Matchup breakdown: Margarito-Williams

Kevin Iole
Yahoo! Sports

Antonio Margarito and Paul Williams have each been chasing a big fight for years. Now they have one, against each other, for Margarito's WBO welterweight title, on Saturday at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Here is what each man must do to win:

Keys to victory
1. Impose his will. Williams may have edges in many of the physical categories. Margarito needs to offset that by making it a dogfight and forcing Williams into a toe-to-toe scrap. 1. Follow jab with left hand. After Williams' jabs, he must come back with a straight left, because Margarito is vulnerable to straight, fast punches.

2. Counter Williams' jab. Williams can be lazy with his jab. If he is, Margarito must make him pay by countering with a hard left hook. 2. Avoid the ropes. Margarito will try to maul him on the ropes and being there does Williams no favors.

3. Control the distance. Williams is tall with long arms. Margarito should fight at a distance that doesn't allow Williams to get full leverage on his punches. 3. Uppercut in close. Since Margarito is open in the middle, this is the most available punch to Williams if they're fighting in tight.

4. Work the body. This is Margarito's specialty and an area where Williams is vulnerable. 4. Fight tall. Williams has a three-inch height advantage. He needs to use it and avoid fighting from a crouch.

Rating the fighters
Comparison of Antonio Margarito and Paul Williams on a rating of 1 to 10 in several categories:
Punching power 7 8 Williams has been compared to a young Tommy Hearns.
Jab 7 7 Williams would be wise to double or triple his jab.
Body attack 9 6 Margarito wears opponents down to the body.
Speed and
5 9 This is the biggest edge either fighter has over the other.
Defense 5 5 Fight should be entertaining because both get hit a lot.
Chin 7 8 Williams hasn't been tested by someone like Margarito.
Stamina 9 8 Margarito is relentless for 12 rounds.
Ring smarts 9 7 Williams hasn't faced the kind of competition where this has been an issue.
Corner 7 7 Williams and trainer George Peterson have a close bond.
Intangibles 10 8 Margarito desperately wants the win to prove he's an upper tier welterweight.
Total 75 73 Williams is a dangerous puncher and Margarito is slow and throws wide shots, which should favor Williams. But expect Margarito to make it a bruising fight and find a way to pull out a decision.