told me that in fact your hand and your ribs were injured.

PW: Yeah, yeah. It was a small injury to my ribs. They were sore so we took a few days off from sparring. But I didn’t want to complain to anyone that my ribs were sore or whatever. I didn’t want to look like I was making excuses. I fought just like a champion. I didn’t want anyone to know that. A week before, it leaked out. But a lot of people were saying after, “Man, your ribs were hurt and you still fought like that? Imagine if your ribs weren’t hurt.”

GM: That’s what I was saying when [George] told me. At ringside I saw you take some brutal body shots.

PW: Oh yeah. The body shots he was throwing into my sore ribs really hurt me but I just had to suck it up.

GM: Yeah. What are you gonna to do? You gotta get that title, right?

PW: That’s why I didn’t want to stay in front of him too long. But then I said ‘I can’t run from him all night.’ So I when he wanted to bang a little bit I’d bang a little with him. Just to get my respect from him. Then I’d tie him up, let him bang at my ribs. They was a little sore but you know, after your adrenaline starts pumping, after awhile you get to where you don’t even feel it. You don’t notice through out the fight.

GM: Watching you and knowing your style from previous fights, I could see a mental battle. You had to stick to your game plan but I know you like to stand toe to toe and get it on. Was it hard sticking to the game plan?

PW: Oh yeah. Sometimes the game plan is just to box the guy. To hit and not get hit. But after awhile, it works, but I’d lose focus and want to start banging with him. You have to put that ego aside and say ‘you’re staying in front of this guy too long. You can’t do that.’ You have to get back into the game plan. Sometimes you can get away from it with the action, or the crowd. You want to show them you don’t have to move around to win rounds. You want to get your respect but you got to stick to the game plan.

GM: That crowd was electric. One of the best nights of boxing I’ve spent. Let’s move forward. George has asked me not to get into the specifics of your proposed fight with Cintron because you guys don’t know all the details yet. I would like to know one thing: have you signed a contract yet?

PW: No, sir. I haven’t signed a contract. I would love to sign one and be locked into the fight but… [Cintron] hasn’t signed one so nothing’s confirmed. [Writer’s note: Speaking with Williams’ promoter Dan Goosen several days later, he confirmed that the Williams camp had signed a bout agreement but Team Cintron had not signed one yet.]

GM: Let’s talk about the rest of the welterweight division. What did you think of Cotto /Mosley?

PW: The Cotto/Mosley fight I thought it would be more fighting than it was. I thought it would be more action than that. After the ninth round, Cotto just backed up. Mosley you could say he didn’t do enough.

GM: Yeah.

PW: He showed that he didn’t want it bad enough in the twelfth round. I thought it was going to be more fighting watching the [Countdown show on HBO]. I guess Cotto played it smart, winning the early rounds. But [down the stretch] he didn’t do nothing. Me, I wasn’t that impressed. I can’t take nothing from them guys. I guess I was looking at it like ‘I’d have been doing this.’ We’d have been fighting the whole twelve rounds if we had to go the whole twelve.

GM: You’re a fighter and you see other fighters in the gym. Like me, you’ve probably watched Mosley his whole career. When he had Cotto backing up, granted Cotto was countering a lot and pretty effectively, did it look to you like Mosley could see the openings but because of age or ring wear and tear he couldn’t get off?

PW: Most definitely. I mean, that’s how I say it’s like everyone was thinking he was the Mosley of five years ago but he ain’t the same Mosley anymore. For being his age he is pretty good but Cotto was basically the stronger, younger fighter. He was more active than Mosley was. Even when Mosley was coming forward and Cotto was hurt. In my mind, I’m thinking ‘okay let’s start putting punches together. Let’s start pressing the guy a little harder.’ But Mosley didn’t do that. Even when he had him on the ropes. To me he was just looking for the overhand right and when Cotto got hit with that, he didn’t throw enough uppercuts.

GM: He didn’t come back with the left hook enough, either.

PW: No he didn’t. To me, he didn’t do enough to look like he really wanted the fight. Even though the fight was close. If he would have won the twelfth round it’d been a draw. But he didn’t go after it in the twelfth. I thought it would have been a much more exciting fight than what I seen.

GM: I read in a recent interview of yours before the [Cotto/Mosley] card that you didn’t feel [Antonio] Margarito would come out very fast and that [his opponent] Golden Johnson might have a shot. Were you surprised by how fast Margarito came out and what he did in that fight?

PW: When I seen Golden Johnson when he first came out after the bell rung, I knew it wasn’t going to last long. You can’t stand in front of a guy that hits like that. So he gave Margarito the chance to come out like. If Golden Johnson would have boxed him and gave him some movement, I don’t think [Margarito] would have thrown like he was throwing. But Margarito looked very impressive, you know? If anyone stands in front of him like that he will do that to them. But Golden Johnson didn’t throw back. He just caught everything. He made Margarito look real good. To me he looked scared. He didn’t do nothing. He just stood in front of him and Margarito just took it to him.

GM: Yeah it was pretty brutal. Let’s go to the other big welterweight fight. What do you think? Who’s going to win between Floyd and Hatton?

PW: Floyd and Hatton? You know, Hatton can’t try to box Floyd. Floyd is a very good boxer; he’s smart in the ring. He knows the ring. He knows how to box. He’s real quick with his punches and stuff. If Hatton tries to box Floyd I think he’ll beat him worse than Gatti. If Hatton roughhouse him, make him fight, I think Hatton got a better chance of winning that. You can’t box Floyd. Floyd’s too good of a boxer. Hatton’s a good fighter, too but I don’t see Hatton as fast as Floyd. I see him being a harder puncher than Floyd but I don’t see him out boxing Floyd. I think he has to roughhouse Floyd. Push him, hold him, hit him. Make him fight a straight fight. He can’t box him. He’s got to fight him. If Hatton do that then I see Hatton beating him.

GM: Do you think Hatton is capable of doing that?

PW: Yeah I think he’s capable of doing that. When he was first coming out he was putting pressure on a lot of guys. With that pressure style fighting he made Kostya Tsyzu quit. That constant pressure, throwing punches and making them fight, that gives guys struggles. I don’t know if Floyd can deal with that. Castillo in the first fight [with Mayweather] just basically fought him. Didn’t try to box him just fight him. He had trouble with that. I don’t see Hatton standing toe to toe and trying to box him. I don’t see him winning it like that.

GM: After that card, Manny Steward broke down basically who he feels the champion is. For his money Cotto is the guy because he is taking the tougher fights and because Floyd is picking and choosing his opponents and not even fighting a true welterweight in Hatton. In essence he gives up his linear welterweight title by doing that. Manny’s whole point was that the best at any given weight need to fight the best and let the people and the fighters decide who is the champion. What’s your take on that?

PW: I feel that if you want to be the best fighter out there then whatever challenge comes up you need to meet that challenge. A lot of people criticize Floyd for choosing his fights. Me, I want all the belts. I want to fight guys with the belts. I feel if think you are the best fighter then you have to fight the best to prove to everyone you’re the best fighter. I don’t feel you should run and duck fighters like ‘okay I’m not going to fight this guy, I’m going to fight this guy.’ That’s like defeating the purpose of saying you’re the best in the world.

GM: You took on and beat the longest reigning welterweight titleholder in Margarito. Does it bother you at all that Floyd is out there saying he’s the Man; he’s the linear titlist, when really he is fighting the best 140 lb fighter in the world?

PW: In a way it kind of gets to me when people say he’s the Man; he’s the best because of all he achieved in his early career. All the fights he had, all the belts and titles Floyd has won and stuff. People look at that and say ‘oh yeah he’s the best.’ But to me, I know the best fighters fight the best. That’s when they prove to everybody they deserve to be called the best. Like when nobody wanted to fight Margarito. They offered all this kind of money for all these guys to fight Margarito but nobody wanted to fight him. But I stood up to the challenge and beat him. Now everybody calls him out. They’ll do this to him. They’ll do that to him.

GM: It seems the easiest way to get someone to fight is to lose.

PW: When you lose everyone wants you. My thing is I want the guys who are undefeated. If you beat ‘em, then you should get their reputation. That’s how I feel. And the fans should hold these guys to it. When a fighter says they are the best then they should say ‘okay let’s see it. Let’s see you fight the best.’ But it’s all about business.

GM: Does that bother you? There’s a school of thought that it’s all business and you should protect yourself. But then there’s an old school way of thinking that if you chop down the tree and you beat everybody, the money will come, the fans will come. Is that more your mentality?

PW: Yes sir because I don’t think the fans appreciate the guys that be ducking, picking and choosing their fighters and stuff. They kind of figure it out. ‘This guy says he’s top dog at that weight class but he’s not fighting the top dogs. He’s fighting the dogs that he can beat. The dogs that aren’t even that weight class but are coming up into that weight class.’ The real boxing fans, the real boxing people, they know. But the people that don’t really know boxing like that they get sidetracked. They see all the belts they come into the ring with. They hear them say Pound for Pound and all that. Not raining on Floyd’s party but if he claims he’s the best then he should fight the top dogs in the weight class. That’s how I look at it.

GM: I agree with that. I don’t want to get into a Floyd bashing session. The guy will be a Hall of Fame fighter. In my opinion he could retire before the Hatton fight and he’d be a Hall of Fame fighter. But we’re talking about the welterweights not what he did before. Who do you see as the biggest threat to you, as your toughest match up in the welterweight division?

PW: You want the honest truth?

GM: Honest truth.

PW: Myself. Not being cocky or arrogant. I just feel if I am not being true to my job that would be the biggest threat to me. Me not doing what I am supposed to do. But all the other guys, I see them fighting in the ring, I’m not taking anything from them but they don’t have enough. I don’t see a style that can beat me.

GM: That’s honest. Speaking to the point of the lifestyle of a champion beating you, how has your life changed since beating Margarito?

PW: My life didn’t change much. Only thing that changed is that I am a world champion. I still have the same trainer; I still do the same stuff. Only thing that changed is that they call me Champ in the gym now. They say ‘How you doing, Champ?’ That’s the only thing that’s changed.

GM: You beat the guy that was quote/unquote ‘The Most Feared Man in Boxing’. He had the belt for so long and yet nobody seemed to want to take it. Do you feel like you kind of inherited that mantle? Kind of the most feared match up in Boxing? That guys aren’t exactly lining up to fight you at this point?

PW: I feel like I had that before I fought Margarito. Guys didn’t want to fight me. Then when I fought Margarito and beat him, it’s hard to get fights now. I look at it like this; the fans are going to demand it of these guys saying they are the best. And every time they get on TV they start calling out guys and top welterweights, they never mention my name. I mean I’m a world champion. Why don’t you mention my name? They mention everybody else’s name but they never mention my name.

GM: Do you think come 2008 they’ll be mentioning it more?

PW: I’m going to make them mention it. I’m going to be a threat and I’m not going to move out of that weight class until I get all them belts.

GM: If you look at the three other titlists [besides Mayweather], Cotto, Cintron and yourself, you all have the same mentality. You’ll fight anyone. Floyd has taken himself out of the welterweight picture in my opinion because he is off doing his own thing. You and Cintron are tentatively set to fight and I know Cotto wants to unify so at least we will get three pieces of the puzzle together.

PW: That’s what the fans need. Back in the old say there wasn’t four champions in one weight class. There was one champion. So that eliminates all the talk of ‘Oh my favorite fighter, he the champ.’ I think all of the fighters with the belts should fight all the other fighters with the belts. Like an eliminator. Then the fans can say ‘my fighter got all the belts. He’s the champion because he proved it.’ That’s how they should do it.

GM: What do you value more: Your undefeated record or getting a chance to prove yourself against another champion?

PW: Proving myself against another champion. I fought with Margarito and he was the champion and I was the challenger. I proved all I need is the opportunity. I proved to the world that I want to be a champion. I want to get all the belts. I want to be the number one champion.

GM: Well, good talking to you, Paul. Next time we talk we’ll know more about your next fight and you can break it down for us here at Doghouseboxing.com. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me.

PW: Thank you, sir.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
TysonJones said:
Good read, thanks shane. Im sure you've already read the mayweather article but if you haven't check it out.
You're welcome. Yeah that Mayweather interview was great. It will be up online in 2-3 days to watch. I'll post it once I get the email.
 

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PrettyBoyFloyd said:
You're welcome. Yeah that Mayweather interview was great. It will be up online in 2-3 days to watch. I'll post it once I get the email.
Williams seems like a cool guy. I agree with lot of things that he said and can't wait until he gets his turn with Floyd. I don't see Floyd beating him.
 

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yeah, as weird as this may sound... of any boxer right now... i only see Paul willaims being able to beat floy.. nobdy else. Everyone keeps saying the way to Beat floyd is by pressure pressure pressure. And how many times has ther ebeen a guy in with mayweather pressing him, and mayweather won? I think they need a new approach with Floyd. i think since Paul is soo tall and different from many of the fighters Flayd has faced... it gives him the best chance with him, not including the fact that he's a good fighter to begin with.

what do you think?

-Melty
 

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Violent Demise said:
It's to bad William-Cintron was postponed. I was looking forward to it
Yea I was hopping for the fight too. But at least my perdiction of Zab getting another title shot is looking good. And let me be the first to say that it'll be Williams vs Judah next.
 

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Captainobvious said:
Good interview.

I dont think Floyd would take a fight against Paul honestly.
I think he wont fight Cotto or Williams
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Meltdown50 said:
yeah, as weird as this may sound... of any boxer right now... i only see Paul willaims being able to beat floy.. nobdy else. Everyone keeps saying the way to Beat floyd is by pressure pressure pressure. And how many times has ther ebeen a guy in with mayweather pressing him, and mayweather won? I think they need a new approach with Floyd. i think since Paul is soo tall and different from many of the fighters Flayd has faced... it gives him the best chance with him, not including the fact that he's a good fighter to begin with.

what do you think?

-Melty
I kind of agree and don't think Floyd will fight Paul for many reasons. One being that he doesn't bring anything to the table at all, and the other has to do with the ridiculous reach advantage.
 

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PrettyBoyFloyd said:
I kind of agree and don't think Floyd will fight Paul for many reasons. One being that he doesn't bring anything to the table at all, and the other has to do with the ridiculous reach advantage.
He brings that belt to the table and I thought thats what Floyd wants. And he brings even more than that.
 

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If Floyd wants all 4 belts then yes, he'll have to fight Williams. Cotto is a much more difficult fight for Floyd though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
prettyboywho said:
He brings that belt to the table and I thought thats what Floyd wants. And he brings even more than that.
Yeah, but Williams doesn't bring any money to the table. I know Floyd reportedly wants all the belts, but I can't see him fighting for 1/4 the money he has been making. Also, good luck making a Mayweather-Williams fight successful in PPV. NOBODY knows who Williams is outside of our type.
 

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PrettyBoyFloyd said:
Yeah, but Williams doesn't bring any money to the table. I know Floyd reportedly wants all the belts, but I can't see him fighting for 1/4 the money he has been making. Also, good luck making a Mayweather-Williams fight successful in PPV. NOBODY knows who Williams is outside of our type.
He doesnt think that he'll make a 1/4 of what hes been making, because he thinks that he is the one that brought in all the money to the Oscar fight and now he thinks that hes the one bringging in all the money to this fight. So why wouldnt he think that he'll bring in all the money to a fight with Willaims.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
prettyboywho said:
He doesnt think that he'll make a 1/4 of what hes been making, because he thinks that he is the one that brought in all the money to the Oscar fight and now he thinks that hes the one bringging in all the money to this fight. So why wouldnt he think that he'll bring in all the money to a fight with Willaims.
It takes two and Floyd knows that. HBO doesn't want to show Mayweather-Williams when there is Mayweather-DLH II, Mayweather-Cotto, Mayweather-Mosley, and so on. Williams will be on the back burner and his best chance is to never lose while Floyd is fighting all of those guys.
 

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PrettyBoyFloyd said:
It takes two and Floyd knows that. HBO doesn't want to show Mayweather-Williams when there is Mayweather-DLH II, Mayweather-Cotto, Mayweather-Mosley, and so on. Williams will be on the back burner and his best chance is to never lose while Floyd is fighting all of those guys.
Im not saying that I want that fight right now. I want all those other fights to happen befor Williams fights Floyd.
 

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BigDigga said:
if floyd does fight williams eventually i think he'll be floyd's last fight.
I can see that too.
 
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