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Paul "The Punisher" Williams dominates Winky Wright

Ringside by Andreas Hale
Photos by Mary Ann Owen,

When two fighters who nobody else wants to encounter step into the ring with each other, the victor’s spoils are bittersweet. If nobody would want to fight him then, imagine what a decisive victory over a similarly labeled fighter would earn the winner now?

Ronald “Winky” Wright is the type of fighter that nobody looks good against – win or lose. When Paul Williams punctured holes in the celebrated Winky defense and looked magnificent en route to a dominant 12 round unanimous decision, there’s only one question that anyone has to ask.

Who really wants to fight Paul Williams now? 

In Las Vegas’ first main event fight of the year, Paul “The Punisher” Williams (37-1, 27 KOs) earned a decisive unanimous decision victory of Ronald “Winky” Wright (51-5-1) in a hard fought 12-round matchup of Middleweights. The fight was a lot closer in person than it was on the judges’ scorecards (119-109 twice and 120-108). It can also be argued as the most competitive wipeout in recent memory.

Don’t let the scores fool you. It wasn’t as if Wright was simply steamrolled by Williams. Rather, it was Wright who valiantly tried to keep things competitive as he waited for “The Punisher” to run out of ammunition. The problem was that the time when Williams would tire never came.

fightnews.comWhen Williams opened the fight with a barrage of punches, Wright initially grinned and caught many of “The Punisher’s” punches on the gloves. As the fight wore on, Wright’s smile slowly diminished as Williams would continue launching an assortment of punches that included some menacing hooks and head snapping uppercuts that fractured the once-impenetrable defense Wright had been known for. By the time the championship rounds began, Wright simply looked flustered and realized that he became nothing more than a glorified punching bag that Williams gladly hooked, jabbed and slapped at endlessly. 1,086 punches after the first bell and Winky Wright clearly understood why they call Williams “The Punisher.”

The taller and longer Williams mounted an offense that began with 104 punches thrown in the first round and ended with 106 rounds in the twelfth. Wright, by comparison, never managed to throw over 60 punches in the round.

“I felt like I did in the first round in the 12th,” Williams explained. “I anticipated it would be tough fight.”

The 21-months out of the ring surely didn’t help Wright on this night either. This was Wright’s first fight since losing to Bernard Hopkins back in June of 2007. But the former champion didn’t look like he suffered of ring rust as he scored on a few occasions when Williams would take a couple of heartbeats to reload. It may have also surprised Winky that Williams was so active at 160 lbs. especially considering that Williams calls himself a 147 lbs welterweight who was forced to move up in weight to get a fight.

“He was very tall and awkward with really long arms he was throwing a lot of punches in a lot of different direction and I didn’t know how to dodge them,” a more battered than usual Wright said post fight. “I had a long layoff but I felt this was a great fight.”

fightnews.comThere were some very intriguing moments throughout the fight that kept the crowd of 5,024 mostly Wright supporters in attendance at the Mandalay Bay engaged in this dominant performance. One particular sequence in the 9th round found Wright slapping Williams across the face with a right hand early in the round. It appeared that Williams took offense to the punch and opened up a vicious barrage of head and body punches that slipped between and around the glove that visibly hurt Wright. Another point of interest was the beginning of round ten where both fighters came roaring out of the corner as they traded leather laced with bad intentions. As Wright finally peppered out, he stepped back a few steps to catch his breath only to find that Williams had not decided that he was finished throwing. It was a telltale moment in the fight that truly encompassed what was transpiring through each and every round.

“I was determined to outwork him either way it went,” Williams said. “If it went six, twelve or one round I was determined to outwork him the entire fight. That was my game plan.”

Regardless of how lopsided the outcome, Wright proved that he still has what it takes to pose a threat to any fighter. During the post fight interview, Winky maintained that he will step back in the ring again in the near future.

“This is definitely not my last fight,” he said. “I am definitely coming back. I had a long layoff and I I‘m not waiting that long again.”

For Williams, the future is an interesting one as he is making himself available to anyone between the 147 and 160 pound weight classes. But who is going to step up and accept the challenge? For those concerned about the singular blemish on his record to Carlos Quintana in 2008, one has to be reminded of the carnage that ensued four months later when Williams avenged his loss with a vicious first round knockout.

“We’re going to go out there and see what’s there at 147. Paul said that he wants to get back down to 147 and reclaim his titles. Shane Mosley is out there. We certainly would love to have that fight,” Dan Goosen proclaimed at the post fight presser. “At 154 (we’d fight) any champion. Maybe Bernard (Hopkins) wants to come down to 160. Whatever it is, you’re going to see the best pound-for-pound fighter in that ring very soon again.”

Although fight fans hope to see Williams in the ring very soon again, after this performance, will any fighter be willing to take the risk?

fightnews.comArreola destroys McCline

In the evening’s co-feature Chris Arreola improved to 27-0 with his 24th knockout as showcased his distinguishing punching power and slugged his way to a 4th round KO victory over Jameel McCline in their heavyweight matchup. “The Nightmare” came to make a statement from the outset as he worked the body early and often before chopping down the taller McCline en route to the impressive KO victory.

The choice of selecting the 6’7” McCline (51-5-1, 25 KOs) was no accident by Arreola’s handlers. A fighter close to the size and stature of the Klitschko brothers would allow the Mexican heavyweight the opportunity to show his skeptics how he would be able to reach a taller fighter and take him down.

The 38-year-old seasoned veteran allowed the younger Arreola to get inside and slam menacing body punches to the ribs of McCline in the first. The punching power was evident as McCline provided no resistance through the first two rounds as fightnews.comArreola pounded his way inside and turned McCline into a human heavy bag. Although McCline appeared to be worn down by the body work in the 3rd, he managed to rifle off a left hook that briefly stunned the Mexican before the end of the round. 

In the fourth round, Arreola softened McCline up with more brutal body work before climbing upstairs and nailing the larger fighter with left upper cut followed by a straight right hand combination. McCline was clearly shaken as another right hand drops McCline like a sack of potatoes to the canvas as Tony Weeks counted him out at 2:01 in the fourth.

No, McCline was never a real threat to Arreola. His best years are definitely behind him. But it still was impressive that Arreola could dispatch the 270 pound heavyweight with such significance.

“First of all, I want to thank Jameel,” Arreola said during his post fight interview. “He took some good punches and gave some good punches. I am fighting to be the best in the world. I will fight whomever they want me to fight. To be considered the best, you have o beat the best. I want the best. If the Klitschko brothers think I am no ready, then we will see.”

In other action…

2008 Olympian Shawn Estrada had not gone past the first round in his short three fight career. Omar Coffi barely forced Estrada past the past the first stanza - and paid dearly for it. After sending Coffi down in the first and twice in the second, Estrada and his heavy hands pounded Coffi until his corner climbed the apron to throw in the towel at the :47 mark of round three for the TKO victory in their four round Super Middleweight battle. Estrada (4-0, 4 KOs) clocked Coffi (1-2-2) with a hard right hand in the first, but Coffi would recover and fall into survival mode for the rest of the round. Estrada would come out swinging in the second and clip Coffi with yet another right that sent him down and towards the end of the round. Coffi would get up but find himself back on the canvas as yet another ferocious straight right hand dropped him yet again. Coffi barely made it out of the corner and Estrada smelled the blood in the water and pounced his opponent with a barrage of punches until Coffi’s corner leapt to the apron and asked referee Jay Nady to stop the fight. It appears to be time for Estrada to get a real challenge.

Danny Garcia continued his winning ways as he pounded his way to an easy unanimous decision over Humberto Tapia in their eight round Jr Welterweight battle. Garcia improved to 12-0 (7 KOs) as he utilized his superior hand speed and sharp punching to easily outpoint the very game Tapia. Garcia repeatedly touched Tapia from the opening bell with an assortment of punches as Tapia made multiple attempts to fight back but to no avail. Although Tapia (14-10-1, 7 KOs) was never in danger of being knocked out, he couldn’t provide enough opposition to slow down the younger and faster Garcia. Scores were 79-73 twice and 80-72.

In ten round jr middleweight action, Jose Rodriguez slipped by a very game Juan Pablo Montes de Oca by majority decision. “The Silver Boy” was looking to rebound after losing for the first time back in January to George Walton but Montes de Oca would ensure that the road to victory would be filled with speed bumps. Although Rodriguez (13-1-1, 2 KOs) appeared much sharper early on, it would be the persistent pressure applied by Montes de Oca (9-16-2, 6 KOs) that would make the fight competitive throughout. Rodriguez would even find himself on shaky legs in round six when he was caught by a sweeping right hook but managed to shake the cobwebs and put together combinations in the latter rounds. “The Silver Boy” stayed on top of his game with the sharper punching and earned the victory with scores of 95-95, 98-92 and 96-94.

Undefeated Craig McEwan kept his unbeaten streak alive as he put away Alexis Division with an impressive knockout in the first round. McEwan (14-0) collected his 9th KO victory as he delivered a picturesque short left to the body followed a left to the head that dropped Division (16-9, 13 KOs) to the canvas for good as referee Robert Byrd counted him out at 1:49.

In four round jr. welterweight action, Michael Dallas Jr pounded his way through a glorified sparring session as he dominated Terrance Jett en route to an easy unanimous decision (40-36, 40-35 twice). Dallas Jr improves to 7-0-1 (1 KO) with a dominant performance over Jett, who falls to 4-13-2 (2 KOs). The Bakersfield, CA fighter looked pretty close to claiming his second knockout late in the final stanza as he punished Jett with brutal body work and hooks to the head. Jett would find a way to remain on his feet by the time the final bell rang and deny Dallas his second KO victory.

Juan Dominguez made short work of Ramon Flores in their 4 round Jr Lightweight bout as he stopped him with a perfect combination in the first round. Dominguez (4-0) picked up his second knockout victory by landed a thudding right hand followed by a vicious left to the body and sent Flores (3-5-1, 3 KOs) slumping to the canvas to end the fight as Kenny Bayless called it off at 2:10 to award Dominguez the TKO victory.

In the opening bout, Rico Ramos remained undefeated at as he fought his way to a unanimous decision over Gino Escamilla in six round featherweight action. Ramos (9-0, 5 KOs) stayed busy and simply outworked Escamilla (5-5-1, 2 KOs) as the judges saw it in his favor with scores of 58-56 (twice) and 59-55.

Bonus photos

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