Edited Press Release: Paul Williams' people are comparing him to Tommy Hearns, which may not be fair to the young man, but he does stand a strong and lanky 6-foot-1 and 147 pounds, has knock out power in both hands, and a record of 29-0 with 21 KOs. On Saturday night, Williams will be featured in his biggest fight to date on HBO’s Boxing After Dark series, telecast from The Home Depot in Carson, California , in a twelve-round bout against another unbeaten knockout artist, Walter Matthysse (25-0, 24 KOs) of Argentina. Of Williams 21 knockouts in 29 professional fights, the Augusta, Georgia native has recorded 16 KOs in the first three rounds, including nine in first-round stoppages. That is arguably “Hitmanesque.” About the only recognizable physical difference between Williams and Hearns at welterweight is that the man known as “The Punisher” is a southpaw.
“We definitely have things in common,” Williams said of the constant Hearns comparisons. “Like him at welterweight, I am the tallest in the weight class. We both have long reach and tremendous power. The major differences are that he used his right hand and I use my left. Also, I am more elusive than he was. And Thomas liked to stay on the outside and I like to fight either inside or outside. Competing drives me,” Williams, who last month registered a second-round knockout of Sergio Rios, continued. “I always want to come out on top. I think about fighting one round at a time and so far it’s been working out pretty good.”
Another similarity to Hearns is Williams’ ambition to hold as many world title belts in as many weight classes as possible, and he is putting all titleholders in his path on alert. “I’m going into the collection business; I’m on a mission of collecting belts,” Williams, not short in height or confidence, revealed. “I walk around at 153 pounds and am comfortable fighting at 147 and 154. I could capture all the belts at 147 and 154 at the same time. I am not looking past Matthysse, but I really want to fight (WBO Welterweight Champ) Antonio Margarito next. He says nobody will fight him, but I certainly will and I’m going to earn that right Saturday night. Then I’ll look for (Arturo) Gatti, (Ricky) Hatton and maybe (Floyd) Mayweather.”
Of course his manager/trainer George Peterson and advisor Alan Haymon, along with promoter Dan Goossen, will help make the best choices for Williams. “Paul has that classy confidence about himself, in and out of the ring. Throw in this type of challenge against Matthysse, an undefeated KO artist being promoted by Oscar De La Hoya, and you know with a victory he’ll make everyone else a believer. I know we are,” said Goossen.