Former WBO welterweight boxing champion Paul Williams, who was scheduled to fight for a world title in September, was paralyzed from the waist down Sunday after being involved in a motorcycle crash in the Atlanta suburbs, News 12 in Augusta, Ga., reported Monday.
Williams' manager, George Peterson, told the TV station that Williams is in the hospital and surgery is scheduled for Wednesday. The operation will try to stabilize the healthy upper half of his spine by putting a protective wall around it.
According to the report, Williams' motorcycle veered off the road while trying to avoid another vehicle, and he was thrown from his motorcycle. He's conscious and alert in an Atlanta hospital.
Williams, 30, was scheduled to fight Saul Alvarez for the WBC light middleweight title Sept. 15 in Las Vegas, but that fight has been canceled. The fight was announced last week.
Williams is 41-2-0, with 27 knockouts. He won the WBO welterweight title in 2007 when he beat Antonio Margarito. He lost the title in his next bout to Carlos Quintana, but regained the title by beating Quintana in a 2008 rematch. He lost to Sergio Martinez in 2010 in a bid for the WBC middleweight title, and won both bouts since then.