Paul Wiliiams vs. Antonio Margarito(f!ght of the Year!)
The year's boxing schedule has been littered with highly anticipated f!ghts: Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather, Ricky Hatton-Jose Luis Castillo, Miguel Cotto-Zab Judah and Rafael Marquez-Israel Vazquez among them.
Now, the latest match in an outstanding run of the best f!ghting the best is upon us: Welterweight titlist Antonio Margarito (34-4, 24 KOs) faces highly regarded mandatory challenger Paul Williams (32-0, 24 KOs) Saturday night at the 8,000-seat outdoor Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
The f!ght, which many expect to be a barnburner, caps off a huge night of coast-to-coast welterweight action on HBO (9 p.m. ET).
The tripleheader will open in Atlantic City, N.J., where headliner Arturo Gatti (40-8, 31 KOs) returns to face Alfonso Gomez (16-3-2, 7 KOs) of "Contender" fame and Kermit Cintron (27-1, 25 KOs) defends his piece of the welterweight title against his mandatory challenger, Walter Matthysse (26-1, 25 KOs) of Argentina, in a battle of sluggers at Boardwalk Hall.
Margarito-Williams, dubbed "Pride N' Punishment," will follow from California. Perhaps it's a case of saving the best for last?
"You cannot predict with certainty how a f!ght is going to unfold. However, based on what I have seen of the styles of these f!ghters, it cannot help but be an exciting f!ght," said Bob Arum, Margarito's promoter. "Now, how exciting compared to Cotto-Judah? We will have to see. But certainly, it is going to be more exciting in the ring than De La Hoya-Mayweather."
Dan Goossen, Williams' promoter who won the rights to the f!ght with purse bid of $1.9 million and subsequent out-of-court settlement with Arum, agreed with his rival.
"One of the great things this year we have seen are some great anticipated match-ups and this is certainly I think one of the top ones," he said. "We have had De La Hoya-Mayweather, Cotto-Judah, Hatton-Castillo and I think at the top of that chain, we have two of the hungriest, in their prime, welterweights in the world -- one that we know has been considered the most feared f!ghter in boxing [Margarito], and the other one who wants to show that that title deserves to be on his shoulders."
Margarito has more on the line besides his belt. A victory will pave the way to a major HBO PPV f!ght in the fall against fellow titleholder Cotto. Their deal is done contingent on Margarito winning.
"They are talking about a lot of big f!ghts for me in the future, but my future is [Saturday]," he said. "I must win or I can forget about any immediate big f!ghts."
Margarito, who counts a knockout win against Cintron among his seven title defenses, is confident despite Williams owning many advantages. Williams, who owns a 10th-round knockout of Matthysse at the Home Depot Center in 2006, is younger (25 to 29), taller (6 feet, 1 inch to 5-11) and a lanky southpaw.
"Williams is undefeated so he doesn't know how to lose," Margarito said. "But he has never been in the ring with anybody like me."
The two sparred a few years ago, but they have different recollections of the session. Williams says he got the better of the action and cut Margarito.
"The truth never changes. I cut him and he knows that," said Williams, who is predicting a seventh-round knockout. "If he was a real man, he would admit that. I cut him, hurt him to the body and they sent me home. I am here to win. I am going to win. Margarito already knows the deal. He has already lost two rounds in sparring against me. I am going to mop the floor with him. You can take that to the bank."
Said Margarito: "I don't understand what Williams is basing his facts on. He did not cut me. His camp is full of [lies]."
[pic - click to view] http://sports.espn.go.com .. dan&id=2935157
When Paul Williams mops the floor with Margarito, I can't wait to see how many n*ggas start bandwagoning Williams.
I been supporting the n*gga from day 1.
Last edited by Hold That; 07-14-2007 at 12:27 PM..