Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Interview with Dan Goosen


GL: Can you give us some thoughts on Wright-Williams and tell us why you think your guy is going to win?

DG: Like Arreola, Paul's on his way to making history. He won't be the first to have achieved it, but it hasn't been done for over a half century. Henry Armstrong defied the odds and all logic simultaneously fighting in a multitude of weight divisions. Williams, out of necessity, is doing the same. After regaining his Welterweight World Championship in June of 2008, he couldn't find any other welterweights willing to step in with him and went up to Middleweight to get a fight. In the fight after middleweight, Paul went down to Jr. Middleweight and won another World Championship after unsuccessfully seeking to defend his Welterweight Championship against a worthy challenger. Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosely, Michael Jennings, you name them they waffled. Now he's going back up in weight to challenge what is sure to be his biggest prize yet in the middleweight division, Winky Wright. Wright has beaten Shane Mosely twice, Felix Trinidad, toe-to-toe with Jermain Taylor and Bernard Hopkins and Paul now has the opportunity to capitalize on what is sure to be a hard-fought Punisher style victory. This is the fight that puts Paul's name at the top of the pound-for-pound list.

GL: Do you think the winner of this fight deserves to fight Pavlik next and what do you think of Pavlik's recent opponents?

DG: First the question is backwards. Does Pavlik deserve a shot against Williams with a victory over Wright? Paul has said recently that he would like to reclaim his Welterweight Championship. Who would take up that challenge? Shane Mosely? Miguel Cotto? You would have to ask those guys, but I don't figure they would rush to sign on the dotted line. There are no more excuses for another world champion not to step into the ring with Paul Williams, or should I say acceptable excuses. Can you imagine Paul beating Winky at middleweight and ready to fight for the championship he was forced to give up at 147-pounds? That would be history! Then at 154-pounds we have another champion in the WBO that is willing to fight Paul and quite frankly that alone qualifies him to be a real possibility in Sergiy Dzinziruk. Now we come to the middleweight division and you have Kelly Pavlik, the man that had a Williams fight but let the money interfere with better sense and proceeded to lose to a man that should be working his corner rather than beating him inside the ring in Hopkins. If Pavlik continues to challenge fighters such as he did last month, he will not have earned his right to get into the ring with Paul. Now if going between welterweight and middleweight didn't impress anyone, which would be virtually impossible to fathom, the fight that I heard George Peterson and Paul tell some media at our LA press conference on who they would want next with a victory over Wright was, get this, Bernard Hopkins. Is that big enough for you Greg? I would like to hear from all of your readers on their thoughts on Paul against Winky on April 11 and of course some of the names that I just mentioned here.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Paul Williams Willing To Return To Welter

By Mark Vester - BoxingScene.com

WBO interim-junior middleweight champion Paul Williams has fought above the welterweight limit for nearly a year. After knocking out Carlos Quintana last June at 147, he jump two weight classes in September to stop Andy Kolle at the middleweight limit of 160-pounds. Two months later he went down to 154 and stopped Verno Phillips for the interim title. On April 11 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Williams jumps back to 160 to face Winky Wright.

If Williams beats Wright in April, there are many who don't see him returning to the welterweight division. Williams, speaking with BoxingScene.com's Luis Sandoval, says that he is willing to drop back to 147 for the right fight. He would love to get in the ring with Shane Mosley, Joshua Clottey or Miguel Cotto.

"Basically I'm in every weight class [but] nothing under 147. If I can get a big fight at 147, I would definitley come back to 147," Williams said.

Experts are split on whether or not Williams can beat the bigger and more experienced Wright. Williams plans to make a statement in April by not allowing Wright to get off and keeping at a high level for all twelve rounds.

"Every time I get in the ring I want to make a statement. My fans know that every time I get in the ring I'm coming to fight. It don't matter who the guy is or what the guy has been doing, or how big the guy is or how bad the guy is. I want to prove that I'm the best and to prove that you're the best - you have to get in there and beat the best. That's how I look at it," Williams said.

"Winky has been doing some good stuff and all that. I respect the man for what he's done in his career but now its my time. If I keep punching I'll keep him in his shell. I won't let him get off. I'm going to come out with a win but it's going to be something very exciting for them to see."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Winky Wright Looking To Dominate

By Mark Vester - BoxingScene.com

Following the lead of Shane Mosley and Bernard Hopkins, another veteran of the game, Winky Wright, wants to dominate his younger opponent. Hopkins dominated Kelly Pavlik last October. Mosley dominated Antonio Margarito in January, and Wright wants to put on a dominating, career-defining performance against Paul Williams on April 11 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

“I think I'm going to need it. He's a young hungry fighter who thinks the world is scared of him, but I'm going to show him that I'm the man and I have to put a stamp on that on April 11. I'm going to give him some things to think about in the ring and we're going to have to adjust and just dominate the fight. I'm going to win, definitely,” Wright tells BoxingScene.com’s Luis Sandoval.

Williams has jumped around in three divisions, 147, 154 and 160 - knocking out most of his opponents. Wright tells BoxingScene that he hopes Williams comes to the ring with the mindset of trading punches because there could be an opportunity to win with a knockout.

“I see that he likes to trade and I could stop him. Like I said, I see that he likes to trade and if he comes to trade - he could get stopped,” Wright said.

For years, Wright has been accused of being very difficult when it came to negotiating a fight and the financial numbers. Wright denies those claims.

“I never turned down any fight. People use money to get out of fighting me. They know that if they offer me well below my worth then I'm not going to take the fight. That's all they doing. They price themselves out of the fight. Even when I offer them a good price, then they want this or they want that. They price themselves out of the fight without saying they don't want to fight. They do it that way,” Wright said.

“After I win this fight, I want to fight the best. If Pavlik or whoever. I want the best fighter. I want the fans to say 'I want to see Winky Wright fight this guy' and that's who I want to fight."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Vivek Wallace Weighs In on Kirkland/Williams

Barry Stevens (Miami Lakes, FL): James Kirkland proved a lot in his fight against Julio. How do you think he would fare against someone like Paul Williams at 154?

Vivek W. (Examiner): I thought Kirkland performed in a way that instantly gave him a certain level of credibility against ANY opponent on the 154lb level, despite the fact that it's still very early in his career. Coming into the fight it was his chin that most questioned, yet when it was all said and done, there was no room left to second guess him whatsoever. He took the biggest bombs from one of the divisions biggest punchers and basically laid the blueprint to defeat any heavy fisted foe; which is keep them off balance and going backwards. I think his determination and his power, coupled with his endurance and grit makes him a tough fight for Williams. Paul Williams has looked great at '54, but I have yet to see him against a heavy fisted fighter who has more in his arsenal than looping shots (i.e. Margarito). Hopefully this is a fight that can be made early in 2010 to officially answer this question.


Monday, March 9, 2009

April 11th, a Big Night of HBO Entertainment

There were few rivalries in the world of sports like that between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. HBO explores that rivalry and their epic third fight in a documentary called, "Thrilla in Manila." It airs on April 11, at 8:00 p.m.

"According to a release, "Thrilla in Manila," tells the previously unknown story of their final fight in the searing heat of the Philippines through the eyes of the “other man” in the ring.

The documentary is part of an incredible night of boxing, which also includes the first installment of Pacquiao-Hatton 24/7 and followed by the 12-round “World Championship Boxing” middleweight bout between Winky Wright and Paul Williams.

Here's the lineup for HBO that night:

8:00 -- Premiere “Thrilla in Manila” documentary.

9:30 -- First installment of "Pacquiao-Hatton 24/7"

10:00 -- Winky Wright vs Paul Williams, middleweight title fight, live from Las Vegas."