"Man, I’ll say it like this. I’m the champion, all they have to do is give me the chance."
BoxingTalk: Paul, how is your preparation going for your fight on Wednesday?
Paul Williams: Everything is going good. I have a good camp going, and I’m ready to get it on.BoxingTalk: What have you been working on to ensure victory against Sergio Rios?
Paul Williams: Basically we’ve been working on everything: Staying on the outside, moving my head, and landing body shots. It doesn’t matter. Whatever kind of style Sergio brings I’ll be able to adapt to it. I’m going to come out victorious because I put in the time.BoxingTalk: Rios has an impressive record in which 16 of his 18 wins have come by way of knockout. Are you concerned at all about his power?
Paul Williams: No sir. I’ve been in the ring with so many champions and I’ve learned so much from them. I respect him and his power, but I’m not concerned about it.BoxingTalk: When I spoke with your promoter Dan Goossen, he said that you conjure up thoughts of Tommy Hearns with your thin build, your height, and your amazing punching power. Do you consider yourself the second coming of Tommy “The Hitman” Hearns?
Paul Williams: In a way you can say that. Everybody says since I’m tall and have a long reach that I’m like Hearns. If I see someone doing something that I like, I’ll take it and put my own twist on it.BoxingTalk: There are a lot of fighters out their who are tall, but fight small, and these fighters don’t use their height to their advantage. Do you feel you take advantage of your stature when you fight?
Paul Williams: When I’m in the ring fighting and I come out I use my height, but I intimidate some guys so I have to go inside and fight them. I like to fight on the outside, but I get more stuff done when I’m on the inside. This fight I think I’m going to do a lot on the outside.BoxingTalk: Another advantage you have is that you fight southpaw. Will this play a roll in your victory against Rios on Wednesday?
Paul Williams: Most definitely. Most guys don’t spar southpaw in the gym. They will just spar with a guy who is right handed but throws a lot of lefts because it’s closer. However, I can switch it up if I have to.BoxingTalk: You are fighting in the welterweight division, but you have fought in higher weight classes before. Are you at your strongest and most comfortable fighting at 147?
Paul Williams: This fight is at 150 and I’m already at weight. So I may come in anywhere from 140 to 147. I eat 3 meals a day when I fight at 147. It’s nice having meals, and it’s amazing that I can lose weight like this.BoxingTalk: The junior welterweight is still one of the most exciting divisions out there right now with the 147 and 154 division heating up. Where do you see yourself amongst the great fighters out there today?
Paul Williams: Man, I’ll say it like this. I’m the champion, all they have to do is give me the chance. That’s how comfortable I am. I have sparred with O’Neil Bell, Glen Johnson, and Antonio Margarito, and they hit me with some great shots, but I came back and hit them with some great shots. I held my own against them, and they can’t do anything with me.BoxingTalk: Where do you feel a victory against Rios on Wednesday puts you in your career?
Paul Williams: A victory over Rios will move me up another notch. I have to get past this guy, and then get ready on April 26th for Walter Matthysse on HBO. Then I want to fight Margarito, the winner of Mayweather-Judah, or the winner of Baldomir-Gatti. I am no joke. I am for real. They have to meet me.BoxingTalk: Your next two fights are televised. Do you feel any added pressure to go out there and knock out your opponent to look impressive?
Paul Williams: I’m going for the win. If I get a knockout, great. If I don’t, that’s ok. I’ll win one round at a time and not get crazy. All these fighters are in my way and yhey have to move. It’s not personal, it’s just business. Like my manager George Peterson says, “He’ll stand them up, and I’ll keep knocking them down.”
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