20-20 Hindsight: After Watching Winky's Beatdown, Who Wants to Fight Paul Williams Now?

When Winky Wright actually admits he's been beaten, that's saying something.

I had to leave for work right after the tenth round of the Paul Williams-Winky Wright fight on Saturday, but I had seen enough by then. As I walked out the door, I told my brother Spartan117 that I already knew what was going to happen: Williams was going to win by decision and Wright was going to complain about it.

Turns out I only got the first part right. The man AP writer Greg Beachem correctly pegged as a "notoriously sore loser" wasn't sore at all (except in the face, probably), admitting that the lopsided scores turned in against him by the judges were correct.

Wright was flummoxed by punches thrown from impossible angles. At one point, Williams threw a left uppercut under his own right arm, which was being held by his foe. The ref was so taken aback that he instinctively issued a warning to Williams.

Winky also acknowledged that while he was ready to face a lot of punches, he didn't understand it was going to be quite that many. The volume that Williams delivers really needs to be seen to be believed.

Before we get too carried away, I should stop short of making it seem like Williams is invincible. I'd stop way short of saying what promoter Dan Goossen said when he called his fighter the best in the world, regardless of weight.

His defense is a little sloppy, for one thing. Though he's quite capable of enough head and leg movement to prove evasive at times, Williams got tagged a number of times by a fighter nearly ten years his senior. He seems to have a sturdy chin but hasn't exactly faced tons of noted one-punch KO artists.

That's nitpicking though. Williams' blend of activity, offensive variety and conditioning are tough enough, even without considering his freakishly long reach and the fact that he's a lefty.

He comes across as likable as well, so he should be on his way to becoming a true star. One problem: most boxing scribes agree (as do I) that his near blanking of Wright isn't likely to make other top boxers want to fight him - which was already difficult before Saturday.

One thing Williams does have going for him is that he seems like he will actually be able to pull off his team's plan to fight anywhere between 147 and 160. With that in mind, I've brainstormed some possible opponents at welterweight, junior middle and middleweight and separated them by likelihood:

147 pounds:

Intriguingly possible - Miguel Cotto - He seems like the kind of guy who would relish the challenge, and if he convincingly gets past Joshua Clottey, his stock will be back on the rise. Cotto is also a big enough star to sell tickets if the fight is held in the right place (say, NYC).

Doubtful - Shane Mosley - Sugar Shane supposedly already nixed fighting Williams in the past. He's close to the end of his career and wants to take only the biggest money fights, which probably rules out The Punisher.

No freaking way - Antonio Margarito - He's suspended, and he's already lost to Williams once.

154 pounds:

Intriguingly possible - James Kirkland - Perhaps enough of a badass to say to himself, "I don't give a f---" and just wade through punches to go after Williams. Hard-hitting Alfredo Angulo may fit that description too, but he's less likely to be ready for such a big step up.

Doubtful - Vernon Forrest - The Viper just pulled out of a fight due to injury and is even older than Wright. Plus even he is shorter than Williams.

No freaking way - Oscar De La Hoya - It's funny just to think about the Golden Boy facing down 100-plus punches a round.

160 pounds:

Intriguingly possible - No one comes to mind, unless Bernard Hopkins jumps in a time machine and rewinds the clock by about ten years.

Doubtful - Kelly Pavlik - Team Pavlik seems to be content with a safer path for Kelly for the time being. If he and Williams cross paths, I'm guessing it will be a couple years down the road.

No freaking way - Arthur Abraham - Right now it's tough to get him to come across the pond to fight the much more conventional Pavlik. Think he's going to do it to try to solve Williams? Me neither.

Posted by The Franchise

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