Twenty-Twenty Hindsight: Punisher Needs New Plan, Berto Needs Tougher Foes

Hats off to Carlos Quintana. He fought a heck of a fight Saturday night against Paul Williams, and even though I scored it a draw, I certainly have no problem with the judges scoring seven or eight of the rounds for the new champ. Certainly, Quintana won several rounds decisively, while a couple of rounds I gave to Williams could have gone either way.

It's funny that in the pre-fight show, Williams scoffed at the notion that it was his style that gave his opponents fits. Turns out that assessment may have more astute than The Punisher would like to admit, because Quintana had the answer for his style, and there really didn't seem to be anything Williams could do about it. Like The Punisher of comic book fame, Williams' instinct is to come out guns blazing. The difference is that Frank Castle has a whole wealth of other tricks at his disposal, while Williams doesn't seem to have a back-up plan if his overwhelming firepower falls flat.

Except for some rounds where he showed increased head movement, Williams looked lost on defense, as Quintana was able to find the mark with numerous left hands. He's also in trouble if he falls behind on points, because as the HBO announce team correctly pointed out, he doesn't have the power to turn a fight around with a single punch.

While The Punisher goes back to the drawing board, no such retooling is needed for Andre Berto, who made overmatched Michel Trabant quit after six rounds. The funniest comment on the night, made by HBO ringside scorer Harold Lederman, was also quite true: Berto hit Trabant with every punch known to man.

Berto is blessed with both skill and natural athleticism, but until he fights some tougher opposition, we won't know exactly where he stands. My brother Uatu text-messaged me after the fight to ask if I thought Berto would beat Quintana. My answer: not yet. But one more fight against a more talented boxer and I might change my mind.

Or even better, why don't Quintana and Berto just fight each other and then we'll know for sure?

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