One of the hardest things for a fighter to do is come back after a loss. It’s even harder when a fighter returns for the first time after a knockout loss. On Saturday, July 9, former world champion, Paul “The Punisher” Williams (39-2, 27 KOs) of Aiken, South Carolina, is determined to show that he is no ordinary fighter when he once again steps back into the ring in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall against the hard-hitting Erislandy Lara (15-0-1, 10 KOs) originally from Cuba and now living in Miami, Florida.
I had the pleasure of speaking in a candid conversation with Paul Williams and his trainer and coach, George Peterson, about Williams’ loss, his return, and what lies in the future of this exciting star.
I thank you gentlemen for taking the time to talk with me and our readers.
Williams and Peterson: No problem. It’s our pleasure.
I want to get into both of you guys’ heads about the last time you were in Atlantic City and you faced Sergio Martinez in your rematch. Give us an idea of your mental going into that very important fight.
Williams: Well, I was just going to try and make it a tough fight. Like the first round, I was going to come out in round two, three, and four and just keep picking it up in every round. It just so happen that I got caught.
Peterson: I’ll make it short and simple — when we go into that ring, we know somebody is going to win and somebody is going to lose. We know of that possibility of someone winning and losing, and guess what … we walked out as the loser — so we were satisfied with that because we know the deal.
Paul has been known as the fighter who welcomes fights from 147 to 160 pounds. That in itself proves a great deal of confidence. The question I have is, was there a bit of overconfidence going into that fight?
Williams: Oh, never that, we always take the same attitude in every fight, where we know something can happen. I’m going to be confident, just not overconfident. Like in the [Carlos] Quintana fight, people said, “Oh he came in overconfident and took Quintana lightly.” That wasn’t the case either in that fight. It just wasn’t my night.
Peterson: How long have you been covering boxing?
I’ve been in and around the sport for the last 13 years.
Peterson: Well, then you’ve definitely heard boxers say how they were hit with a punch that they just didn’t see. There is no preparation for that punch you don’t see coming.
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