4.2.08

Ducked Versus Feared: The Paul Williams Dilemma

Who is the most ducked boxer in the sport today? I think it may be Miguel Cotto, who seems to have done everything necessary to prove himself a worthy foil for the Mayweathers and De La Hoyas of the boxing world. But Steve Kim of Maxboxing.com nominated another top candidate in his column today: WBO welterweight champion Paul "The Punisher" Williams.

He'd love to fight Cotto, Floyd or Oscar. Unfortunately for boxing fans, none of those matches look like they will take place any time soon. That's evidence in and of itself that he's being ducked, but as promoter Dan Goosen tells Kim, it may be more than that: the big names in the sport may be afraid to fight him.

Not just because they'd lose to Williams, though since he's 33-0 with 24 knockouts, there's always that possibility. Today's most famous boxers are hesitant to fight guys like Williams because they see it as a lose-lose proposition.

Take Floyd Mayweather, for example. Williams' trainer mentions in the column that Paul and Floyd fight at or near the same weight, and though PBF calls himself the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, he won't fight The Punisher. I agree with his reasoning, but it's also not hard for me to see what Floyd sees.

Aside from the fact that a Mayweather-Williams fight wouldn't make the kind of money PBF looks for every time out at this point of his career - because Williams isn't well-known among the general public - Mayweather has too little to gain by taking him on. If he would win, he'd be expected to so. If he would lose, it would be seen as a huge upset by casual fans - again, because they don't know his opponent too well.

But there's an additional element here too, because Floyd could win the fight and still look bad in the process. With Williams' height and high punch output, it would be extremely difficult to beat him and look good doing it. Fighters known to be defensive masters get avoided for a similar reason, but when you add in the added danger of Williams knocking you out, the risk to reward ratio just gets too high.

Toward the end of the column, Kim mentions that the only real option for Williams is to keep winning until other fighters can't help including him in their plans. As fans, all we can do is keep the faith and hope that the various motivations of boxers at different status levels in the sport align down the road and give us the fights we want to see.

1 comment:

Uatu said...

Uatu considers one of the Franchise's favorites, Joan Guzman, to be similar to Paul Williams. Guzman is half feared/half ducked. He's dangerous and not famous enough for the big money guys like Pacman to want to fight.