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JULY 4, 2007

  The Stage Is Set For Paul Williams To Make History

George Peterson must have seen something special in the young man who came to his gym as a teenager. This was his future world champion, the boxer that he would put his heart and soul behind and help guide to a title shot. As a veteran of the professional boxing world, Peterson had a plan for young Paul Williams.

"Save it for the stage," is a term used by entertainers who save their best for the important performances. This appears to be the strategy Williams' trainer and manager George Peterson has taken with his young protégé, as he prepares to take to the world stage on HBO for his most important performance. Some may disagree with that notion, but in a dangerous sport where so many fighters never get their big break, WBO number one welterweight contender Paul Williams has been carefully preserved for this very moment.

Goossen Tutor Promotions along with Top Rank have joined forces to present Antonio Margarito (34-4, 24 KO’s) defending his WBO welterweight belt against unbeaten Paul "The Punisher" Williams (32-0, 24 KO’s) at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on July 14. The fight will be live on HBO as part of the interesting double-header that includes Arturo Gatti's fight with Alfonso Gomez of Contender fame that will be broadcast from Atlantic City, New Jersey.

As the best professional boxer currently fighting out of South Carolina, he can help open the doors for other young fighters in this area. Unlike so many South Carolina fighters who have fallen short when stepping up in competition, Williams has gained voluble experience by staying on the road and in the best gyms sparring with the top boxers of the world. I have been a witness to his work ethic and the aura that surrounds him in a gym setting and it is something special.

The perfect example of quiet confidence, his recent verbal jabs appear to be more for publicity than anything. Paul Williams does not have to sell himself with words he just needs to keep winning and gain more TV exposure. His high intensity style will take care of the rest.

He appears to have all the tools necessary to bring the world title back to Aiken, South Carolina. With an incredible size advantage and an unrivaled work rate, Paul Williams has ripped through his opponents with relative ease. But many question whether or not his trainer Peterson has matched him tough enough to prepare him for a warrior like Antonio Margarito.

The only flaw in the southpaw Williams' game may be that he gets hit too easy at times and a strong counterpunching effort from the cagey veteran Margarito could offset some of Williams' advantages. Not your typical lefty stylist, Williams is an aggressive punching machine who gets right down to business, throwing combinations and working behind a steady jab. This is something that could be a major factor in the early rounds against the sometimes slow starting Margarito. An early knockout victory for Williams is not out of the question, since Margarito has shown signs of deterioration in his most recent fight with Joshua Clottey.

My heart tells me that this will be the breakthrough fight that can help destroy the stereotype of "southern circuit fighters," as Teddy Atlas likes to call them. This is not your average southern fighter and he is not the only one that will break out of here in the next few years. Paul Williams combines the experience of a world ranked fighter with a stubborn determination that should put George Peterson in the running for boxing's manager of the year.






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