November 21, 2010
Paul Williams can stop talking about fighting Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao, he's got a new rival in the 154-to-160 pound range. In a rematch of a 2009 thriller, Williams tried to bully Sergio Martinez, but the Argentinian did a brilliant job of slipping punches and firing back with overhand lefts.
Early in the second, Martinez landed a left that Williams never saw.
"The Punisher" fell face first to the canvas and couldn't even lift a shoulder off the mat before the count of ten. Martinez retained his WBC and WBO middleweight titles with the knockout at 1:10 of the second.
"I just got caught with a punch. He just caught me with a clean shot," Williams told HBO analyst Max Kellerman.
Martinez (46-2-2, 25 KOs) knew the opening was going to be there.
"I started to attack (in the second round). That was my stance, but I was always waiting for his mistake," said Martinez. "He was coming in. He was too open. He left me a lot of room to punch."
This was a much more satisfying finish for fight fans. Meeting No. 1 last year was a dynamite fight but was sullied by the odd scoring of Pierre Benoist. He had it 119-110 for Williams while Lynne Carter and Julie Lederman, had it 115-113 and 114-114, respectively.
Tonight in front of 5,500 in Atlantic City, Williams (39-2, 27 KOs) came out aggressively, trying to make it a brawl. Martinez consistently found a home for counter punches with both the left and the right. When Williams, who has a freakish reach of 82 inches, punched from the outside, Martinez stayed low and crouched under the shots.
felt good. I wanted to make it a tough fight, the whole way through," Williams. "He
just caught me with a punch I didn't see."
The punch stats were pretty even with Williams outlanding Martinez 31-23, but the Argentinian was the more accurate of the two.
There's been talk of Martinez calling out Pacquiao, who just won a title down at junior middleweight. Martinez said he'd be willing go as low as 156.
Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole says "Pac-Man's" promoter Bob Arum already ruled out any possibility of his star matching up against the current middleweight champ.