Paul “The Punisher” Williams wants to prove he’s still a top fighter this weekend. Many wonder if he is the same boxer he used to be, a common question asked of pugilists who suffer brutal knockouts.

Williams (39 – 2, 27 KOs) was once included in the Ring’s top ten pound-for-pound list, but has fallen in rank following a knockout loss to Sergio Martinez. The highlight reel-worthy KO avenged Martinez’s loss in their first fight and placed the Argentine at number three on the Ring’s pound-for-pound list (Behind only Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather).

Williams’ only fight since that loss was a bizarre, four round-fight against Kermit Cintron that ended with the Puerto Rican accidentally flying out of the ring and injuring himself. Williams was curiously awarded the decision, though some felt it should have been a no contest.

The four round performance wasn’t enough to truly determine if Williams was affected by the knockout, but he didn’t look particularly impressive or sharp.

This weekend he’ll take on Erislandy Lara (15-0-1, 10 KOs) in a fight most fans and experts expect him to win, it probably won’t be easy.

Williams will be focused and determined to win, but Lara will be eager to take down a big name and boost his career. If the knockout didn’t take much or anything at all out of Williams, this could turn out to be a fairly easy fight; otherwise it’ll be a long night for him.

  1. I don’t think the Martinez knockout really depleted Paul Williams much. It was the first time I ever heard a trainer say there was nothing his fighter should have done different, when he had been knocked out. That’s like saying Ricky Hatton just got caught wrong against Pacquiao. Williams seems to have become complacent about his skill level and has stopped trying to improve. As I’m sure you saw, he struggled against Lara. In fact, he lost. It was one of the worst decisions I’ve seen in boxing when they gave it to Lara. ”Simply put, this decision has been derided as one of the worst boxing has seen in years. It was incomprehensible. This was not just one of those close fights that could have gone either way. No, this was a clear-as-day win for Lara. Even if you gave every possible benefit of the doubt to Williams, maybe you could score it 115-113 for Lara. Not a draw. And certainly there is no reasonable way to actually have Williams winning.” – Dan Rafael. I want to see Williams-Martinez III anyway.

  2. Lara definitely won that night. And I suppose I do want to see Martinez-Williams III a bit, but I want proof Williams can deliver. The Lara fight definitely wasn’t that proof.

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