Interview with Paul Williams and George Peterson - On Mosley, Pacquiao, Mayweather, Hopkins, Calzaghe, Pavlik and more
By John Pullman, Doghouse Boxing (June 9, 2009) Photo © Howard Schatz  
September seems so long away to wait to see Paul “The Punisher” Williams again. But it is not that long considering they still don’t have an opponent lined up. We already know that Paul is the “most avoided man in boxing,” but Paul is willing to jump around from three weight classes with style and grace, while still keeping his humble, unassuming attitude.

Paul Williams is coming off a victory of dangerous veteran, Winky Wright. Paul looked a lot better in that
fight than a lot of ringside experts expected. You might think his strategy would be complex, but it was quite the contrary, Paul kept his approach as simple as possible. “With his (Winky) style of fighting and my style of fighting … I knew I was going to have a good night … It was a pretty simple game plan … He is a defensive fighter and I am an offensive fighter. I just kept him on defense… Whatever he did, I was just gonna out work him,” Paul said.

You can’t argue with success, and success is exactly what Paul has been blessed with. He has defeated every man that has been put in front of him. And he doesn’t plan to stop now, no matter how big the fight is. Paul continues, “Ideally, I would like to fight Joe Calzaghe! But, that probably isn’t going to happen … So I’m just gonna leave it up to Mr. Peterson. And whoever they put in front of me, I am just gonna take them out. A lot of other guys know exactly who they are gonna fight a long time in advance, but they just give me a date, that’s all we got.”

Paul is not your average fighter of this era. Campaigning from welterweight all the way to middleweight, Williams is like a modern day Henry Armstrong. And
much like the fighters of the old days, he knows exactly who he is fighting for. “My fans, they appreciate that I can fight in so many different weight classes, so I’m gonna run with it,” Paul said.

He can adapt well. Paul continues, “I used to like 147 a whole lot, but then I started moving up in weight, like to 154 and 160 and I got comfortable …”

The fact that Paul is getting comfortable in a heavier weight class does not mean that welterweights are safe from the 6’1” punching machine. “Well, I probably walk around at 157 or 158 … That is if I am not doing nothing, but I am always staying busy. It is no problem for me to get down to any one of those weights,” says the Punisher.

Paul really has seemed to have found the formula to winning in the ring. And to deal with the stress that boxing can sometimes bring, Paul has his outlets. “On my down time you can probably find me riding in my old school cars, or at the gun range, or out having fun with my kids … Just normal stuff that has nothing to do with boxing,” Paul states.

To be just 27 years of age and to have so much success, Paul still remains humble. One of the things that is so respectable about this Williams, is that he is not afraid to fight anyone and that he says is because he can accept losing. Paul gives his take on losing, “it just comes with experience, I dealt with losing in the amateur days. Of course when you first start out, you want to be undefeated in everything you do … But once I got to, I think it was my 15th fight, I lost … I couldn’t believe I lost, and I used to pray to God that I would just win … But then my uncle asked me “don’t you think that the other boy you are fighting is praying to God for him to win too?” … So, then I used to pray to God that everyone would just come out ok. Losing comes with the sport … You know, once you get in that ring it’s a 50/50 chance that you can win or lose … You may think that the odds are better for you to win but I just look at it like, one punch can change the whole night … As long as I put my best foot forward … If I lose, I know I didn’t lose cause I didn’t train, I lost cause it was just that guys night … If I can accept losing then I can accept winning.”

Paul is not the quickest guy to run his mouth; he obviously likes to save his energy for the ring. He has the utmost respect and trust in his trainer, and it’s not hard to see why. Look how far they have come together. The extremely knowledgeable trainer of Paul, Mr. George Peterson gives his take, “We are looking for an opponent for sometime in September … We don’t want to be at 54, we don’t want to be at 60, we want to be at 47! But we got to keep busy … Paul is a throwback to the old days … No one will fight us at 47 and no one will fight us at 54.”

That leaves middleweight, where a hellatious punching Kelly Pavlik sits at the gate. But Mr. Peterson is supremely confident that if Paul gets that fight, he will take care of business. “He’ll stop him (Pavlik) … Paul will knock him out in 3 rounds,” Mr. Peterson says.

Another option for Williams would be veteran Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins. But Mr. Peterson already went down that road. Mr. Peterson chuckles as he says, “We asked for Bernard Hopkins, also. He said he wants one more fight but not that kind of fight.”

Mr. Peterson’s ideal opponent is Shane Mosley. But Mosley seems to have other ideas of his own as he calls out Pacquiao and Mayweather. That is not surprising to Mr. Peterson. “Nobody calls out Paul Williams … You watch any of those fights and you never hear anyone say “Paul Williams lets do it!” (Laughs) We are anxiously awaiting that.” Said Mr. Peterson.

Thanks so much to Paul Williams and Mr. George Peterson for being the definition of Southern Gentlemen. And a special thanks to Ramon Espada, for setting up this interview.

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