Which fighter does everyone else steer clear from?
Some guys just can’t seem to get other guys in the ring. You can run into trouble when you do too well… when you present too much of a challenge for other people to want to step up to the plate. When you’re one of the biggest names in the sport, say Manny Pacquiao, then people will accept and even clamor for a fight against you to try to make a name for themselves while also earning a career high payday. But when that money and recognition doesn’t come with the challenge, fighters are reluctant to take a big risk.
Paul Williams: 2009 Most Feared and Avoided Fighter
No man represents that situation more than Paul Williams. The guy has been jumping around three weight classes, with public willingness to travel to a fourth, and still he can hardly get a top name fighter in the ring. The only guys he ends up facing are the rest of the avoided crew, that boxers with carefully guarded records and meticulously managed careers avoid.
Paul Williams took on and defeated the self proclaimed most feared fighter in Antonio Margarito, and won. After running out of fights at 147, he jumped to 154 and 160. He threw his name into the hat to meet Bernard Hopkins. He met Winky Wright, and dominated him at middleweight… only causing more opponents to run. Including apparently Kelly Pavlik.
With Pavlik out of their scheduled encounter, Sergio Martinez was moved in as the replacement. The two battled it out in an epic encounter, and while either man could be argued as the winner, the wide scorecard tainted the performances of both men.
So in 2010, who is going to step in with Paul Williams? And if you’re the Punisher, where do you proceed? Do you stay at 160 and work on getting a fight with Pavlik again? Do you go to 154, maybe setup a rematch with Martinez and take on some of the young guns in that division? Or do you go up to 168 lbs, where every fighter left out of the Super Six Tournament will likely feel they have enough size and strength to defeat the former/current welterweight fighter?
Whatever Williams does, hopefully some of the other best names in the sport step into in the ring with him. His reach, work rate, heart and chin all present problems, but it’s not as if they can’t be solved. Who will take the chance?
Make sure you check out the rest of the 2009 Boxing Awards from ProBoxing-Fans.com. It’s the best way to recap the entire up and down, crazy year in boxing. And if you agree or disagree with any of the recipients, let us know in the comments!